Windows 8 RTM released to developers

Windows 8 logoWhile I’m a little late with this news, due in part to being very busy in work but also installing and using Windows 8 Pro at home in testing. I wanted to check out the clean  install to my netbook via a USB install, which I generally think is the quicker method than that of DVD.

The RTM installed in no more than 15 minutes, with very clear instructions on user interaction for items like the licence key to your preferences. The hardware was really well supported on my Samsung N110 and the only driver I needed to install was an Intel Graphics driver.

w8 001  w8 002

I guess you may ask where I managed to get Windows 8 from before public release on October 26th 2012, well as a Microsoft MVP, I get access to MSDN and TechNet. So for those of you who do have the likes of MSDN and TechNet accounts you can download Windows 8 too in ISO format.

Below are the dates from Microsoft on availability.

“People will be able get Windows 8 starting on October 26th” either by upgrading for $39.99 or on a new PC or device. And if you buy an eligible Windows 7 PC today, you will be able to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 (U.S.) through the Windows Upgrade Offer.

However, we have a number of programs that provides various audiences early access to the Windows 8 RTM code to help prepare for Windows 8 as it enters the marketplace this fall:

  • August 15th: Developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via your MSDN subscriptions.
  • August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through your TechNet subscriptions.
  • August 16th: Customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization.
  • August 16th: Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.
  • August 20th: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8.
  • September 1st: Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers.

Please note: if a program you are in is not mentioned, please be patient as dates for Windows 8 RTM code availability for other programs will be communicated when the information becomes available.”

The USB install method I used for those interested was an older ISO to USB/DVD application Microsoft discontinued after Windows 7 was released, I don’t know why as its a great tool, but luckily it is still available for download HERE at

I will be installing Windows 8 Pro on my desktop PC at some point and will blog about feature at that time.


Full quoted text HERE at the Windows Team Blog

Windows 8 release date October 26th

Windows 8 logoMicrosoft have announced that Windows 8 will be released on October 26th 2012, this will be in time for the Christmas holiday period. If the Surface Tablet which also uses Windows 8 is released on or around the same time, this could be a very lucrative sales period for Microsoft as many  users have been holding off on new computers or tablets in the past quarter in anticipation of Windows 8.

“October 26th, 2012! That’s right! Just a few minutes ago, Steven Sinofsky announced at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that customers will be able to get Windows 8 – whether in upgrade fashion or on a new PC – starting on October 26th. Earlier this month at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Tami Reller told attendees Windows 8 would be available in October.”

So make a note in your calendar….


Full blog article post from the Windows Team Blog HERE

Windows 8 RTM on track for August

Windows 8 logoMicrosoft have announced at the annual WPC Conference that Windows 8 RTM is on track for an August release date, this then would to me have the retail release coming on time for the holiday season in as a guess end September, early October.

“Today in Toronto, Canada, at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference, Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller spoke to thousands of partners from around the world. She shared some exciting new details regarding Windows that I wanted to pass along.

For the first time, we provided details on Windows 8 availability. Tami confirmed that Windows 8 is on track to Release to Manufacturing (RTM) the first week of August. For enterprise customers with Software Assurance benefits, they will have full access to Windows 8 bits as early as August. Additionally, she noted that RTM is when we’ll be turning on the commerce platform so that developers can start earning money for their apps – we’ll have more to share on the Windows Store for developers blog soon. Of course, right now with the Windows 8 Release Preview, all apps are still free for people to try.”

Read the full article at The Windows Team Blog HERE

Microsoft Announce Surface Tablet PCs

I know that Microsoft had a big announcement at an event in Hollywood yesterday but I never saw a Microsoft branded tablet being it! I do however when thinking about this move more have to think a Surface branded tablet is well within a product range Microsoft have already.


Surface tables have been around for some years now and not so far back Surface 2.0 was released, albeit now with a name change to Pixelsense so this new Tablet falls into the smaller brother or sister of Pixelsense.

“Microsoft unveiled Surface: PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows. Company executives showed two Windows tablets and accessories that feature significant advances in industrial design and attention to detail. Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. It delivers the power of amazing software with Windows and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience.”

Having only viewed the screenshots of the product so far, I like the look and design of it, I also having been using Windows 8 for some time think that Windows 8 will fit this product really well.

I think the amount of various colours that the screen cover/keyboard (see 1st picture below) has will appeal to many who just want to be different, the built in kickstand is really good touch also.

gallery_5_large  gallery_2_large

Big question is will it be as all tech writers put it, an “Apple Killer” and the direct comparison here is the iPad, I doubt it in honesty but it will be the best shot out there to steal some market share from Apple’s iPad.

Read more from Microsoft News Centre HERE and the Surface homepage HERE (although the Surface homepage is new so content to follow)

Microsoft release Windows 8 Release Preview version

windows-8_thumb1Microsoft have now released the Windows 8 Release Preview version of their new Windows operating System. I would liken this release to what many who have beta tested Windows before to the old RTM version, bar show stopper bugs, this will likely be what you see in the shops latter this year.

“Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of the Windows 8 Release Preview, the next milestone of the highly anticipated Windows 8 operating system. Available for download today in 14 languages at, the Windows 8 Release Preview delivers a fast and fluid experience, along with a new user interface that responds equally well to touch as it does to keyboard and mouse. Since the February release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which was downloaded more than 1 million times in the first 24 hours, Windows 8 has become the most tested Microsoft operating system of all time, and with today’s release, it enters its final phase of development before it releases to manufacturing.

“We’re thrilled to be at this milestone with the Windows 8 Release Preview,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft.”

If you have a spare PC or use Virtual Machines then its well worth giving this version a try, I have had no issues with the Consumer Preview version and I installed it on my production netbook, had no major crashes or incidents to speak of, but usual warning from me is to only install this version of Windows on a non critical or only household PC, as this version while very stable for me, could still have some bugs or may not be compatible with your current favoured 3rd party software.

I will post about any new and important changes in this version from the previous one, in a few days time,

Read the full Press release from Microsoft News Center  HERE

Windows 8 “Release Preview” due June

Windows 8 logoMicrosoft are to release the “Release Preview” version of Windows 8, their next Operating System in June, so Steven Sinofsky has told a developer conference in Japan. This will likely be the last version, barring some internal builds before final “Release To Manufacturing” (RTM), sometime in October, just in-time for the Christmas period.

So far I find Windows 8 “Customer Preview” very good, and I’m using it on my netbook right this moment to type up this blog post, so I cannot wait to see what updates and tweaks are added in the “Release Preview”.

“Microsoft has announced that a second preview version of its new operating system will be available in June.

Windows 8 represents a radical overhaul for the company as it attempts to capture the tablet market as well as feed its traditional PC cash-cow.

Windows president Steven Sinofsky said that the “release preview” would be the closest yet to the final version.

Microsoft has not said when that will be available, but most commentators point to an October release.”

Read full article at BBC Technology News HERE

Windows 8 Editions announced

windows-8_thumb1The various editions of Windows 8 have been announced and for one I’m particularly happy that Microsoft have settled on only 3 editions (Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT) over the handful we have had in the past as it does become difficult to support various editions, when specific applications or access it different per edition.

“First, Windows 8 is the official product name for the next x86/64 editions of Windows.

For PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors (both 32 and 64 bit), we will have two editions: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. For many consumers, Windows 8 will be the right choice. It will include all the features above plus an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support and the ability to switch languages on the fly (more details on this feature can be found in this blog post),which was previously only available in Enterprise/Ultimate editions of Windows. For China and a small set of select emerging markets, we will offer a local language-only edition of Windows 8.

Windows 8 Pro is designed to help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies. It includes all the features in Windows 8 plus features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro. If you are an enthusiast or you want to use your PC in a business environment, you will want Windows 8 Pro.

Windows RT is the newest member of the Windows family – also known as Windows on ARM or WOA, as we’ve referred to it previously. This single edition will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors and will help enable new thin and lightweight form factors with impressive battery life. Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. For new apps, the focus for Windows RT is development on the new Windows runtime, or WinRT, which we unveiled in September and forms the foundation of a new generation of cloud-enabled, touch-enabled, web-connected apps of all kinds.  For more details on WOA, we suggest reading this blog post which shares more detail on how we have been building Windows 8 to run on the ARM architecture.”

Read more and review the table of contents per version HERE

BSOD Windows 8 Style!

I was going to install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine today on my main desktop PC so I could work and get accustomed to its workings. However sadly I gained the below using the 32bit Windows 8 ISO with Virtual PC 2007 SP1.


Neat Smile 

Will likely need to install Oracle VirtualBox and see if the 64bit version of Windows 8 installs in a VM ok. Do still have Windows 8 installed on my Samsung n110 netbook for testing and a few guides to come soon.

Windows 8 : File History

Windows 8 logoPrevious Versions has been in Windows XP, Vista and 7 and for me has been a saviour at times, especially in work as I do not have admin rights to install a backup solution and System Restore is turned off.

While Previous Versions works well, I just wanted to check out the updated File History in Windows 8 to see what has changed and how easy it is to use and restore any files you may need back due to accidental deletion or a version change you do not want (eg. Office Word file you made changes too that you wish you did not and have no backup or the original).

I found it very easy and File History and successful recovery depends on you creating a separate backup location be on a portable hard disk drive (HDD), to a network drive location. I am hoping that when Microsoft release the Desktop Skydrive version that it will allow backups to the “cloud”.

However for this test I used a previously created File History on a portable HDD and deleted a few folders in the Pictures Library, then clicked Home > History, highlighted at the top of the image below, then at the bottom used the left and right buttons to navigate through the available saved file history.

File Versions

Then once you have chosen the backup date you remember the said file/s being the one you wanted, click the “Restore to original location” button below and then a progress box will show giving you the time it will take to restore your file/s.

File Versions 2 File Versions 3

If you do disconnect your secondary, portable or network HDD then Windows File History will be saved locally until you connect said drive and click Run Now from the Action Center (the white flag in the system tray in Desktop view or get to Action Center via clicking in the right corner and click the Search icon and type Action Center.

File history 4

I like this File History option and it works in any folder, just click Home then the History icon in the Open ribbon box.