Windows 8 update: Desperate for developers?

By , Network World |  Software, windows 8

The top of the line model of Surface would go for 14,999 krona or $2,184, according to the site. Consider that compared to an iPad ($500 to $600) or even a MacBook Pro ($2,199) with a 15-inch Retina display, and you can imagine that customers might be reluctant to buy.

Of course, that's just what Webhallen is asking. Microsoft has said nothing about the actual prices for the Surface PCs, which are due out in October. The Web site in Germany is also taking pre-orders, but isn't posting prices.

More printers, fewer drivers

In Windows 8, Microsoft introduces print class drivers. That's a set of drivers included in the operating system that support printers based on what page description language the printer uses. So rather than requiring a printer-specific driver, a printer can announce what PDL it uses and Windows 8 will employ the right print class driver to support it.

By working with printer manufacturers, Microsoft says in its Building Windows 8 blog that over time more and more printers will be supported using the print class drivers.

As a result, Microsoft doesn't have to include as many printer-specific drivers in the operating system in order to support the same percentage of printers. That means drivers tie up fewer resources, which is key with Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 that supports ARM devices and where resources are more scarce.

Another way Windows 8 reduces the size of drivers is by providing a generic user interface that can be used by multiple printers. So there is less need to include user-interface code within the drivers themselves, the blog says.

Build 2012

Microsoft's next developers' conference, Build 2012, is scheduled for Oct. 30 at the company's Redmond, Wash., headquarters. That's just days after the Oct. 26 release date for Windows 8.

The company says in a blog that Windows 8 will be one of the topics, but also Windows Azure, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012 and Visual Studio 2012.

While it's unusual for such a large conference to be held on Microsoft grounds, the blog's author, Tim O'Brien, says that will give attendees access to more engineers who are actually working on the products that developers care most about.

(Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at and follow him on Twitter!/Tim_Greene.)

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