Understanding Windows 8

by Parvez 3. June 2011 17:04

We all have been waiting for the next Generation of Windows. In this article, I will discuss this next generation of Windows based on the recent information provided by Microsoft. This next generation of Windows is Codenamed "Windows 8.”

Startup Screen

Windows 8 Startup screen

Like the Windows Phone 7 Startup screen Windows 8 startup screen has information about the email and messages . To Login you have to swipe up the startup screen.

Start Screen

Windows 8 Start screen

The start screen can be navigated by swiping left to right or right to left, you can also use Page Up and Page Down Keys. Start screen is made up of live tiles, which can be arranged as per your liking.

Application as Tiles

The tiles on the start screen give you information about your twitter account or email account even without opening the app. A tile represents each application on your system.

Mail App Tile    Weather App Tile

When you launch the app it takes up the entire screen, no Title bar or System trays are visible.

Command Bar

Windows 8 Command Bar

The right side of the screen allows you to go to start screen or launch a new app. Swipe in from right to open the windows command bar, which has the start button, which takes you back to start screen.

Swiping on the left side of the screen allows you to switch between applications. Hence, these windows controls are under your thumb if you are running windows on a Tablet.

Top and bottom of screen is for the Application controls, like swiping from bottom and top will open the application specific controls. These controls hide when you do not need them; hence, you get the full screen viewing experience of your application.

Multitasking is seamless in Windows 8, you can easily switch between running applications.

Application Platform

New Application Platform is based on HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. Developers with knowledge of HTML5 & JavaScript can develop applications for Windows 8.

Application Snap

Snap allows you to keep application side by side. By just sliding and dropping, the application on one side will snap it with the other application running on screen. You can readjust the size of the snapped application by moving the Splitter that appears after the application has snapped.

Windows 8 Application Snap

Internet Explorer 10

Windows 8 will ship with Internet Explorer 10, which is optimized for touch. To switch Tabs you just have to swipe in from Top and tap the tab you want. Panning and zooming have been optimized. IE10 is a hardware-accelerated browser.

Internet Explorer 10 Tabs


Along with the standard keyboard, Windows 8 has an ergonomic keyboard, which puts all keys under the thumb for easy access for thumb typing.

Windows 8 Ergonomic keyboard


You can access the traditional desktop where you can use all the files on system or work on an applications like Excel or Word in MSOffice.

Windows 8 Traditional Desktop

Windows 8 will be able to run on wide range of systems. It will run on system with or without touch, it will run on system with or without keyboard and mouse. Windows 8 Adapts based on your hardware to optimally use the resources available.

On resolutions below 1024x600 Windows 8 will run in desktop mode only.


“build” conference in September 2011 will have more information on Windows 8. You can get more information about it at http://www.buildwindows.com/.



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Windows Phone 7.1 Update “Mango” announced

by Parvez 24. May 2011 17:14

Microsoft today announced the next Windows Phone update 7.1 named “Mango.” This will be the fourth update after the SSL update (May 2011). As announced by Microsoft this update will be available in autumn and it will be free of cost to all current Windows Phone Handsets. Along with the Microsoft announcement Nokia also confirms that Mango is a great milestone for the first Nokia Windows Phone Devices .

Some of the significant features that “Mango” udpate has:

Multitasking – By pressing and holding the back button, the user will be able to access the Multitasking feature of “Mango” which will enable the user to switch quickly between the applications.

Twitter Integration in the People Hub – Just like Facebook, Twitter integration will allow the user to post update from People Hub.

Twitter Inegration in the People Hub

Improved Live Tiles – They will be more dynamic and will contain more information.

Integrated Messaging – the new update will automatically detect if the person you want to message is online and will allow you to select the best method of communication. If the recipient is signed into Windows Live, Mango will provide the option to send an instant message otherwise it will send a text message.

Integrated Messaging

SkyDrive available in Office Hub – It will have ability to save and share Office documents through Office 365 and Windows Live SkyDrive enabling the user to access the latest documents anywhere.

Skydrive available in Office Hub

Smarter Internet

Microsoft says that the IE9 experience on the Phone mirrors the experience on the desktop. It has added hardware-accelerated graphics.



Beta Development Tools should be announced anytime today at http://create.msdn.com .






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Windows Phone 7 NoDo Update

by Parvez 1. April 2011 13:04

If your Windows phone 7 Device is in scheduling stage and you have not received the NoDo update, this article from WinRumors will definitely help you.

I followed the exact steps mentioned in the article. I started Zune software on the PC, turned off Data and Wi-Fi Connection on the phone. Connected the phone to the PC using USB, started the update search in Zune and disconnected the internet connection on PC, Zune detected the February 2011 update and installed it in ~10 minutes.

To receive the NoDo update (Copy Paste update), I tried the following steps and it worked. Instead of turning Data Connection and Wi-Fi Connection off on Phone, I turned on the Airplane mode and followed the rest of the steps as mentioned in the WinRumors article and Zune found the NoDo Update.

NoDo Update

Before installing the update on the phone, Zune created a backup as shown in the image below.

Zune creating Backup

Once the backup was completed, the update installed like a charm. Now my device has the copy paste update. The whole NoDo update took ~30 minutes to install.

Please do remember, as mentioned in the article, the workaround will only work for devices that are in scheduling stage. For United States schedule check here for International schedule check here.

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Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit Feb 2011 is now available

by Parvez 18. February 2011 11:02

Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit Feb 2011 is now available. Components included in this update are:

  • AutoCompleteBox
  • ContextMenu
  • DatePicker
  • GestureService/GestureListner
  • ListPicker
  • LongListSelector
  • Page Transitions
  • PerformanceProgressBar
  • TiltEffect
  • TimePicker
  • ToggleSwitch
  • WrapPanel





This update also includes the samples project for Visual Basic phone developers.

You can download this update from http://silverlight.codeplex.com/releases/view/60291 .

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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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