Paul Thurrott has put up a new Windows 8 page.
For those of you who don’t know who Paul is, here’s a summary.
Paul Brian Thurrott (born October 29, 1966) is a technology reporter, published author, podcaster, and the news editor for Windows IT Pro Magazine.
He regularly writes news, previews, and reviews for beta and completed Microsoft products, such as Windows 7, Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Office 2010, and other relevant products.
Here are some excerpts of his new page:
Product edition differentiation
While we’re still many months away from understanding what features will be included in each Windows 8 product edition, Microsoft does already have an idea about some of the features it will use to differentiate each version: App Store (yes, like that for the iPhone; possibly called Windows Store), devices, multimedia, help and support, and UI & theming. The Windows 8 user experience will be even “less complex” than that of Windows 7.
Microsoft will also allow its PC maker partners to customize Windows 8 in ways that were not previously possible. This includes cobranding on the App Store/Microsoft Store, enhancements to Device Stage, integration in Help & Support and Windows Troubleshooting, and so on.
Also, the PC market is changing. By 2013, China will be the number one PC market in the world. Emerging form factors like slates are redefining people’s expectations, and low-cost PCs like netbooks will continue to grow.
Microsoft has confirmed that Internet Explorer 9 will be part of Windows 8, though it will most likely ship well before Windows 8. Interestingly, Windows Live Wave 5 will also ship concurrently with Windows 8, or at least be developed concurrently. This makes sense when you consider the 18 month development time for each Windows Live wave. The current release, Windows Live Wave 4, will ship sometime in late 2010. That time period plus 18 months is mid-2012, exactly when Microsoft plans to ship Windows 8.
(By the way, the leaked documents note that an IE 9 beta is expected in August 2010 and that this release will involve the “first release of full IE functionality.” Release Candidate and RTW–release to web–dates are TBD.)
PC form factor targets
Microsoft expects Windows 8 to target three main PC types, the “Lap PC,” the “Workhorse PC,” and the “Family Hub PC.” These names roughly correspond to PC types we’re currently familiar with, of course, and one might imagine that the “Lap PC” category includes netbooks, tablets, and notebook computers.
Paul’s the man.