Windows 8 Release Preview will be released in first week of June – W8CP used twice as much as Windows 7 beta


We all are excited about the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Microsoft gave us a really fast and stable OS preview at the end of February.

Only a few minutes ago Microsoft announced via twitter that the next version, a Release Preview, will be available in early June. They announced it while they are on Japan Dev Days. Earlier this week Microsoft announced also that the Consumer Preview is now already used twice as much as the Windows 7 beta at the same point in time.

Personally I do not wonder about this. W8CP is a preview you can use as a daily driver already, and many of us are doing so. And it seems that there are a lot of people are beginning to like the Metro part of Windows 8.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments

W8CP: Windows Store will soon accept app submissions from 33 new countries


Today I read some interesting news about the next upcoming pre-release of Windows 8. Microsoft is going to extend the ability to submitt apps to 33 new countries.

Those countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom.

Besides that, Microsoft will probably release another preview version to us as soon as Windows 8 is going to RTM (=Ready to Manufacturing) status. According to the verge, Microsoft will release another update in early June. Hopefully the Consumer Preview is able to be upgraded directly.

With the final release of Windows 8 Microsoft is targeting 200 markets with over 100 languages.  Currently there are only 5 regions with a own catalogue, while all other countries have a “rest of the world” catalogue.

source: MSDN

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments

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


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:



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
How to install the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 on W8CP (WPDev)

How to install the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 on W8CP (WPDev)

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This week Microsoft released the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 to us developers. If you are on Windows 7, you can hit the download  button and install the SDK, everything will go fine.

If you have used my tutorial on how to install the SDK on W8CP, things are a little different. You might face the following error message:

Screenshot (74)

The error says that the update is not applicable or is blocked by another condition on your computer (you can read more about that here). The Link to the KB-site does not offer anything helpful, so I played around to find a workaround.

Here is a my tutorial for installing the SDK in this case:

  • perform a “repair install” of the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1
  • download the update
  • install the update, if no error shows up, everything will go fine
  • if you face the message again, abort the installation
  • download the update again
  • after second download, everything should go fine

I know this is a little bit confusing. In fact it was the only way for me to get the update installed. I tried several ways, and if a way did not work I restored the point before the repair install to get this tutorial done.

After the installation I also tried to open up my blog app on the 256 MB emulator. Of course I was curios whether my will start or not, luckily it did:

Screenshot (85)

So I hope with my little tutorial I was able to help you to get developing started with Windows 8 again. For my part I am happy, as I often code while I am at train, and in battery mode debugging on device does not work on W8CP.

Happy coding everyone!

Posted by msicc in Dev Stories, wpdev, 0 comments
W8CP is much faster than Windows 7 in common tasks

W8CP is much faster than Windows 7 in common tasks

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Recently pcworld.com has done a benchmark between the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows 7. As the title says, W8CP is the clear winner.

First, let´s have a look on the machine the ran the tests on:

  • 3,3 GHz Intel Core i5-2500K CPU
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM (1333 MHz)
  • 1 TB HDD, 7200 rpm
  • NVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti graphics card

They used their very own WorldBench 7 testing method (here you can read in detail how they test). They stated what everyone who has Windows 7 and the W8CP installed: W8CP is simply faster. It did the Benchmark 14 percent faster than Windows 7!

Startup Time:


As you can see, the startup time is very different. The opened a text file after startup to get the time. W8CP is although it has to load the Metro Design, switch to Desktop and then open the file still about 25 % faster than Windows 7. Yes, 25%!

What the hell is going on?

Well, it is a so called “hybrid boot” why it is this fast. Microsoft simply combined the speed and functionality of hibernate mode and the benefits of a fresh startup. How does this work? When Windows goes to hibernate mode, all RAM-data is written into a file on the HDD. On restart, this file is loaded again. This mode was ported to the whole system: all apps are closed by the system on shutdown. The OS state is hibernated to the HDD. On restart, the System loads the hibernated state, and you have the same state as before shutdown.

I love this. You can test it by yourself: open and work with some apps, restart and open the same apps: you are where you left.

pcworld.com tested also the

Web performance

Here they received  a much bigger difference between the two OS:  about 50%! Windows 7 and IE 9 achieved 18.9 frames per second, while Windows 8 with IE10 received 28.6 fps. the tasks were dynamic web content, including Javascript and HTML 5. Microsoft has done a real good job here.

Audio, Video, Images

Here comes a big point about running a beta version of Windows: missing drivers. Windows 8 has a huge database like Windows 7, but a dedicated driver from the manufacturer is the best solution. So I would say here we go with a draw (the difference is under 5%, so it is not noticeable for a normal user).

Office productivity

This was the only category where Windows 7 was faster. Tasks to do were typical office things like editing text, application launches or scanning for viruses. Windows 7 wins here with about 8 percent.

We are still in beta

with Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The preview shows already, where the way goes. Windows 7 was fast, and Windows 8 will be even faster. I bet over time several updates will show the real potential of Windows 8.

You can read the detailed article on pcworld.com.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments

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


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
Microsoft shows up what surfing the web means with IE10 on W8CP

Microsoft shows up what surfing the web means with IE10 on W8CP

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Yesterday Microsoft posted some information about the recent changes of IE10 for the Windows 8 consumer preview.

The changes are made to give us an even better user experience while browsing the web.

Content first

What we get is a chrome-less browser, which concentrates on the content, not the app you are using. This is very Metro following. It may remind you  the experience on Windows Phone when browsing the web. As you can see, there is only the content, no bars, menus or anything else:

Screenshot (54)

Microsoft highlights several features in his blog post:

  • Navigation tiles. Tiles are helping you to find your pinned as well as frequent used sites. This feature shows up as soon as you begin typing in the adress bar.

IE10 NAvtiles

  • Tabs. Tabs are showing up when  swipe from the bottom of the screen (on touch), right click with the mouse or press Win + Z.

Screenshot (57)

  • The Metro  I0 10 is well integrated in all key Windows 8 features like the Charm bar, where you can use the search and the applications settings as well as the snapping feature:

Screenshot (61)

Microsoft summarizes all changes like this:

  • Full, independent composition enables responsive, fast and fluid behavior on real websites (including pages with fixed elements, nested scrolling regions, animations, and video)
  • Back and forward swipe navigation with preview
  • Double-tap to zoom in on content
  • Fast back and forward navigation controls for mouse
  • Mouse (CTRL+scroll wheel) and keyboard methods for quickly zooming in and out to mirror touch interactions
  • Automatic domain suggestions for faster navigation and less typing
  • Share charm support for URLs, snippets, images and selection with Mail and other apps
  • Search charm with visual search suggestions
  • Devices charm for printing, projecting, and playing video to external devices like TVs
  • Plug-in free support: notifications for sites requiring activeX
  • Background notifications for pinned sites and other tile improvements
  • Jumplists for pinned sites
  • InPrivate tabs that are easier to open
  • Clean up tabs command, which quickly closes all but current tab

No-compromise with Metro styled browsing

Microsoft these days often uses the phrase no-compromise to describe their features. IE 10 for Metro sure will give us a highly content driven experience, and is well integrated into Windows 8. I am looking forward to my first tablet or touch device to use the Metro IE 10 more for surfing.

You can read the whole post at the Building Windows 8  Blog.

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”.

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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

Bing Maps SDK on Windows 8 (W8CP)

With the release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, it was only a matter of time that Microsoft releases some new SDKs to us developers. We are starting with the Bing Maps SDK.

Bing Maps SDK for Windows 8 Metro style apps

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Microsoft´s Bing Maps team released a new SDK for Windows 8. You can use the SDK free and unlimited during the preview period.

The new SDK supports Java by using the AJAX v7 controls, and provides all standard items like map types, pushpins, infoboxes and tile layers. Additionally there is now a venue Maps module. At the moment there are still some missing bits like directions, traffic and overlays. Your maybe previous used REST APIs will still work and help you to use more features. If you want to learn on an example, you can watch this site.

Of course you can also use C#, C++ or Visual Basic to create apps that are using the SDK. The SDK now supports client vendor rendering as well as full hardware acceleration.You can also use Aerial and  Bird´s eye view and traffic overlays  within you app. Some features are in this early stage US only. You can learn on an example on this MSDN page.

Getting started…

OC course, you need to download the SDK to get started overall:  http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/0c341dfb-4584-4738-949c-daf55b82df58. You can also use the VS11 Extension Manager to download the SDK.

Secondly, you will net a special “Metro style  apps (BETA) key” to use the SDK within you apps. Get your key at www.bingmapsportal.com .

If you want to read a lot more about using Bing Maps within you Metro styled apps, head over to the documentation sites at MSDN.

Posted by msicc in Dev Stories, win8dev, 0 comments