Saturday, September 24, 2011

Windows 8 Developer Preview

Rick Backus is our Guest Blogger for this month.  Rick's been a verteran in the industry for years and consults for Office Equipment Dealers on how to improve their business technology industry experience and enable increased productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction and competitive advantage for our clients by helping them get the most out of technology with Cybercon Services.
So I took the plunge and created a VM using the developers preview downloaded from .  Keep in mind this is a pre-beta release and I am sure a lot is going to change before a production version is available. Even the name Windows 8 is not a certainty.  None the less it is quite obvious that Microsoft is trying to address the huge influence tablets are having on the computing world by drawing from the Windows 7 mobile screen layout.  There is a lot to cover here so I will have several articles over the coming weeks to discuss various aspects of this release of Windows 8.  

Metro Screen

My first thought was to install as a VM on my Windows 7, x64 laptop so I would have it with me out of the office.  However since virtual PC will not support 64 bit guests I opted for a VM on one of my Hyper-V servers.
You immediately notice the new “Metro” style start screen that is specifically designed for touchpad capable devices.  You can use some keyboard short-cuts (Home, End, Page Up/Down) to navigate through the tiles and Esc to toggle between the Metro and Desktop views. 

Metro Start "toggle"

To toggle the start screen, explorer and running apps I used full-screen mode in the VM viewer and the Windows-Tab or Alt-Tab key combos to scroll through your open windows.

IE 10

I first went to Internet Explorer 10 which is very different from the current IE 9 release.  Not much to configure here unless you revert to the desktop view. 

Right click will bring up the tab choice bar across the top of the screen.  The page button at the bottom of the screen pops up a menu to search pages or change to the desktop view in Explorer with all the usual features we are used to from IE9.

Metro Screen
There are numerous tiles on the startup screen for widgets like News, Tweet@rama (Twitter client), Weather, Socialite (Facebook client).  All these widgets give you a continually updating, start-up screen summary of all your social networking and content connections.

You can add tiles to the Metro screen by creating shortcutsin C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.  They will then display in the startup screen and you can drag them where you want. Right clicking on tiles will display a task bar menu to adjust tile size, go to file location, run as administrator, etc.
So those are some of the basic features in this pre-beta preview of Windows 8.  More on this in the coming weeks. 

About Cybercon Services

Cybercon Services is a business technology consultancy integrating application, information and content management with business process and network infrastructure. Utilizing a broad array of tools and services developed over 25 years of IT, consulting and business technology industry experience we enable increased productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction and competitive advantage for our clients by helping them get the most out of technology.

Cybercon Services can assist in guiding your organization towards greater success. Whether your needs are implementing tablet mobility in your enterprise, automating or retooling your business processes, managed network services and support, technology management planning or leveraging best practices to improve your core operations, Cybercon Services is uniquely positioned to assist your organization.

To take the next step, Contact Cybercon Services to schedule a free review of your company’s current status and strategic goals to tailor a plan for continued growth and success.

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