Windows 8 Camp Report

Last Friday, Microsoft presented the new OS at the Windows 8 Camp event and talked about its features, development tools and the new Windows Store application store. You could follow the course of events on our Twitter, and now we offer a small report.

Windows 8 is positioned no differently than a revolutionary cross-platform operating system. On desktops, it will replace Windows 7, and it will also be equipped with new tablets. Windows Phone 7 remains the solution for phones, because the minimum screen resolution requirements for Windows 8 are 1024×768.

The concept of the Metro interface and “tiles” is really interesting. Window titles, menus, the close button – everything remains in the past. The main thing now is the content: the app takes up the entire screen! The minimalistic interface design, clear recommendations on the number of fonts used in the application, the location of interface elements and the direction of their scrolling (along the wide side of the device) force a new look at the design of applications. Fortunately, this does not apply to games, so their interface under Windows 8 will remain unchanged. An example of this is Cut the Rope, which already exists in the Windows Store and is available for download as a Metro application.

For developers, Microsoft offers the WinRT interface, the use of which equalizes the performance of C++, .NET and JavaScript code. It will be necessary to develop for 8 in Visual Studio 11, the beta version of which is also already available for download.

From the technical details, it is worth canceling the new asynchronous call mechanism, which significantly increases the readability of the code. In a nutshell: the method described as async, when called, runs in a separate thread. After it, the next line can be put the await block, which will start only after async has worked. Everything is simple and clear!

You will be able to buy Metro apps only through the Windows Store. Moreover, the user will have to learn how to use the store from the very first minutes of working in Windows 8, because there will be only three pre-installed applications in the system itself – IE, Desktop and the store. Everything else will have to be downloaded and bought.

The store is currently operating in test mode in 5 countries. You can register and release the application there only by special invitation. All applications are still free and undergo strict control – the quality of applications in the store by the time the official version of Windows 8 is launched will be one of the “chips” of the system.

Another interesting thing about the store: the minimum price is now set at $1.49; there is an automatic limitation of the trial version of the application by time (1, 7, 14, etc. days) – and this is set from the admin panel, there is no need to write the code; the pricing policy is aimed at making a profit – after crossing the threshold of $ 25K per month, the application developer begins to receive not the standard 70%, but as much as 80%! However, the answer to many questions about the store was “not yet known”, so we will try to keep you up to date with the news.

To summarize: the new store in Windows 8 is a great opportunity to reach new users. Windows 7 is now worth 500 million users – this market is bigger than iOS and Android combined! And each of them has the technical ability to upgrade to Windows 8 (what can I say, more than 1 million people downloaded the Consumer Preview version in a day).

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