Microsoft’s Windows 8 Planning Leaked?

microsofts windows 8 planning leaked windowsette slide leak  june 2010

This last weekend, the Italian blog Windowsette published an unauthenticated set of slides (Italian) purporting to detail Microsoft’s current thinking and development targets for Windows 8, presumably the next version of the company’s flagship operating system. The slides are marked as confidential and “Windows 8 Discussion, This Is Not A Plan Of Record;” however, if genuine, they show Microsoft may be looking to convert Windows into a unitary operating system that offers consistent interface and capabilities across a variety of platforms, offers faster startup and wake performance, is more touch oriented and may even integrate Kinect-like motion-sensing capabilities. And, Microsoft may be looking at 2012 as a potential release time for the OS…and the company is even pondering a WIndows app store to bolster the Windows consumer software market.

Among the technologies Microsoft is considering supporting in Windows 8 are USB 3.0, ambient light sensors, and facial recognition as a way to simplify logins. The company also wants to boost boot and wake times to be nearly instantaneous—a feature that might help a hypothetical Windows 8 compete with Google Chrome on portable devices—and may include gestural menu technology, that could enable users to control applications and functions using Kinect-like gestures rather than touch—and keep those glossy displays smudge-free. The slides also mention a “push button reset” that would restore Windows 8 to a factory default configuration while preserving a user’s files and data…apparently Microsoft isn’t yet envisioning a day where the ability to fire a killshot to the operating system’s head won’t be necessary.

The slides indicate Microsoft is still talking with OEM partners about whether they want integrated support for IEEE 1394 (aka FireWire) and Bluetooth 3.0+HS…because it seems Microsoft would rather not support the technologies.

The slides show a mockup of a Windows app store that uses a Zune-ish interface to present software and application content on offer from both Microsoft and selected partners: the company is apparently not mulling a Wild West-style app store open to anyone and everyone, but an Apple-like curated experience where users can count on not having sensibilities offended. Microsoft envisions the store as being adaptable to the device being used to access it: tap in from a desktop PC and the store presents desktop software, but accessing from a tablet PC might hide away applications that aren’t designed for tablets.

Again, Microsoft has not confirmed the authenticity of the slides, and even if they are genuine they represent very early brainstorming and outreach to partners for a product that, in all likelihood, is still many months away from being specced.

Computing

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mail client goes freemium with the introduction of ads

Microsoft Windows Insiders are finding a nasty surprise inside the Mail app on the latest Windows 10 preview build in the form of banner ads. These ads will appear in the Mail app regardless of the webmail service you use.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up speech-to-text in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Computing

Microsoft’s Always-Connected PCs gets more powerful with 64-bit app support

Microsoft announced that developers can start creating 64-bit apps for Always-Connected PCs powered by Snapdragon processors. The Windows Store will also begin to accept 64-bit app submissions for Microsoft's Windows on ARM.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Computing

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.
Gaming

Want to gift a Steam game so you can play with a friend? Here's how to do it

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?
Computing

Multi-monitor issues? Here's how to resolve them

If you're running into multi-monitor problems, you're not alone. Two screens are very useful, but they can present some difficulties. Here are some common multi-monitor problems and how to fix them.
Computing

Capture screenshots with print screen and a few alternative methods

Capturing a screenshot of your desktop is easier than you might think, but it's the kind of thing you'll probably need to know. Here's how to perform the important function in just a few, easy steps.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

The best MacBook deals for November 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Computing

All the best deals on Surface products for Black Friday

A number of retailers are discounting Surface devices for Black Friday. Be it the Surface Pro 2017, Surface Pro 6, or the Surface Go, here's a look at how (and where) you can save big on Surface this holiday season.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…