Windows 8

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Windows 8: Download it, then speak YOUR brains

Reg readers gathered for a lunchtime debate

Live Chat Got any plans next weekend? Cancel them. Tell your partner to finally catch up with those old university friends, get a cat sitter in, and order a pizza.

This week sees the eagerly anticipated first release of Microsoft's Windows 8 to those outside the Redmond circle of friends.

Windows 8 is, according to bullet-headed Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, the biggest bet in his company's history. It's a foray into tablets, a paradigm shaped and dominated by Apple. A world of touch with apps downloaded from on high. No mice, no keyboards. Well, not quite.

What you'll get this week is the Intel x86 version of Windows 8 for PCs and Intel tablets: the controversial build that weds the classic desktop experience in awkward union with touchscreen-friendly controls. Windows RT for ARM will come later and only as part of planned tablet devices.

Also, members of the Microsoft Developer Network can get their hands on Visual Studio 2012. So you know what that means: a weekend of serious downloading and coding.

So join us after the weekend for a special one-hour Live Chat debrief with All-About-Microsoft blogger Mary-Jo Foley, Reg regular Tim Anderson - who’ll have put Windows 8 and the new Visual Studio through their paces in our reviews - and other Reg readers. We’ll be gauging first impressions, measuring first frustrations, and looking what's next.

We’ll be talking about:

  • What are you building or migrating, and why?
  • Is Metro Modern UI everything you expected?
  • Are you getting around Microsoft's hardware restrictions, and if so, how?
  • Is it worth wait for Windows RT and Surface, or will you be sticking with Windows 7?
  • What's missing and what should be in Windows 9/Blue?

The Live Chat is now closed but you can join other Reg readers for more Windows 8 RTM convo in our post-Live-Chat Windows 8 forum here. ®

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