Microsoft insider

Microsoft shows off Windows 8 Metro at BUILD

Microsoft takes the reigns off Windows 8 and demonstrates some of its new features at its BUILD event.

By Matt F-Smith 13/09/2011 19:12

Watch the opening keynote online now


BUILD is a new Microsoft-hosted event that is held September 13-16 in California, and although it's primarily aimed at developers it's our first opportunity to take a closer look at Microsoft's next operating system - Windows 8.

Microsoft preview their Windows 8 Metro interface at their BUILD event in California. “We reimagined Windows,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, in his keynote address to the thousands of developers in attendance. “From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise.”


For Windows 8 screenshots click here

Watch the opening keynote online now

Before previewing the Windows 8 Metro interface, Steven put Windows 8 into context by explaining the journey that has got us to where we are today. Some of these highlights include:


  • Windows 7 approaching 450m copies sold
  • Windows 7 usage is now greater than Windows XP usage
  • There have been in excess of 1500 product changes since launch of Windows 7
  • Microsoft also delivered an update to their Internet Explorer web browser - Windows Internet Explorer 9

What's new in Windows 8?

During the first keynote speech Microsoft highlighted a variety of new features in Windows 8, including the following:

Windows 8 includes support for touch.
Touch-first user interface

Metro style. Windows 8 introduces a new Metro style interface built for touch, which shows information important to you, embodies simplicity and gives you control. The Metro style UI is equally at home with a mouse and keyboard as well.

Touch-first browsing, not just browsing on a touch device. The best example on display at BUILD was the demo of Internet Explorer 10, proving that Windows 8 will provide a fast and fluid touch-browsing experience.


Powerful, connected apps

Powered by apps. Metro style apps built for Windows 8 are the focal point of your experience, filling your entire screen so there are no distractions.


Apps can work together. Apps communicate with each other in Windows 8. For example, you can easily select and email photos from different places, such as Facebook, Flickr or on your hard drive.

Your experience syncs across your devices. Live roams all the content from the cloud services you use most — photos, email, calendar and contacts — keeping them up-to-date on your devices. With SkyDrive, you can access your files, photos and documents from virtually anywhere with any browser or with Metro style apps in Windows 8.


The best of Windows 7 (and then some)

The best of Windows 7, only turbo-charged for a new generation. Windows 8 is built on the rock-solid foundation of Windows 7, delivering improvements in performance, security, privacy and system reliability. Windows 8 reduces the memory footprint needed — even on the lowest-end hardware — leaving more room for your apps.


For those who push the limits of their PC, Windows 8 features an enhanced Task Manager and Windows Explorer and new, flexible options for multimonitor setups.

Internet Explorer for Metro. Windows 8 will run a brand new version of the popular browser - Internet Explorer 10.
Internet Explorer for Metro


Internet Explorer 10 offers a chrome free browsing experience. Stephen joked how the new immersive browser was "completely chromeless" - and as you can see from the

screenshot, the screen is clean, uncluttered. All you see is the webpage.


IE10 will ship with Windows 8 and like its predecessor is built fully with HTML5 technology. It comes in two different flavours; Internet Explorer for Metro (which is designed for use with touch interfaces) and Internet Explorer for the classic Windows interface (which will use keyboard and mouse).


Windows 8 is designed to work on all hardware.

Support for new hardware


One Windows — many shapes and sizes. Support for ARM-based chipsets, x86 (as well as x32 and x64) devices, touch and sensors means Windows 8 works beautifully across a spectrum of devices, from 10-inch tablets and laptops to all-in-ones with 27-inch high-definition screens.

Always connected. With Windows 8, new ultrathin PCs and tablets turn on instantly, run all day on a single charge and stay connected to the Internet so your PC is ready when you are. Next-generation system on a chip (SoC) support will also enable greatly extended standby and low-power states.

Tap the full power of your PC. Windows 8 runs on PCs and is compatible with the devices and programs you use today on Windows 7, without compromise, to deliver the performance you expect of a PC.



Watch the opening keynote online now

More on Windows 8

First Windows 8 screenshots
Windows 8 promises fast boot times
Watch more Windows 8 videos


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13/09/2011 22:47

Windows 7 is way better than xp and vista , windows 7 has everything xp had and is way way more stable and runs way better than vista.


I'm not sure i will like windows 8 however but I wont be able to judge until I try it! If i do like it I certainly will pay for it as long as prices are reasonable like win 7 was when released.


What I would like is a better backward compatibility so even my oldest games or programmes will work with ease.


Douglas Morgan (MondeoMan)


'You' are a complete ignoranus,who knows nothing about operating systems.


W7 is probably the best ever & I expect W8 to equal or surpass it.


I just wished that they would drop DX & opt for Open GL,I mean, why continue with an outdated interface anyway,when third part app's are better.

The only thing I would agree with,is the 'bundled' app's, that come with Windows,particularly system tools,like defrag & with SSD's, even that is now defunct.,unless one is using somewhat antiquated spin drives.


I have used ALL the Windows OS's & W7 is without any doubt, the best of the bunch,like any OS,we are all different & like our OS to operate as we like it,nothing a little bit of 'tweaking' cannot cure.


W7 is the most 'secure' OS going,but like anything,the biggest threat to PC security,is that thing at the end of the keyboard.

13/09/2011 21:52



Seriously, Windows 7 is an excellent operating system, you must be thinking of Vista, and what they got wrong there, for the most part, was fixed in 7, no mess and certainly not a big pathetic one.


I for one am looking forward to W8, just want some decent touch hardware to take advantage of the Metro UI.

14/09/2011 08:30
It's so sad that I'm still reading comments that claim that "Windows XP is still the best." I would like to say I pity these kinds of people who are so reluctant to change for no reason at all (apart from they probably heard that "Vista sucked") - but I can't. You are just being silly. Stop living in the past. It's amazing how clingy people are to a piece of software that's 11+ years old; in technology terms, it's a freaking dinosaur.

I'm not sure how people can call W7 terrible and in the same breath, proclaim XP amazing, but hey, each to their own - it's your opinion and I respect that, but  W7 has brought about a lot of improvements and honestly, I think it was the best upgrade I ever chose to install. I was for a while one of these sheep that idolised XP over all other Windows builds, automatically shooting them down without even testing them, but I realised how wrong I was when I used W7. 

Also, the XP theme is really, really UGLY. So is the standard Windows grey one. Anyone who willingly uses those over the Aero themes that come with W7 has no style at all, seriously. And don't give me that "it uses less memory" crap - it's 2011, I think today's PCs may just be able to handle it...
14/09/2011 07:47

When you look at how windows has changed over the years, Microsoft has listened

and learned from it's end users, after the catastrophe of windows ME, and the frustratingly awful Vista, MS has thrown open the doors completely, (take it's catchphrase from the W7 adverts) "windows 7 was my idea"

I was a bit reluctant to put my hand in my pocket after Vista, but I'm glad I did, and have to admit that W8 has already has my interest...

14/09/2011 10:41

If you don't like Windows, there are plenty of operating systems out there to choose from.  Ubuntu is a very popular choice, I myself tend to use Debian and Windows 7. 


WIndows XP was GREAT at the time, but things need to more forward.  I can honestly say, I was very impressed with Windows 7, infact, I havn't had one crash, and I use it everyday for well over 7+ hours.  Using WIndows XP now, aswell as it's interface is like using a Mobile phone from the 80's...

14/09/2011 08:33

I think you have your Graphics API's mixed up. At this point OpenGL is years behind DirectX and there is no direct support for the more advanced featured on DX. The only reason ID have continued to use Open GL is, and I am quoting John Carmack here, That they "Have built there entire code base and expertise on opengl." Open GL has other uses outside of games graphics, and will continue to thrive there, but DX has the High end graphics sewn up at this point.

Douglas Morgan Imagine that, A corporation that has a purpose to make money, who would have thought it. Also, your utterly wrong that XP can do everything Windows 7 can do. And that's largely down to the technical limitation of the operating system. I Would rather see a new OS be released every 3-5 years then have the code bloated by more and more additions. 


And I bet that Win 95 is better then XP? Progress is good, it's what drives this industry. I would rather have Win 7 any day over XP. 
14/09/2011 16:16
Interesting , Just not to sure about the cartoony look of this version, looks a bit childish. I know looks can be deceiving and i hope i am right. Say what you like about some of the pit falls of vista but just like 7 there is a touch of class and style or sleekness if you prefer. However, the images of windows 8 go side by side with the release of the bing bar. It just seems all the high tech graphics are all being replaced with basic visuals and cartoon cut outs. That was fine for the older mobile phones (which this was the concept for) I prefer the look of sophistication, not to have my desktop resemble a school project. To make the appeal of another upgrade so quickly (in a recession) a lot more needs to be done regarding the ui.
14/09/2011 19:15
Will it do something really simple like 'Drag and Drop'???
22/09/2011 19:25

Looks very "Trendy" ! Ideal for the main stream market, me tink !!


However the Mac was 1st to "drag and drop" and loved by the Media !! back in the day

21/09/2011 22:53
I was a big apple fan and the "i'm a mac and i'm a pc" adverts were so true and funny ,But then windows 7 came out , You don't see those adverts no more ,bring on win8
15/09/2011 22:52
hasany one used office 2010 possibly the worst piece of software ever made you cannot even copy and paste a picture into word document with out having to save it in an entirely different folder  absolute madness. i now use open office easier to use got all you need and you do not get ripped off and it inc a spreadsheet and a database take note microsoft. What cheek charging more for office 2010 and then removing packages what a rip.

13/09/2011 22:06

those "Windows 8 videos" are actually Windows 7. Misleading.

However Windows 8 looks brilliant.

13/09/2011 22:44
Got windows vista on my lap top about t he first thing i did was to change the the interface to xp and ill do the same with any other version. Pity windows still has not fixed simple hardrive function putting files back where they came from after 15 years unlike like linux so no need to defrag
14/09/2011 06:21
Xp is the still the best. they  bring out windows 8 just to get your money instead of improving windows 7.
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About Matt
  • Matt Farrington-Smith on Tech & Gadgets MSN UKMatt Farrington-Smith

    Matt is the editor on MSN Tech & Gadgets with a slant towards Microsoft products. Matt has been writing for the web since 2004.

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