Today Microsoft officially announced Windows 8 and it’s availability for Download which will start at 12:01 AM. Steven Sinofsky was the keynote speaker and spent most of the beginning of the address talking about what makes Windows 8 Great. He also made a incredible statement that there is already over 1000 different machines certified for Windows 8 which will be great to flood the market and provide many choices for a device.
It was nice to see Steven take the time to explain what Windows RT is and how it is different from the a full Windows 8 machine. Touting the battery life and security and the fact the machine will last over time. HE also took the time to show that 420 Million hardware devices will work with Windows RT out of the box.
The next Speakers Mike Larsen and Julie Anguilo game up to show off actual hardware with the first being a Samsung tablet and the first feature she demoed was the picture logon which allows people to tap different locations on the picture to login as opposed to using a password. The next feature they went into was the Xbox Music and Xbox Video which are the services that were announced a few days ago.
The ThinkPad Carbon X1 was talked about and was a machine from last year which Mike touted that it boots 33% faster since upgrading to Windows 8. The Lenovo Carbon X1 was also used to show off the desktop features of Windows 8 and I was glad to see they took the time to address the controversial Start Button which they point out is still there by moving the mouse to the bottom left corner. Surprisingly, they took a second to mention that next month would see a slew of devices coming including Windows Phone 8.
They began to show off devices:
- Lenovo’s Tablet was up next which was ridiculous small yet it was a full powered enterprise ready device.
- Next up was the Acer laptop which was able to show off that WIFI reconnect occur in under 1 second. The Acer machine had a core i7 and a touch screen too.
- Dells XPS all in one PC was talked about with the next generation Core I7 processor and the Dell Convertible which looks really thin for a device that has a flip screen.
Windows RT devices talked about
- Lenovo Yoga
- Dell XPS 10
- Samsung ATIV
- Asus Vivo RT9 hour battery life with LTE
- Microsoft Surface RT
Steve Ballmer’s Closing
The Next Speaker to come up was Steve Ballmer who re-iterated that both devices and Windows 8 would be available at 12:01 tomorrow morning. He then proceeded to recap some of the cool features of Windows 8 such as the live tile functionality and SkyDrive integration. He also took some time to describe the vast amount if different style devices that will be available such as ones that dock, some that convert and some that flip .
Even though I am unbelievably excited about Windows 8 and all the devices that are about to be released I am disappointed in how dry the presentation was. You could tell that Steve Ballmer was excited but you could not see it or feel it. I am not sure if these guys need to go to school to learn how to present better but no one who is on the fence about Windows 8 would be swayed by anyone of the speakers presentation. With that said, the devices that have been announced that look really good in their hands have to be the Lenovo Tablet, and the Dell XPS 12 Convertible. The XPS 12 looked significantly thinner that I would have expected that device to be.
The most impressive part of the Windows 8 Launch Keynote was seeing all the machines. While I have seen many of the machines online I was still impressed. Some machines looked thinner, other looked higher quality. Overall the lineup of hardware was impressive.
Ability to upgrade was of little concern and for those playing with the RC’s over the last several months this was a 101 class. They did a great job showing the features but hearing someone in a monotone voice says, This is fun is just not convincing.
Sadly the event was overly scripted. The bar for a quality product keynote is set rather high and reading a teleprompter for every word just leads to a presentation that lacks passion and soul.
Personally, I was hoping to see the stage shared with other companies small and large to showcase some of the new apps hitting the store. Maybe Flipboard, Adobe Lightroom, Voxer, Zinio, ETrade, CapitalOne, Bank of America, to name a few.
Microsoft needs to show how you do the things we care about. Hopefully the Surface event will do this. How do I edit my vacation video footage on my Surface RT? What apps are available for the creative types? How do I record music, edit and publish a podcast, track stocks and a host of other things on my new ARM device?
Still excited that my Surface RT arrives tomorrow!