What you should expect from Windows 8

Early insights into Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 Consumer Preview should give IT a lot to chew on when the bits arrive

By Woody Leonhard, InfoWorld |  Windows

One final note on testing: You're going to want a touch-enabled tablet to test Metro, even for the x86/x64-only Consumer Preview. Using touch is very, very different from mousing your way around. Although Windows 8 -- both Metro and the legacy environments -- will run on any monitor with a resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels or higher, your PC must support 1,366-by-768 resolution or higher to get all Metro features to work.

In particular, if you want to use Windows Snap -- Microsoft's facility for helping apps run side by side -- to get a Metro window and a second window displayed next to one another, you need 1,366-by-768 resolution or better. Quoting Sinofsky again: "The resolution that supports all the features of Windows 8, including multitasking with Snap is 1,366 by 768. We chose this resolution as it can fit the width of a snapped app, which is 320 pixels (also the width designed for many phone layouts), next to a main app at 1,024-by-768 app (a common size designed for use on the Web)."

Beyond the Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The great unknown Over the past year we've gone through layers and layers of rumors, particularly about Windows 8 on ARM. Features come and go. Perhaps the most egregious example is in a video made at the Build conference last September. It shows Roger Gulrajani, from the Windows Hardware Ecosystem group, demonstrating Flash running in IE10, on the desktop, on an ARM device. Now, we're assured IE10 won't run Flash on ARM devices. That much has changed in just four months. Or maybe Microsoft itself was confused and got it wrong; there were several such misstatements at Build, and you can expect confusion to continue given the addition of ARM support for just part of the complete Windows 8 experience.

And I haven't even touched on Office 15. We know very little about it, except Sinofsky has promised, "WOA includes desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. These new Office applications, code-named 'Office 15,' have been significantly architected for both touch and minimized power/resource consumption, while also being fully featured for consumers and providing complete document compatibility."

Will all WOA devices ship with Office 15? If so, as full versions or ad-supported giveaways? At an extra cost or free? For that matter, will x86/x64 Windows 8 PCs ship with Office 15, or a stunted relative?

You can bet there are plenty of additional surprises that'll surface before the final version.

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Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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