Live Blog

Windows 8, Microsoft Surface Launch

  • They are talking up the new Xbox Music service.
  • It was a Windows 7 PC, but with Windows 8, the computer boots 30 percent faster. The audience cheers loudly for that -- people love their faster boot times.
  • Mike demonstrates using the laptop's touchpad like he would interact with a touch screen for Windows 8.
  • The new touchpad drivers are a long-overdue improvement, very Mac-like in their responsiveness.
  • Julie assures us a lot of the same programs and Windows interface is still there below the tile user interface (in case you don't like tiles).
  • Mike showing of Excel 2013, which just came out, and says they run just like they did on Windows 7.
  • How do you do split-screen in Windows 8 with a mouse? Click and drag from the Recent Apps sidebar. Very smooth.
  • Mike and Julie showed off two new Windows Phone. Mike teases a new wave of Windows Phone devices. "It'll be the biggest wave ever."
  • Mike shows off saving an Excel spreadsheet to SkyDrive. SkyDrive should figure prominently on Windows programs.

  • The traditional Windows interface will be important for many corporate customers, who don't want to have to retrain users on a new interface. It's one of the big challenges for Microsoft: updating the operating system without making it so new that it alienates its core users.
  • PCs designed for Windows 8 are thinner and lighter, Mike says.
  • Julie: "These are the best PCs that have ever been made."
  • Mike demos a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet, which runs on an Intel Atom chip.
  • @seth rosenblatt Of course, if Julie said something else, like they aren't quite the best PCs ever made, THAT would be news.
  • Mike now rattling off a list of wireless connections, which should show up on this Lenovo tablet.
  • Julie now talking about the Acer Aspire S7-191 -- calls it an enterprise-ready laptop that's gorgeous.
  • Again, nothing new here. These products have been announced and/or reviewed.
  • That will be an ongoing theme today, as there is little actual "news" coming out today.
  • Read Dan Ackerman's hands-on impressions of the Aspire S7: www.cnet.com
  • You want a touch notebook for $499? There will be a Windows 8 one available on the first day.
  • Complete CNET Windows 8 hardware round-up: reviews.cnet.com
  • From tablets to all-in-ones, Windows 8 works for different sizes and screens, Julie says.
  • The Dell XPS One scored a CNET Editors' Choice -- it's the best all-in-one Windows 8 PC so far: reviews.cnet.com
  • Partners are making all kinds of new hardware, Mike says, adding that's why the apps have grown in Windows Store.
  • That flip-over model is the Dell XPS 12 -- full review here: www.cnet.com
  • Now talking about multitasking - showing off a video of "Fringe" while checking email or browsing the Internet. The video keeps playing.
  • The pair are showing off a slew of different form factors. It's yet to be seen which ones consumers will gravitate too. One, the Dell XPS 12, has a screen that flips over and covers the keyboard. But it looks bulky when in tablet mode. Not sure it's one I'd want.
  • The Snap split-screen feature is an updated take on the Windows 7 version, and it is hands-down one of the best things about Windows 8/Windows RT
  • You can use the "Search" charm to run searches across the Internet or apps.
  • One-click uninstall - it should give you the confidence to try an app, Mike says.
  • You can try it without downloading licenses or going through the trouble of a long install.
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