I have the pleasure of participating in the BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA, together with 18 of my Sela colleagues. The keynote ended about one hour ago – Meet Windows 8. I know there are already hundred of blog posts regarding what has been said in the keynote presentation, but I wanted to share what I find most important.
First of all, the user interface looks amazing!!! Being very fond of Windows Phone user interface, and after a few attempts by Microsoft to provide a full touch experience in the previous versions of Windows, I believe they finally got it right. They took all the successful elements of the Metro user experience, together with a few successful ideas from the Android OS, and implemented a very intuitive experience for tablet PCs.
If you are already developing apps for Windows and Windows phone, you’ll be happy to hear that your legacy apps should work flawlessly with Windows 8, but if you really want to integrate your app into the rich Windows 8 experience, you’ll probably need to do some work. .NET, Silverlight, C++ and HTML (not necessarily in that order) will continue to be the programming languages in the Windows environment.
Onc of the things I like the most is the ability of apps to communicate with each other. One application could indicate that it want to integrate into the built in search mechanism, and from this point forward, whenever the user searches anything this app could be a search provider. Furthermore, if you need to share something from within your app - for example send the selected text to an email recipient - the system can popup a small frame which lets your complete the task without actually leaving your app. This is all achieved by the Charms menu, a popup menu that can be launched by sliding your finger from the right side of the screen to the left.
We saw how easy it is to write code on top of the new WinRT native (I guess we’ll have many sessions about it), and I must say it looks very impressive. We also got a quick peek at the new Visual Studio 2011 and Expression Blend 5.
Finally, later on tonight all of the BUILD conference participants will be the pride owners of a new Windows 8 Samsung tablet…