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Crowds at Microsoft Windows 8 demo


CES 2012 has been a bit of a strange show for Microsoft. Its the last time they are going to exhibit here and Steve Balmer did his last keynote on Monday but what I did get a sense of is that 2012 show has been about waiting for Windows 8. There was nothing really new in the keynote, Microsoft’s booth focused on Xbox, Windows Phone and lots of Windows PCs but the only thing that really drew a big crowd was the regular demos of Windows 8. In the demo Microsoft showed off the new user interface and some of the features like the charm bars and metro style apps, nothing us enthusiast haven’t seen already but to the buyers walking the floor most of it was new and people were genuinely immersed with it.

It wasn’t just Microsoft’s booth that featured Windows 8, over at Nvida they had a Tegra 3 powered ARM tablet running Windows 8 and playing HD video but it was locked away in a glass cabinet so no chance of getting to play with it, but as with Microsoft there was a healthily interest from the public.

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NVIDIA Tegra 3 tablet

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Sony had a Windows 8 touchscreen that you where not allowed to touch (complete with stern looking woman keep hands off) which looked great and they had it running on a notebook (again hands off)

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Sony Touchscreen running Windows 8 (hands off)

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Sony Notebook running Windows 8


There were a couple of other small OEMS showing tablets running the developer preview.

It wasn’t just the hardware guys showing off Windows 8, Cyberlink had a metro version of PowerDVD running. They showed me a demo but I wasn’t allowed to publish any of video of it action (yet) but I did get a screen shot. I have to say it looks really good and after only seeing the basic demo apps in the developer preview build its nice to see a rich application running on Windows 8.


PowerDVD Metro screenshot


Ceton also have a early preview of their Windows 8 application and that looked fantastic, it was interesting to see how good metro looks on the TV and not just on tablets. I did get an in-depth video of this so look out for that next week. Ceton’s app was probably the best example I have seen of a Windows 8 metro app so its encouraging to see developers creating great apps and that is good for the future, maybe this time next year there will be loads of digital lifestyle type metro apps out, unfortunately Microsoft will not be showing them off on the show floor.

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Ceton’s Windows 8 Metro app looked great.


One other thing I noticed is that on Microsoft’s display the banner said Windows and not Windows 8, I wonder if that means the final product will be called something other than Windows. Maybe it means nothing at all!


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