Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 with Faster Upgrade Assistant; Modernizing Input in Metro Style Apps

For those running a PC on Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 -- Microsoft today offering a treat in the form of Windows 8 Pro upgrade for just $39.99 until 2013.Annoucing the offer, Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc in a blog entry wrties, "We set out to make it as easy as possible for everyone to […]

For those running a PC on Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 -- Microsoft today offering a treat in the form of Windows 8 Pro upgrade for just $39.99 until 2013.

Annoucing the offer, Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc in a blog entry wrties, "We set out to make it as easy as possible for everyone to upgrade to Windows 8."

The offer starts at general availability, and available through Windows.com, in 131 markets across the world will let anyone running XP, Vista, or Windows 7 to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets. This promotional upgrade offer for Windows 8 Pro both online and at retail runs through January 31, 2013.

And if you want, you can "add Windows Media Center for free through the "add features" option within Windows 8 Pro after your upgrade," adds LeBlanc.

And, if you're not upgrading from a prior version of Windows and are building own PC or installing Windows 8 in a virtual machine or a separate partition, "will be able to purchase and install the Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro System Builder product," he said.

Those who are ugrading through windows.com can also buy a backup DVD for $15 plus shipping and handling. And, if you prefer to shop at a local store, a packaged DVD version of the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro will be available for $69.99 during this promotion.

Microsoft says, the upgrade experience in Windows 8 will be a breeze and have expanded the ability to download to over 100 countries and 37 languages.

When you use Windows.com to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant makes upgrading simple by walking you through the upgrade process step-by-step from purchase to download and then of course installation.

"We've simplified the Windows upgrade experience with the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant which supports you during your upgrade with everything from selecting your language to pausing your download to built-in compatibility checks - it's seamless," posted LeBlanc.

Enthusiast will also have the flexibility to download and control how you upgrade.

Here are the screens of the new Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant:

Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant: Compatibility DetailsWindows 8 Upgrade Assistant: Windows settings, personal files, apps dialogueWindows 8 Upgrade Assistant: Windows 8 Downloading DialogueWindows 8 Upgrade Assistant: Installation option, installl now, create media, install laterWindows 8 Upgrade Assistant: Media to use

Though, Microsoft didn't mention the RTM date, LeBlanc hinted that they RTM is nearing. "We wanted to share information about this upgrade promotion with you as we continue to drive toward the RTM milestone for Windows 8."

Also, a recent leaked build 843x revealing a brand new Windows Explorer name change in Windows 8, which is now called the "File Explorer."

In a new Windows 8 app developer blog post, Microsoft explained Modernizing input in Windows 8, and how you can take advantage of the platform to build great apps in Windows 8.

In Windows 8, "we set out to modernize our input platform. We wanted to make sure that developing for it became more straightforward, but also to build a foundation that can grow and support new input modalities as Windows and apps evolve," wrote Reed Townsend, Lead Program Manager, Windows. To do this, we went back to basics and focused on core principles that guide our design.

When you are exploring the platform, we want you to easily discover what you need - "Input platform was designed with a principled approach in mind, with the goals of ease of development, consistency and confidence, and enabling extensive reach. Concepts like pointer and CFT save you time and lines of code. Gesture detection makes it easy to use the Windows 8 interaction language in your app and provide consistency and confidence for users. Similar concepts across platforms and frameworks provide consistency for developers. CFT and its expressions in the pointer and gesture APIs help provide effortless reach across devices," posted Reed.

Windows 8 interaction language. Note how it maps to the supported set of gestures.

To learn more about the input platform, you can read the follwing documentation:

Link

Type

Highlights

Quickstart: Touch input

Quickstart

Overview of handling touch and gestures in your app

Input: DOM pointer and gesture event handling sample

Sample

HTML support for pointer, uses HTML5 Canvas element, implements drawing functionality, handles pointer events

XAML user input events sample

Sample

XAML support for pointer and gestures, implements drawing functionality, pointer events and capture, gesture events, manipulations

Input: Manipulations and gestures using C++

Sample

Uses the Windows Runtime GestureRecognizer, PointerPointer, and PointerDevice classes, builds above CoreWindow

Input: Manipulations and gestures using JavaScript

Sample

Uses the Winndows Runtime GestureRecognizer and PointerPoint in a simple HTML game

HTML framework pointer and gesture events

Docs

Events such as onmspointerdown, onmsgesturetap, onmsgesturestart, onmsgestureend

XAML framework pointer and gesture events

Docs

Events such as PointerPressed, Tapped, ManipulationStarted

GestureRecognizer, PointerPoint, PointerDevice classes

Docs

Full documentation for the Windows Runtime classes for pointer and gestures