Windows 8 Upgrade Program Kicks Off June 2; Monitoring Windows Store App Stats; Trending Forum Topics; Diagnosing IE10's JavaScript Errors with Error.stack

Microsoft is apparently working with partners to launch a new Windows 8 Upgrade Program to offers user who buys new Windows 7 desktop or notbook PCs, with an upgrade to Windows 8 for a discount once it is released. "Consumers who buy a Windows 7 PC running Home Basic or higher will be able to […]

Windows 8 Upgrade Program kicks of June 2

Microsoft is apparently working with partners to launch a new Windows 8 Upgrade Program to offers user who buys new Windows 7 desktop or notbook PCs, with an upgrade to Windows 8 for a discount once it is released.

"Consumers who buy a Windows 7 PC running Home Basic or higher will be able to get an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro when it is launched later this year," reports News.com.

In essence, those who purchase these Windows 7 machines now will receive coupons to redeem a discounted version of Windows 8 via windowsupgradeoffer.com, and Windows 8 Pro is obtainable as an upgrade via a discounted rate.

The program is expected to begin either on or around June 2nd, when the Release Preview of Windows 8 is made available. And, will last until sometime in January 2013.

Microsoft is looking to snag the back-to-school market by making this deal available. More on this as it develops.

In other Windows 8 news,

With Windows 8, Microsoft provide powerful tools in Visual Studio, and a rich API set to help build great successful Metro style apps, which requires substantive data about the apps--to give you the ability to make customer-focused, data-driven decisions.

In a May 10 blog post, Deepak Mukunthu, a Program Manager on the Developer Analytics team, describes some of the app reports. He said, the information you need falls into three categories:

  1. Adoption: These reports help you track download trends for your app and listen in to customer feedback.
  2. Quality: These reports help you improve the quality of your apps by tracking and investigating any crashes, hangs, or exceptions in your app.
  3. Finance: These reports help you track your earnings in the store.

"With Adoption reports, customers can gain deep insights into their apps' performance in the market. When you log on to the Windows Store Dashboard, the app tiles give you a quick overview of how your apps are doing in Windows Store. The data displayed on the tile are total downloads since release and average star rating across all markets. If your app is either a paid app or free app that supports in-app transactions using our Store transaction services, you also get to see the total revenue earned by the app. We refresh this data once a day and the data itself is typically 24 to 36 hours old," he said.

Windows Store Reports and Store data

"Clicking on the Reports link on the bottom right corner of the tile opens the app summary page that summarizes the key data-points for that app. You can dive deeper into any of these by clicking the Details link at the top right corner of the corresponding report. You can also use the navigation pane on the left hand side of the screen to view other reports you might find useful."

Mukunthu said, Microsoft will also offer a Conversions chart that will show how many downloads of the Windows 8 app become the paid version of that app, along with how many page views the app's landing page gets. There will also be a separate graph that will provide info app to makers on where the app's referral sources come from.

The Listing views by referrer chart helps you track referral sources for your apps. And, the Downloads report helps you easily track number of users downloading your app from Windows store.

"In terms of the downloads chart, it can be filtered to show how a Windows 8 Metro app ranks according to the average download of the top five apps in that subcategory. You can check to see how many men download the app versus the number of women, along with breakdowns by age group and also by country or region. You can click on Apply filters to easily apply the demographic pattern to the download chart and see the download trend."

For apps that support in-app purchases, Microsoft has In-app purchases report that helps you understand the number of in-app purchases happening from your app, and more specifically tracks the top five purchases in your app. And, the Usage report helps you understand the amount of time users are spending on your app per day and compare that against the average usage for the subcategory your app belongs to.

"The Ratings report allows you to look up customer ratings and reviews for each of the markets that you are selling your app in. The breakdown chart shows ratings for your app in the last 30 days, allowing you understand your customers' perception of your app in the recent past."

"The Explore store trends report provides insight into download trends across all categories and subcategories for both free and paid apps. You can access this by clicking on the Explore store trends link on the Dashboard," explained Mukunthu.

Microsoft says they will also offer statistics on the current trends in various app categories, "After you select an App Type, Category and Subcategory, you can see the download trend for your selection. As you can see, we provide both time- and demography- based filtering, as well as demographic patterns. This information can help you quickly identify the categories (and subcategories) for your app, and which demographic segments you should target," concludes Mukunthu.

Also, the Windows Phone Internet Explorer 10 browser benchmarks, discovered in the logs of html5test.com indicates that the new browser currently bests Android. However, it's worth noting that the Android browser is currently available to consumers while the Windows Phone 8 browser is still in development.

Windows Phone 8 IE10 bests Android in a benchmark test

Also, Windows 8 Consumer Preview IE10 includes support for "Error.stack," which enables Web developers to diagnose and correct bugs faster, especially those that are difficult to reproduce.

"Developers can build amazing apps with the capabilities of Web platforms that power today's modern browsers. In Windows 8, we expose that power through both Internet Explorer 10 and Metro style apps in JavaScript. The increasing power and complexity of these apps means developers need better tools like Error.stack for handling errors and diagnosing bugs," posted Rob Paveza, Program Manager, Chakra Runtime.

Check out this Test Drive demo using IE10 in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

"You can execute code in the context of an eval and if an error occurs, you'll be able to inspect it. If you're running the code within IE10, you'll also be able to highlight the lines of your code as you hover over the error lines in the stack trace. You can type code into the Code area yourself, or select from several samples in the list. You can also set the Error.stackTraceLimit value when running the code samples," explained Paveza.

For reference material, you may want to cruise over to the MSDN documentation for Error.stack as well as stackTraceLimit.

Diagnosing IE10 JavaScript Errors Faster with Error.stack

Also, in a seprate post on Windows 8 app developer blog, Aaron Wroblewski, disccued some of the most trending forum topics to highlight and provide more resources to help keep developers coding.

"App settings and data, applying consistent colors and styles, designing for multiple languages and cultures, and Animating Metro style controls were all highly posted, viewed and replied topics," said Wroblewski.

You can find the topics here.

"The community resources, Windows 8 Metro style app samples, API reference for Metro style apps, and documentation continue to evolve. As soon as the upcoming Release Preview is available, links in Windows Dev Center will contain updated info to keep you productive. We couldn't do it without your feedback and questions, so please keep posting in the Metro style apps forums, and let us know if you can't find something you need," Wroblewski concludes.

Here are the complete Adoption reports:

Windows Store 8 Adoptons Reports