Microsoft reveals that Windows 8 will run on the same hardware that’s available today. “It’s worth reinforcing that Windows 8 will run on the hardware available today, and we are committed to making sure that happens,” blogged Steve Sinofsky.
“So you should feel confidence in installing the Consumer Preview on the machines that you own today. However, as much as we value compatibility, we also have to balance this with making Windows 8 really shine on new Windows 8 PCs,” Microsoft’s Jerry Koh, group program manager, and Jeff Piira, test manager, stated in an March 28 blog post.
The post goes into the challenges of having a simple, consistent “touch language” that requires only two fingers and a minimum of five fingers for whole hand interactions and a minimum of five fingers for whole hand interactions, but putting in the capabilities of more complex multi-touch gestures and that all touch interactions work consistently and reliabily at all times.
Developers can minimize any earning required by users when utilizing these common touch interactions such as “press and hold to zoom” and “turn to rotate.” (see below)
New UI concepts in Windows 8 also impact touch hardware design. For example, the edge swipe required to reveal the charms and app bars fundamentally changes all the assumptions made on touch hardware.
“Traditionally, the edges of the screen are where touch sensitivity drops off, and it’s a place that hardware manufacturers have traditionally not placed much emphasis on. The center of the screen received all the innovation, while the edges have suffered. If you have seen or experienced the Windows 8 user experience, the edge swipe is a critical part of using Windows,” Microsoft adds.
Those on a Windows 7 powered touch-capable PC are recommended by Microsoft to try the recently released Windows 8 Consumer Preview to experience the new Metro style UI as well as the consistent nature of the touch interactions, since the vast majority of Windows 7 touchscreens can be used with Windows 8.
Those who have Windows 7 touch-capable PC may use the Windows 8 Consumer Preview to experience the Metro style user experience. If you don’t have a touch-capable PC, you can still experience the Metro style UI with a mouse and keyboard.
And, if you develop applications for Windows 8, the developer tools include an emulator that you can use to simulate touch. “It’ll give you a close approximation of how your application will work, and we encourage you to take advantage of it,” Sinofsky added.
Here is a video showing some examples of how hardware can affect the Windows 8 touch language:
While speaking about Windows 8, a specific flavor is rumored to feature the name of Windows 8 “Pro Pack” Edition. The SKU is said to be called “ProfessionalWMC,” which stands for “Professional with Windows Media Center.”
Windows 8 “Pro Pack” come with Media Center and Family safety. Storage spaces is still present with Windows to Go. Now check the upgrade routine from Windows 8 « Pro » to Windows 8 « Pro Pack »
Following the upgrade, users will find the Media Center available on the Start Screen in Windows 8 “Pro Pack,” and will also notice that the Windows Anytime Upgrade is no longer present in the all apps view.