windows8

(List Updated) W8CP: Windows Store will have a browser frontend (and a list of all available apps)

image

Today we found out, that the Windows Store for Windows Apps will also get a browser frontend. The domain registered for this is http://apps.microsoft.com.

Right now, you will get an 403 error, if you navigate to that address in your browser. But there is also good news: the sitemap is accessible.

Updating the list

If there are new apps, I will update the following  list. You can see updates on the list on the date I add behind the Name.

List of all available apps and games

Trough the Sitemap we are able to detect that there are more apps than expected. The Vimeo app for example is not listed in any category (almost here in Germany), but you can download it right now. Here is the full list for German store:

apps:

games:

Microsoft apps:

For Germany this means there are nearly as many apps available as in the US, but not all are displayed. For the US and France are also several region-only apps available.

If you search for apps which are not displayed (if you know the name), you will find them.

You can check the list at the Sitemap of app.microsoft.com.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments
Nokia tablet with WoA in the make?

Nokia tablet with WoA in the make?

Nokia-tab

I was struggling with myself  about this post a bit, but this rumors are to good to not write about it.

This morning MS_nerd postet a few words about a Tablet with WoA on it:

I do not see a reason why this not could be true. So Nokia seems to be already working on a tablet as many of us hoped before.

What do you all think about this?

Posted by msicc in Windows, 2 comments

Possible timeline for Windows 8 launch revealed

 

Screenshot (6)

Yesterday the financial site dividend.com revealed the timeline for Windows 8 launch.

They are now looking forward to the next steps until launch:

  • Release Candidate (RC) in June
  • Ready to Manufacturing (RTM) in late July/August
  • official Release (or as the say General Availability) in September/October

This seems like a possible scenario for a launch, as it fits also in the suggested Windows Phone Apollo timeline.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments

(Updated x2) How to prepare W8CP for Metro apps on devices with small screen resolutions

cantopenmetro

Microsoft stated that Windows 8 will be able to an huge amount of devices, such as PCs, tablets as well as other devices. Well, a netbook is also a kind of a PC.

There are certain netbooks out there, which can be run in 800*600 max. screen resolution by default. Currently drivers from vendors are missing for these devices, so there won´t be a possibility to change.  A colleague of me has a Nokia 3G booklet. He could not get the Metro part of the W8CP to work. He is running into an error message like the one illustrated above.

There is a solution.

Paul Thurrott posted a solution to this on his supersite for Windows. OK, it seems more than a hack, but it will lead to target.

Here is how to get the Metro part working through changing your screen resolution settings:

  • run Regedit (Win + C, search, type in regedit (note: you have to type in complete, otherwise the app shows not up)
  • search for “display1_downscalingsupported” (CTRL+F)
  • change its value from 0 to 1
  • search all entries in registry by using the F3-key of your netbook, and change again the value from 0 to 1

Paul noted that the look of the desktop part maybe a little bit skewed or squished. But now you have additional screen resolution options.

Note: if you do not know what you’re doing, you should not follow these steps! I am not responsible for any errors or damage caused by changing your registry.

I will try to do this on my colleague´s netbook, and will update this post.

Update 2: Nokia Booklet loves W8CP!

So my colleague was playing around with his netbook and installed the device graphics driver. He had do install it with the Windows device manager. He simply downloaded the driver (here), and pointed the device manager to use this file. So he is now enjoying the Metro apps on his netbook.

Until then, feel free to use the steps above and leave some comments. Most important thing:

Have fun using the Metro apps also on your netbook!

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments
How to access W8CP store of foreign regions

How to access W8CP store of foreign regions

As I noticed in one of my previous posts, there is a list of all available apps for Windows 8.

If you have followed the link, you might have noticed that there are some apps which are regionally restricted. But you can download them as well, and this post will tell you about how to.

First step you have to do is change the language of your system like I described here.

Once you have done this, you have to change the region settings of your windows. Go to control panel in desktop mode (or use search), and click on “Region”

Screenshot (44)

Now choose the tab “Location”.

Screenshot (42)

Now choose the location you want to switch on. In my example I use the United States.

Screenshot (43)

Confirm the change with “Apply” and exit this window with “OK”.

Screenshot (50)

Screenshot (53)

Now we have access to the American Windows 8 store. Apps you install in this way will also work if you turn back to your normal region/language settings.

Please note that without the language change you will not be able to access foreign regions store. I tried it several times, but only this way was working for me.

Have fun with testing all Windows 8 apps!

Posted by msicc in Windows, 6 comments
How to change language on W8CP

How to change language on W8CP

Today I want to talk about a nice little feature in Windows 8. You can switch nearly seamlessly between different languages.

Here is a little guide:

Screenshot (44)

Go to the control panel in desktop mode of Windows 8 and click on language. If you do not see the icon click on “view by:” and select the big or small icon setting.

Screenshot (45)

Now click on “Add a language” in the language settings screen.

Screenshot (46)

Search the language you want to install. Currently, there is support for English , French, German and Japanese. For all other languages you can set a keyboard layout. Double click the language you want and it will be added to your language list. Now click on “Options” on the right hand side of your selected language.

Screenshot (47)

With a click on “Download and install language pack” your selected language will be downloaded and installed. To activate your selected language, click again on “Options”.

Screenshot (48)

Click on “Make this the primary language” now. You will see following notification:

Screenshot (49)

After a short sign-off and sign-in procedure you will be using Windows in your desired language. This is working regardless which system language you initially used to install, as long as it is one of the supported languages.

Have fun!

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments

Microsoft at CeBIT 2012: “Microsoft Heartbeat – The Power of Design”

This was the motto today on Microsoft´s CeBit opening press conference.

It was all about Metro. Ralph Haupter, General Manager at Microsoft Germany, explained what this means for Microsoft:

”Design also says something about the state of a company. We used to define ourselves by our software’s functionality. Today the question at Microsoft is how we people can get to grips with this wonderful new digital world and enjoy it, whether we want to entrust it with our data and if we can control it. This is a question of integrated design.”

A homogeneous look on Windows Phone, Xbox and Windows 8

All major products of Microsoft are using the Metro look. Be it the experience on Windows Phone, the new Xbox Dashboard or last weeks previewed Windows 8: Metro leads to an homogeneous look and feel. Also the CeBIT trade show stand is shining in the new Metro look.

Microsoft is facing three critical factors here:

  • Esthetics of the experience. For Microsoft, working with technology nowadays should be both appealing and enjoyable.
  • Clarity of the function. IT must stay controllable with a vast number of devices as well as data sources
  • Intelligence of the blueprint.  New the technologies only become flexible and smart, if they are in first place.

The result is shown through the Metro Design. With the consumer preview been downloaded over a million times within the first 24 hours, it is clear the there is a huge interest in the Metro UI. Also for developers the Metro UI has potential:

One of the first German suppliers in the new Windows Store is the Berlin start-up company ”6Wunderkinder”. Their ”Wunderlist” app, a no-frills and easy-to-use Task Manager will soon be available to download. Christian Reber, CEO of the successful company, underlines that an attractive and effective operational concept is key factor for the app’s success. The Metro Design provides the ideal framework here. Plus Windows, which is by far the most popular operating system worldwide. ”We are not only convinced by the Metro Design approach, but also see an enormous potential for our company to reach far more people with our ideas and apps via Windows 8 in the future,” explained Reber.

The new experience will be available in 231 different markets, while using more than 100 languages. This opportunities are only given on Microsoft´s upcoming OS.

Tomorrow there will be a keynote of Kevin Turner, Microsoft´s Chief Operating Officer, at 10 am (EST). He will talk about „What’s Next: IT trends, business opportunity and Windows 8”. You can watch the keynote live at the CeBIT Global Conferences 2012.

Interesting words at the end:

“Windows 8 is also ”Windows reinvented” for a whole new generation of devices. It will be the best operating system for hundreds of millions of PCs, tablets and other devices, and for way more than one billion people across the whole world”, says Ralph Haupter.

I find interesting that Microsoft says “PCs, tablets and other devices”. Maybe this is also another hint of merging the Windows 8 kernel into Windows Phone, or even another Xbox Dashboard upgrade?

If you want to find out more about the CeBIT-News from Microsoft, head over to Microsoft´s official CeBIT site (also fully designed in Metro).

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments
Discovering Xbox LIVE and Xbox Companion apps on W8CP

Discovering Xbox LIVE and Xbox Companion apps on W8CP

As the Xbox Live apps do not work in every country, I want to give you a short view to both apps. Both are preinstalled on W8CP.

Screenshot (21)

Xbox LIVE Games

The Xbox LIVE Games app comes with a few functions which you might know from your Smartphone app. Once you start the app, you will get to the overview screen:

Screenshot (9)

As you can see, your Avatar (if you have one), is loaded into the app. You can view your own profile as well as have a look on your friends profiles:

Screenshot (10)

On your profile you can see your achievements or modify your avatar. If you choose a friend, you will be able to compare your achievements:

Screenshot (11)

Here is a look on a friends profile:

Screenshot (12)

 

Currently, you cannot send or view messages within the app like on the smartphone app. Hopefully this app will be updated during the preview time to fit with the smartphone functionality.

Xbox Companion

The Xbox companion is very similar to the one on Windows Phone. Once you have logged in and connected to your Xbox, you will see a start screen with your last activity as well as your last played games:

image

You can scroll through videos. games and music as well:

image

Finally, you have the search, like on the smartphone app:

image

Again, please remember that the W8CP is still a “Beta”-release, so it is usual that not all functions are working. I am sure the apps will be updated – at least with the official launch of Windows 8. I hope you liked this small overview over both Xbox apps. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments
First impressions from Windows 8 Consumer Preview (W8CP)

First impressions from Windows 8 Consumer Preview (W8CP)

metrocharmbarFebruary, 29th: Microsoft releases Windows 8 Consumer Preview at Mobile World Congress 2012.

That was what we all were waiting for: the next major version of Windows, previewed with more functions as the Developer Preview released last year in September by Microsoft.

In this post, I will talk about my first impressions with W8CP until now.

First step to take was the download. As I want to run both Windows 7 and Windows 8 on my PC, I decided to download the ISO-Image, extract it and install from USB Stick. If you want to do the same, here is a quick guide to create a bootable USB drive: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool.

Note: I simply extracted the image using 7Zip, copied the whole extracted folder on my USB drive. Reboot, hit F12 to enter boot menu (depends on your hardware which is the right key), and it was done.

You now may think that the install of the OS will take some time… You are totally wrong. From the moment of reboot until I initially saw the W8CP Metro start screen it took 20 minutes! As I am on a 2 year old hardware, this might be even faster with newer ones.

Some words about the experience

Although I am not an a touch hardware, W8CP introduces a really easy way to use. Well, the experience with mouse is still better than with the trackpad on my laptop. Hopefully Asus delivers in near future some drivers built for W8CP. The apps are opening fast, delivering an easy to understand first start screen (if you have to do something, like contacts and mail).

Let´s go through some of the apps:

First I want to show you the “people”-hub. Yes, it admits to be same as on your Windows Phone (if you have one).Screenshot (4)

You have all contacts, which are connected to your Microsoft Account (former called Windows LIVE-ID). If you connected Facebook and Twitter like me, you have a really long list of contacts. Sadly in this early stage there is no way of filtering your contacts. If you are using a Google account, you will have also these contacts in here.

image

In “what´s new?” section you will see recent posts on your network. In my case I see only my Twitter timeline. I think there should be also Facebook things, but I did not see one over the time I used W8CP.

Under “me” you can see your personal information, as well as some notifications. here is opposite for me to what´s new section: I only see Facebook news. I think this is due to the early stage a not so bad thing, hopefully Microsoft will update this while we are waiting for final Windows 8. Finally, you can pin contacts to the start screen.

mailmitordner

The mail app is similar to the one on Windows Phone. You have three columns, one for folders, your mail overview and the mail itself. Currently you can use Hotmail, Google-Mail and Exchange to test the app with. POP and IMAP is not there right now. If you want to get your mail from other mail services, you can easily collect them with Hotmail.

fotomainmenu

The photo app delivers nearly the same experience as the picture hub on Windows Phone. You can view your local library with its subfolders, your SkyDrive as well as Facebook. New is Flickr, which is added in here also. Maybe this will come also to Windows Phone?

musik4

Well, the music app is basically what the music section of Zune was, but without the Zune branding. The app contains only basic functionality, such as having a look into a part of the marketplace and a look into your local music library.

That was all about the apps for now. There are several things to still explore, you can expect me to write some more posts over the coming weeks.

Using W8CP

So Microsoft reworked completely the usability. Within every app, you have a own menu, which is called by the “charm bar”. To open the “charm bar”, you have to go to the right botton corner. The charm bar will open you some more options. The charm bar is the key element, where you can do several things:

  • search (apps, people, internet, or within apps, if they use this functionality)
  • share with apps (currently there is no real twitter client, as “Tweet@rama” and “Socialize” are not available any more)
  • devices will let you interact with connected devices, like your digicam
  • settings: if you are in an app, the settings will be app related, while on start screen they are system related.

image

Where is the Windows button?

There is no Windows button on your as you have been using since Windows 95. As Microsoft stated, Windows 8 is “Windows reimagined”. And it is totally true. So here is what you get instead of the Windows button, when you move the mouse down the left bottom corner.

image

Down the corner is the last app/program you have been using (in this case it is Windows Live Writer). If you move the mouse up now, you will keep an task switch menu with all recent apps/programs which are open. You can navigate within this by using Windows-key+Tab.

image

If you are used to use Alt+Tab, you get a task switch menu which is well known to you:

image

I really love the usability of Windows 8. For a Consumer Preview, which are only other words for “Beta”, it is at this stage really good.

What are you waiting for? Crab your own copy!

ISO-Download:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso

Windows installer:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download?ocid=W_MSC_W8P_DevCenter_MetroApps_EN-US

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments

WPDEV on W8CP: How to install the Windows Phone SDK

Yesterday I was all day playing around with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview (W8CP) as many of us.

Screenshot

Today I wanted to get a bit more serious and tried to install the Windows Phone SDK.

Once downloaded from App Hub, I clicked “Install”, and waited for the SDK to complete  . Install went trough, and I was waiting for opening my current project.

But then I was shocked by numerous error messages, all of the regarding XNA plugins and updates. So the dream was over. The SDK does not support W8CP.

screen

I am a very Metro-addicted man, so I was searching for a solution. On Twitter I was tipped by @nikovrdoljak to one part of the solution.

The errors are caused by Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable

XNA Game Studio installs a version of the Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable behind the scenes.  Some older versions of the Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable attempt to install and use a file that is being installed by Windows 8, and the older versions of the redistributable are not compatible with the newer version of the file that is installed by Windows 8.  Newer versions of the Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable are compatible with Windows 8, and if you pre-install the new redistributable before installing XNA Game Studio, setup will recognize that it is already there and use the new version instead of trying to install the old version.

The reason this issue also impacts the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 is that this SDK installs XNA Game Studio behind the scenes, which in turn installs the Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable behind the scenes.

So where to download the actual version? Let´s check this later. I followed the steps shown on Aaron Stebner’s WebLog. But that was not all.

I think more WPDev are willing to try, so here is a checklist:

  • uninstall all parts of the Windows Phone SDK – Note: there are some bits left after you use the automatic install, so you have to uninstall remaining parts of the SDK manually
  • do a reboot (that thing you do not want to do once you started playing around with W8CP). Don´t worry, it is faster as on Windows 7 (on my 2 year old ASUS under one minute).
  • go to the Games for Windows download page, which you can find on this page: http://www.xbox.com/de-DE/LIVE/PC/DownloadClient. Replace the “de-DE”-part with your regional language code, for the US p. e. “en-US” to download the correct version of the redistributable.
  • start installation
  • in the middle of the installation, the UAC asks you to allow the installation. Now click on “change, when this message appears” (the original wording might be slightly different, I translated it from German).
  • pull down the switch to set Windows to not ask you anymore (yes, even if this is not recommended)
  • now let the installation of Games for Windows –LIVE Redistributable finish.
  • finally, start installation of the Windows Phone SDK. This time, it takes a little longer than before (probably due to the now working install parts)
  • if you want to, turn the UAC on again (control panel/more settings/users/settings for user access control)

Congrats, you installed the Windows Phone SDK, but…

you still have to deal with some points:

  • the SDK currently works only with Visual Studio 2010
  • the emulator does not work, so you have to debug on device
  • the updated Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 (which is only to have a look, not the final version), might afford additional steps

For me it only worked with above mentioned steps. If you had another steps to do or additional information, leave a comment to discuss.

happy coding on Windows 8, everyone!

Posted by msicc in Dev Stories, wpdev, 6 comments