Windows 8 Developer Build Going Live Tonight

Written by John Ponio    Tuesday, 13 September 2011 14:31

Microsoft Logo

Today Microsoft has been hosting their BUILD conference, showing off Windows 8 to the attendees. As well as debuting Windows 8 "in the wild," they've announced that the developer build of Windows 8 will be free to the public starting tonight. That's right, you could be running Windows 8 tonight. Granted, it's the developer build so there will be bugs, and it's not guaranteed or recommended to substitute for a main OS. But still, it's Windows 8. This will be similar to the betas of Windows 7 that came out a couple years ago. There's no registration required, but it will only work for a year. It's in both 32 and 64 bit versions. The developer build will not compatible with ARM CPUs, however, but the retail release of Windows 8 will be. You can download the build later tonight here. Be patient, though, as Microsoft's servers will most likely be hammered. Following are some highlights taken from here:


  • All Windows 7 applications will run natively on Windows 8
  • Security update notifications have been minimized to the lower right of the log-in screen
  • Refreshed Windows Task Manager suspends apps when they're not running on-screen
  • New "Reset and Refresh PC" functions enable simplified system wipe and restore
  • HyperV virtualization software comes pre-loaded on Windows 8
  • Multi-monitor support now enables a single background across screens, as well as monitor-specific task bars
  • Multi-touch support enabled for Internet Explorer 10
  • Magnifier function enhanced for desktop manipulation
  • Optional thumb-by-thumb input mode
  • SkyDrive storage support integrated into all cloud-based apps
  • Metro-style refresh for Mail, Photos, Calendar and People apps with Windows Live ID
  • Settings roam allows for preferences to sync across a user's Windows 8 devices
  • Continued update support for Windows 8 Developer Preview Beta
  • Even a Lenovo S10 (first-gen Atom + 1GB of RAM) can "run" Windows 8
  • There's "no overlays" with Windows 8; Metro-style goodness is baked into the core
  • Both Metro-style and conventional Win32 apps will be sold in the Windows Store
  • Windows 8 devices equipped with an NFC chip will be able to use a tap-to-share feature to either send content from one device to another, or simply receive content from something like an NFC-equipped card.
  • Logins will use a photo-based system
  • Apps will be able to natively connect and understand one another (if written as such)
  • Built-in antivirus software will ship in Windows 8
  • There will not be a different edition of Windows 8 for tablets, and presumably, not for Media Centers either
  • It's unclear how many "editions" (Home, Professional, Ultimate, etc.) of Windows 8 there will be
  • ARM devices will be supported, but not in the developer preview