Windows 8 Announcement

So Windows 8 is now official, and includes support for both ARM and x86 code. Engadget have some excellent coverage of the announcement event, including an initial video of the OS in action.

First impressions are good, the Metro interface has evolved since Win Phone 7, with some clever tricks such as pulling in from the border of the screen to bring background tasks to the fore. However I can see this causing chaos for some game controls that stray too near the border of the screen. The large tile area per app allows for widget-like behaviour and information to be presented which I liked.

‘Classic’ (traditional windows) mode and the Metro interface switch near instantly, allowing the user to run their existing Win32 apps, but I don’t get the impression that a single app can be made to run on both (Metro & classic), at least from what’s been shown so far. However apps are built to run on ARM and x86 platforms using the (new?) SDK.

So is the Metro interface a layer running on top of windows, or is it more closely integrated into the OS as a whole? Is DirectX available for Metro apps? Will we be forced to use a silly language (C#) to implement Metro Apps, using managed languages as done on WP7? I’d really hope not, I’d like to port my C++ Game Engine tech over to the Metro interface.

There’s a Build event scheduled for September, so maybe more will become clear by then.

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