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Steven Sinofsky Kicks Off the Conversation About Windows 8

Just weeks before Microsoft is set to reveal all about Windows 8 (and, presumably, Windows 8 Server), Microsoft's Windows chief, Steven Sinofsky has provided the first post to the new Building Windows 8 blog, a successor to the earlier Engineering Windows 7 blog. This early in the game, there's not a lot of details, but here's what he's got to say, along with some commentary.

Windows 8 reimagines Windows. That's a big statement and one that we will return to throughout this blog.

OK, it's a small statement. But it seems to hint that Windows 8 isn't just about a new front-end, or fascia. This is one of the worries I've heard a lot from users, that Windows 8 could simply be just Windows 7 plus a new Start screen.

Computing is much more focused on applications and on people than on the operating system itself or the data. These changes in the landscape motivate the most significant changes to Windows, from the chips to the experience.

Very interesting. I've argued for some time now that Windows was receding to the background, and that native Windows apps, in particular, have become less important over time. I have no idea whether recasting Windows applications as HTML 5/JS/CSS web apps will do the trick, or even if that's the full strategy. But Microsoft appears to understand that the focus is changing.

The next major event for Windows is our BUILD conference in September, where we will provide developers with more details about the full spectrum of tools and capabilities available to make the most of Windows 8.

The user experience [we previewed in June; ie the new Start screen] ... is the most visible change to Windows. Rest assured we've thoughtfully engineered changes across the full range of Windows capabilities.

Hm. And that's about it. I mean, there's a lot more in the post. But no real details ... yet.

Stay tuned!

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