Improving power efficiency for applications


Minimizing the power consumption of your PC while maximizing the responsiveness and utility (making it “fast and fluid”), is a significant engineering challenge. While it starts with the work we do in Windows to provide support for the right level resource usage, this work requires developers to take resource utilization into account as they develop their apps. Power efficiency applies to all form factors and all usage scenarios—using less power is the right thing to do for everyone. This is an area of significant innovation for Windows 8 PCs, and builds on the foundation of the new runtime model in WinRT—it is not the sort of thing you can retrofit onto existing desktop applications while still maintaining functionality and compatibility. Much like state migration and setup that we talked about earlier, power consumption is an area of Windows that has been reimagined for new scenarios. With your existing x86-based PC, all of the existing support is still there, and all of the work you do on the desktop continues exactly as it has before (and of course, has been improved, as we have seen). As we see new hardware across all supported SoC hardware (including Intel) this level of power efficiency will be more broadly available.  Though we will discuss some of the work we’ve done to improve the power consumption of desktop apps, to enable the all-day, always-connected scenarios we’re going to see new apps written to WinRT that run on a new generation of hardware that supports new power management capabilities.

Sharif Farag and Ben Srour, lead program managers on the Fundamentals and User Experience teams respectively, authored this post.

–Steven


We’ve featured several posts about how we’re working to improve battery life for Windows 8 PCs. In Pat Stemen’s Building a power-smart general-purpose Windows post, we discussed some of the investments that we are making in Windows 8 to enable a new smartphone-like power mode on system-on-a-chip (SOC) hardware, a mode we call Connected Standby. In Updating live tiles without draining your battery, we talked about how we’re enabling live tiles to give you fresh and current information without creating a lot of underlying activity that erodes battery life. In this post, we’ll expand on a few additional innovations that we didn’t cover previously, about how we‘ve minimized the power usage of running apps on Windows 8 PCs while still getting the most out of them.

As Pat mentioned in his post, applications can influence power consumption by consuming resources—CPU, disk, memory, and other resources—as each of those resources has a power cost associated. So the trick is to let applications utilize the resources they need while you’re actively using them, but reduce resource utilization to the bare minimum when you’re doing something else. This is true of course for the OS itself as well. Pat covered some of the work we did to improve this, but in fact, there were hundreds of small improvements made on this front—what we call “power hygiene” improvements to limit OS resource usage and activity. We were careful not to take this too far though, and undermine functionality that customers expect – like completing activities that they’ve started and then switched away from.

For example, in response to the live tiles post, @ItsMe asked:

“What about background copy jobs. If I put explorer application to background to look [at or] write a word document, do you mean the copy-job is paused until I “fullscreen” the copy-job again? Seriously?”

The answer to that question is no, file copy will definitely continue to work exactly as it does today and will not get suspended if you start a copy job and then go do something else while it completes in the background. This works the same whether you are in front of the PC using it or leave the PC long enough for the screen saver or lock screen to kick in. Suspension of inactive apps only applies to Metro style apps, not to basic OS functions like copying files.

Focus on the foreground

For Windows 8, we started off with a rule that would apply to the large majority of Metro style apps:  if an app is not on screen, and the screen is not on, it should not impact your battery life. That doesn’t mean WinRT and the user model preclude multi-tasking. There’s a new way of thinking about how and when code takes into account modern hardware capabilities, networking demands, form factors, and reliability/security/privacy. There are going to be some exceptions (e.g. background email syncing, desktop tools), but for the majority of cases, we expect the app to do most of its work while you are actively interacting with it. When an app is not in the foreground, we wanted to ensure that it would either suspend completely, or use limited resources based on a set of common background capabilities (like copying files), which the app can access.

So basically, this means that an app can be in one of three possible states:

  1. Actively running in the foreground
  2. Suspended in the background
  3. Performing some defined background activity    
Actively running in the foreground

The foreground app actively running is pretty easy, as we just let it run and utilize CPU, disk, memory, and other resources as needed. In this way, Metro style apps are essentially the same as Windows applications have always been. This includes both the case where a single app is full screen, as well as when two apps are on screen with one of them ”snapped” to the side. This applies only when the screen is on, since it means the user is interacting with the PC.

There are a lot of new factors to consider in developing fast and responsive apps. Much like the transition from character to GUI programming, where concepts were substantially different, building apps that are respectful of power and resource consumption requires some new approaches. As an example, early Windows programmers were sometimes frustrated by the notion of a WNDPROC and felt that the best way to handle typing was by trapping the interrupt and translating the key press—the message-based approach inverted this, and Windows handled the translation and let your app know when to worry about the key press, which was quite different from the earlier way of doing things. In a world where 75% or more of the PCs sold are battery powered, programmers are, by definition, being asked to rethink how to get work done again.

Given this, it is important to think about app development in a forward-looking manner that keeps pace with and plans for the evolution of hardware and customer needs. The existing application model needed to evolve in order to yield the power savings and battery life that customers want. Of course, as we keep saying, desktop applications that you currently have will work exactly like they do on Windows 7 today (and were even improved in many dimensions). But over time, we’re equipping Windows to get more done and use less power, with new applications that help you get that work done—from entertainment to professional tools and everything in between. The resources available to compute, the resources required, and the types of computation done are changing, and Windows 8 is providing new facilities to tap into this opportunity.

In a foreground-based approach, concurrency becomes a big part of how to develop fast, fluid, and responsive apps. At the //build/ conference, we showed how to use the new tools and APIs to develop highly concurrent applications. This enables developers to think differently about how to code scenarios. So for example, rather than keeping a separate background app always running to do something even when it isn’t needed (which wastes battery life), programmers can take advantage of the new OS background tasks infrastructure to complete the necessary activity in the background in a power-efficient manner. Background Tasks can be invoked in a number of ways, such as from a push notification, from a timed event, or even from incoming network data. The system is also smart enough to allow apps to run more often in the background when your PC is plugged into the wall. Overall, this is a big win for battery life because code will run only when it is needed instead of all the time. For example, your newsreader app can automatically download content for you in the middle of the night while your PC is plugged in, which allows you to have the freshest content available to you when you launch the app. And this in no way limits the ability to get the work done—it is a new way that gets the work done, and does so in a way that minimizes impact on critical system resources.

On top of improvements to how app code can execute in the background, we’ve made many improvements in the tools infrastructure and WinRT API to make asynchronous programming easier and more powerful. Fast and responsive apps are built on a solid foundation of asynchronous programming. In a main session at the //build/ conference, Anders Hejlsberg showed off a WinRT approach to building an asynchronous user experience centered on viewing a huge catalog of items. Leveraging techniques like these will help deliver great scenarios and foreground performance for apps, and extend battery life.

Suspending apps in the background

In the second state, after you launch an app and then switch away from it, the operating system suspends it. This means that the Windows scheduler (the component that schedules CPU access for processes and threads) does not include it in the CPU scheduling. Since the operating system is not scheduling the app, the app is not using the CPU, and it is possible for the CPU to drop into lower power states. Getting the CPU into low power states can be critical to achieving better battery life. Developers may be familiar with this approach, as it is similar to what happens to a process when you are debugging an app and you “pause” it. Essentially, all of the threads running for the app are halted. Suspended apps are in a similar kind of cached state. Since the app is already initialized, you get the benefit of instantaneous app switching. It’s simply a matter of the operating system scheduler allowing the app execution to progress again when it is switched back into the foreground.

The great thing about this new suspended state for your apps is that they are instantly ready for you to get back to them. When you switch to a suspended app, it resumes instantaneously and takes you back to exactly where you left off. With this, you will be able to switch between more apps faster than you ever have before on Windows. You’ll no longer need to care how many apps are running on your PC—with the help of live tiles keeping you informed about what is going in your apps, and the ability for apps to save and restore state, great apps always look like they are running.

For example, let’s say that you have an app that keeps track of what flights you have coming up. This app can show you the status of your next flight through a live tile notification, even though the app may be suspended or not even running in the background. When you switch to this app, it can open to the last place you were in the app (such as flight search), as if you never left. Since the notion of what is running is abstracted, we have made launching an app and switching to an app essentially synonymous. Whether you switch to an app using the back stack, or Alt+Tab, or the Start screen, you can get back to a suspended app instantly.

In this way, the list of “running” programs is for all practical purposes the same as the list of programs you see on the Start screen. (For keyboard users, do keep in mind that Alt+Tab works across all running programs the same as it does in Windows 7, and the Taskbar also works exactly the same (and is even improved for multi-monitor scenarios) for desktop apps.

The benefit of being able to suspend apps is that you get really fast switching between them without negatively impacting the battery life or performance of your system. This is altogether different than traditional desktop apps, where we are all used to optimizing our workflow for those apps that take a long time to launch.

There are two cases, in general, where we won’t suspend an app if it is not doing background activity. First, if you have not yet launched the app in your current logged-in session, then you’ll have to tap the app’s tile to launch it. The second case is more interesting. The system may remove an app from the suspended state and terminate the app if the system starts to run low on memory. Memory is a finite resource and we want the apps you are using most frequently to be ready for you instantly. If you have not used an app in a while and the operating system needs more memory, it terminates one of your suspended apps. This should happen relatively infrequently because the memory manager will take your suspended apps and save them to disk (which generally has more capacity than physical memory). When you switch back to these apps, they will be ready instantly. However, there will be cases where the system does have to terminate a suspended app. This typically occurs when there are multiple users logged into one PC, or when you are using a bunch of memory-intensive apps.

The operating system takes several things into account when it decides which apps to terminate, such as when the app was last used, and how much memory it is taking up. Ideally the operating system is terminating as few suspended apps as possible, so you can switch back to suspended apps as often as possible. Even though an app may be terminated from the suspended state, there is really very little impact to your experience, because the app model has evolved to easily allow developers to save state incrementally while the app is being used, and restore it when the apps is re-launched. For example, the flight tracking app could remember that you were on the flight search page when you decided to move on to another app, and then use this information to bring you back there when you switch back to the app, even if it happens to have been terminated.

The important thing to underscore is that even though there may be several suspended apps in the background taking up memory, there is no negative performance or battery life impact to your PC. In fact, you do not need to manage or close apps directly at all. This is a common approach being used across computing devices now and represents a modern view of operating system design (see for example, this blog post about iOS multitasking by Frasier Spears).

Even though you do not need to close apps for improved performance or battery life, you will be able to close apps in the upcoming beta of Windows 8. Sometimes an app may get into a bad state or you are just done and don’t want to see it again. You’ll be able to use the mouse, a touch action, or a keyboard shortcut, to close an app. We’ll have a follow up post that goes into some of the changes we are making here when the beta comes out, so stay tuned!

In the Developer Preview build, you can see the suspended state in action by opening up the new Task Manager after launching a couple of the apps that came with that build, such as the Stocks, News, or Weather app. Notice that the CPU utilization is listed as 0% because, even though those apps are in memory, they are essentially asleep, and cannot negatively impact battery life or performance.

Metro style apps shown in Task Manager with several Metro style apps displaying Status: Suspended, using 0% CPU

Metro style apps get suspended in the background

Performing background activities

As we’ve already discussed, developers need to think of how work that was previously done in the background can still be accomplished without impacting battery life. It is easy to ask for multitasking and just enable it, but the downside of this is that if all your apps are always running background tasks then you will never achieve long (or even improved) battery life. In a mobile and constantly connected world of laptops, this is incredibly important. So with Windows 8 and WinRT, we created new APIs to cover background processing for Metro style apps.

Again, your desktop apps will continue to run just as before, but they will also impact battery life just as they currently do (albeit with some improvements we will talk about below).

We set out to achieve a balance between enabling the kinds of rich app capability and multitasking that people expect in Windows, while also being conservative about resource utilization. To do this, we listed out a set of key scenarios we wanted to enable, and set out to achieve each of them in the most resource-efficient way possible. The result is a set of background multitasking APIs, which allow apps to complete an action in the background in a way that is resource- and power-efficient, and allow app developers to focus on what they want the app to do without having to do a bunch of extra work.

We took a scenario-focused approach to enable the most common tasks that apps would need to do in the background. Here is what we enable in the background for Metro style apps in WinRT:

  • Playing music
  • Downloading a file from or uploading it to a website
  • Keeping live tiles alive with fresh content
  • Printing
  • Receiving a VoIP call
  • Receiving an instant message
  • Receiving an email
  • Sharing content (like uploading photos to Facebook)
  • Synchronizing content with a tethered device (like syncing photos)

This set of scenarios is based on common patterns used by developers and common patterns we expect to see. Some of these scenarios end up using the same platform affordance, so let’s walk through each of them, so you can understand the landscape and power of Windows 8:

Scenario

Description

Background download or upload

Accessing and storing content on the Internet is a pretty common scenario for apps. We want you to always have the freshest content already loaded as soon as you switch back to your app. This will be particularly helpful with magazine or news-based apps. Apps can use the new background transfer API to perform uploads and downloads in the background. This API is what we call “fully brokered,” which means that the OS itself performs the upload/download. This takes app code out of the picture, and helps maximize battery life.

Background audio

We still want you to be able to do more than one thing at a time, especially if one of those things is just listening to music. Any media or communications app can play audio in the background. To maximize efficiency, we suspend the app when you pause the audio.

Sharing

If your app is in the middle of sending content to a cloud service using the Share charm, it can complete that operation in the background.

Lock screen apps

Lock screen apps typically need to notify you with the latest information, and this could happen at any time, even when you are not using the app. The most common examples are your email, VoIP, and IM apps. Lock screen apps can deliver notifications and sync your data, even in the background while on battery, and even when the screen is locked.

Printing

You can print documents even though the app doing the printing has been moved to the background.

Device sync

You can synchronize content between a connected device (like a camera) and your PC even though the app is not visible on screen.

Live tiles with Windows Notification Service

Apps can give the impression they are running all of the time (even if they are suspended) by sending push notifications to your Windows 8 PC to provide the freshest content for the app’s live tile.

Scheduled notifications

Apps can notify you of an event at a particular time by either updating a tile at particular time (think: calendar appointments) or by popping a notification up on the desktop reminding you to do something before you leave the office. These events are scheduled by the app, but Windows is responsible for delivering the notification, which helps minimize battery impact.

Background tasks

Apps can run code when certain events occur, such as on a periodic interval, or when you sign in to Windows or an IM service, for example. Lock screen apps can run code every 15 minutes, but non-lock screen apps can register to run code every 15 minutes as long as the device is plugged into A/C power.

Connected standby and sleep-capable machines

By the time Windows 8 is released, there will be a broader range of PCs available than ever before. Many of these will have similar power options to those running Windows 7 today. Besides turning off completely, they will be able to go into a “sleep” state, either on demand, or after a period of inactivity. During sleep, all system activity is completely suspended.

Power consumption, from 0-60 secs: Screen on; from 60-120 secs: Screen dim; 120-180 secs: Screen off; 180-240 secs: Sleep (S3). Desktop apps remain running for 180 seconds, then stop when the PC goes to sleep. Metro style apps are OS-managed for 180 seconds, then stop when the PC goes to sleep.

Application execution on PCs that are sleep-capable (default settings)

The chart above shows how, as the PC idles just prior to sleep, desktop apps continue to run in the same way as they have in prior versions of Windows, while Metro style apps run in the managed way I described earlier. When the PC goes to sleep, both desktop apps and Metro style apps are fully suspended. This is great for battery life—when the machine is asleep, it consumes very little power. It’s not as great for a data-freshness though, since when the machine is asleep, it isn’t getting live tile updates, downloading new mail, or getting ready to alert you with alarms or other notifications.

As Pat covered in his post, we’ve enabled a new smartphone-like power state for a new class of PCs that rarely get turned off completely. Typically based on “System on Chip” (SoC) architectures, these PCs are interesting because instead of turning off during periods of inactivity they go into a very low power state while still running. This new state is referred to as “connected standby.” This enables some great connected scenarios, such as always having email up-to-date, and being able to receive instant messages or phone calls, while still delivering amazing battery life. The chart below shows behavior for both desktop and Metro style apps during connected standby. For this to really work effectively though, we had to consider both Metro style apps (which, as you saw earlier, we can very effectively ensure are conservative with system resources), as well as desktop applications, which presented a tougher challenge because they have been designed over the years to expect either full access to system resources (when running in the fore or background) or no access (when the PC is asleep.)

Power consumption, from 0-60 secs: Screen on; from 60-120 secs: Screen dim; 120-180 secs: Screen off; 180-240 secs: Connected Standby. Desktop apps remain running for 180 seconds, then stop when the PC enters connected standby mode. Metro style apps are OS-managed at all times, including when the PC enters connected standby mode.

Application execution on PCs that have connected standby

To this end, we have added a new component to Windows 8 called the “Desktop Activity Moderator,” which only runs on these new connected standby-capable platforms. This component is designed to help reduce the resource utilization of desktop apps when the device goes into connected standby. If we allowed apps to continue running unchecked in this low-power mode, the PC would run down the battery more quickly. Instead, we suspend desktop applications, stopping their resource use and maximizing battery life. From the applications’ perspective, it will appear as if the PC has simply been put to sleep. When the PC is woken from connected standby, the app will resume as if the PC had been woken from a sleep state.

However, there are actually several components on the system that are required for connected standby, which we cannot suspend. These include drivers, some inbox and 3rd party services, and of course, the Metro style apps that use the background features mentioned earlier. Many of these provide functionality such as responding to user input when you return to your device, or providing network functionality. We enable these to run in connected standby after careful evaluation to ensure they do not have a significant impact on battery life. In addition, there are a set of processes that need to run in response to activity on the system. These processes are throttled to only run for short periods of time until a background activity is initiated, at which point they are allowed to run unimpeded. A great example of this is an antivirus product, which is often scanning in response to activity on the system. When there is background activity occurring such as receiving an incoming email via the background affordances, antivirus can run unimpeded during this time. But during the majority of the time when incoming network activity is not occurring, there is very minimal activity and therefore these components will be throttled to minimize their impact on battery life.

Summary

As you can see, we have made significant investments in engineering Windows 8 to be great for battery life. We engineered the new application model to deliver consistently long battery life while enabling connected experiences. Applications that were designed for Windows 7 will continue to work as they have before with no change in behavior, and new Metro style apps can be developed to enable new connected experiences that work in a more power-efficient manner, by taking advantage of the background infrastructure that the operating system provides.

– Sharif Farag and Ben Srour

Comments (167)

  1. Hamza says:

    The "customer preview" beta !!!!!!! When can we expect it

  2. B8Blog says:

    @Hamza – We said late in February.  

  3. the consumer preview should be out late February. I have a question/ concern regarding the Multimedia experience.

    It is rumored that the Zune client will be left behind and I just want to make sure windows 8 will have a rich Zune like experience.

    We have all seen the leaked screen shots of music player and video player. They look so basic and very much like an after thought. I hope you can still bring the beauty of the Zune experience to a Windows 8 Music/video app

  4. Waseem says:

    I think this might be related!

    What about having easy access to connection switches (Bluetooth, Wifi, GPS and NFC) from say the setting charm?

    I think it will help a lot in 'being green' :) Also a battery saver setting like in WP7 would come in handy!!

  5. TheGuyWhoCannotWait says:

    Next public milestone on Valentine's Day would be awesome! :D

  6. Fabrizio says:

    Hi Steven, can you upload the link to download the Consumer preview ??

  7. pradeep says:

    So in Windows on ARM scenario, the old apps will drain the battery life as old Windows 7 based scenario. This seems to be bad as when I run Office on Windows 8 ARM tablet, it might run out of battery in few hours.

  8. Waseem says:

    @Fabrizio

    msdn.microsoft.com/…/br229516

    or you can search windows 8 download on Bing ;)

  9. @Steven Sinofsky

    That's good to hear!

    It's nice to see the devs listening to our opinions as well.

    One question: Is it possible to disable metro?

  10. @ Steven Sinofsky

    Little off topic

    So whatever we will see in Beta will be final feature spec…RC is just bug fix-not changing anything?

    I'm wondering what RC version will be called "Final Preview"

    Second question:

    In Windows 7 when it got to RTM (considered as final version)  in July 2009 why it took so long- 3 months until October to be released. Why don't just release them right away (July). What process needs to be taken?

  11. Franklin Blugh says:

    Sorry for being offtopic, but I feel that the majority of the comments will be with all that leaks and rumours from the last couple of days.

    Please make a post about the UI decistions to describe – preferrably in great detail as in the posts about Start screen with heat maps and diagrams – why do you think that removing Start button and introducing completely unknown UI paradigm from another OS (active corners) is a good idea.

    Please also answer if there will be a Metro theme for Desktop to at least somewhat unify those jarring contradictions between 2 UI design langiuages. I mean I like Metro, but the mish mash with aero glass where it happens (settings, right pane, etc.) looks horrible. It is as if 2 different teams worked on their vision of the product (and probably this indeed took place) and then the results of their labor were duct-taped together by an amateur in his garage to form some sort of an unholy matrimony.

  12. David80 says:

    Hi, I just have question regards to editions of ARM version of Windows 8 that will there be anything like "Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate" for it or just they are for just X86?

  13. Maksim says:

    @ Steven Sinofsky

    Any ways to disable metro? I use Windows 8 DP and using metro instead of start is very uncomfortable, accidental pressing of Windows key moves everything out of the screen. Also this animation is very boring and makes me feel sick because everything is always moving. And these charms panels look ugly when combined with aero. You wrote a lot of blah-blah about using screen space, but these charms panels is a great sample of useless space. In windows 7 wireless network list takes a small corner on the scree, on iPad it uses small square in center of the screen, on Windows 8 it uses 1/3 of the screen to display 3 lines of text.

    PLEASE, GIVE US A "KILL METRO" SWITCH AND WINDOWS 8 WILL BE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL OS EVER.

  14. LTD says:

    @MSFT

    the comment "Suspension of inactive apps only applies to Metro style apps"  makes me wonder if there is any improvements for non-metro users in this area.  I know MS is pushing metro, but I plan to disable it if I do move to windows 8.

    From a security standpoint I hope MS allows us to "turn it off"  I'd hate to have a 3rd party tool intercepting calls to the start screen and redirecting them to a menu format.   The current registry tweak disables other facets of the OS, so is also sub-optimal.  Is MS going to address this question, it's been asked repeatedly.

  15. TheFrozenGuy says:

    My hands are frozen until you will release the Windows 8 Consumer Preview! :D

  16. Ha! says:

    Let's face it: MS is going to continue to give us the middle finger in regards to turning off metro. Maybe when they release it and everyone hates it they'll fix it but there will.be.no.way to disable it. Period. It will be another ME/ Vista and Windows 9 will be another XP/7. It's like every other version is good then bad….

    Win1-Bad

    Win2-Good

    Win3-Bad

    Win95-Good

    Win 98-Meh…decent

    Win ME-Bad

    Win2000-meh….There were issues

    Win XP-Good

    Vista-Bad

    7-Good

    8-bad

    9-good

  17. Quppa says:

    I was hoping for some mention of the desktop interface on ARM in this post. Until Microsoft clarifies whether the desktop will be available or not (with or without restrictions), rumours and innuendo will continue to fill the information vacuum. Will Windows 8 for ARM truly be Windows without compromises?

    This video from Qualcomm shows desktop IE running on a Snapdragon processor (with the ability to run Adobe Flash touted as a benefit, no less): http://www.youtube.com/watch Has the strategy shifted since that video was made?

  18. WirelessBrain says:

    Windows 8 will provide me better desktop experience than windows 7, or it is specially designed for tablets, am not satisfied with dev.preview. Can you assure Steven that windows 8 will give better desktop UI experience than previous versions.I want to use my mouse and keyboard ,Looking for customer preview.

  19. jader3rd says:

    In addition to battery life I'm sure many IT orgs would be interested in learning the possible power cost savings of having desktops go to lower powered states. If WinRT means measurable cost savings in the buildings power bill, I would think that would encourage migration to newer Win8 hardware.

  20. And what about changing developers "optimizations? forget it, users already have at least two cores and plenty of RAM to use" approach? I have latest Thinkpad with quad core, 8gb RAM and SSD, and working on battery (CPU at 800 MHz) with some apps feels laggy and slow (even visual studio). I know that changing people habits is hard (they will always complain), but good design can force to change them over time, like last office GUI switch encouraged users to use styles. I hope that WinRT and all new API not only provide tools to create better apps with power efficiency in mind, but also force programmers to use them.

  21. Havoc70 says:

    No turn off Metro UI = No Win 8.  I will stick with Win 7 until you can turn it off

  22. m1ch43l90 says:

    I've got some question regarding Windows 8 Consumer Preview

    Will the difference when switching beetween Metro application and Desktop application will still jarring so bad as it is in WIndows 8 Developer Preview?  

    The integration of Mobile Broadband as a first-class connectivity is very good, but it will be better if more information added such as the actual speed (download & upload) & basic modem functionality such as messaging & phone because in my country we still used SMS or phone code to register our internet package

  23. UCFw00t says:

    "Lock screen apps can run code every 15 minutes, but non-lock screen apps can register to run code every 15 minutes as long as the device is plugged into A/C power."

    I don't understand this restriction. Windows Phone is less strict than this and it's a phone os! As a developer, this is extremely frustrating and I truly believe that this will frustrate users as well as the "lock screen apps" sitation is extremely confusing. There really is no connection to apps you would want on your lock screen and apps that you would want to run in the background. It's just not clear to the user what the effects of adding an app to the lock screen really is.

    I really wish you guys would talk to the Windows Phone team and look at how they handled this stuff with the Mango update. What they did makes a heck of a lot more sense than what you guys are doing. The restriction just seems arbitrary.

    A huge gap that didn't even exist in the first windows phone release but exists in Windows 8 is updating live tiles WITHOUT a push service. Having a push service for your users doesn't make sense in a lot of situations. A perfect example is a weather app. Why should I have to push down a new live tile to say that it's now 80 degrees? Why can't the live tile just hit a URL to grab the tile image or better yet allow a snippet of code to go out and download the data needed and update the live tile? Again, this is all possible, today, on Windows Phone and yet Windows 8 will ship without this capability. It just makes no sense.

  24. GabrL says:

    Steven Sinofsky 7 Feb 2012 10:11 AM #

    @Hamza – We said late in February.  

    it is already late :)   kidding

  25. WirelessBrain says:

    Also please announce Windows 8 Consumer Preview release date in Microsoft website .

  26. OneCleverBoy says:

    Good Job!

    only one thing:

    try to create two separate editions of Windows: one for tablets and one for the desktop

    keep up the good work!!!!!

    sorry for my bad english! :D

  27. Thanks again for this nice post.

    Question: What about the files indexation process in Windows 8? Has it been improved so as to consume less power? In which states will it be in execution?

    Request: Please publish a post on Metro multitasking? The present post has shown again that Metro apps offer great advantages in comparison with Desktop apps in Windows 8? But if those Desktop apps, which are so central to professional computing, are to be rewritten in Metro, than Metro multitasking needs to become a lot less restrictive than what we currenlty experience in the Developer preview (notably with regard to multiple windows management). I would really enjoy a 17-inch laptop with a considerably longer battery life, but not at the expense of efficiency. After all, there is another OS who offers longer battery life on pcs without ruining the mutltitasking experience. Sincerely, I would be glad to work with Metro versions of productivity apps (Office, pdf readers, dictionaries, and so on), but only if I can arrange those apps as it pleases me on my screen.

  28. Chriswin says:

    We love the techniques you are using to lower battery usage. But on top of the software solution, a hardware solution is need too, when a new PC owner buys a mobile (laptop/tablet/phone etc) device it must come with an extra battery two or more (well yes as part of the price) this will help a lot, and allowing the user to take it back to the supplier for recycling and maybe a discount (we have to think o future supply and since the materials are also scarce). Ideally users want to use their mobile devices a full day, like students, field professional’s , sales teams .etc that option should be standard and an added advantage to the fruit company’s tablet device.

    You said "You'll be able to use the mouse, a touch action, or a keyboard shortcut, to close an app." how about voice?, like "windows (customisable) close internet explorer", or "windows tell Microsoft Outlook to send an email to, saying I wont be able to make it” (while I am browsing the net) or “windows close all programs” or “windows find X.docx” or “windows will I have enough better power left if I run Matlab for 2 hours?” etc I am you get my point.

  29. tanaka says:

    Will it be possible to run multiple instances of a Metro application at the same time? Sometimes this makes sence, for example for text editors, pdf readers, file managers etc.

  30. There are a few things that I would like to point out:

    1. People are curious about the future of the Metro UI and you do a post about power management?

    2. This "Suspend/Terminate" behavior seems limited. Your list says that these are the background tasks that you allow:

    •Playing music

    •Downloading a file from or uploading it to a website

    •Keeping live tiles alive with fresh content

    •Printing

    •Receiving a VoIP call

    •Receiving an instant message

    •Receiving an email

    •Sharing content (like uploading photos to Facebook)

    •Synchronizing content with a tethered device (like syncing photos)

    What about rendering a movie or something similar? What about playing a video in the background? These tasks will apparently require the desktop (which is better for mouse users anyway).

    3. Once the ability to close apps is added, the automatic termination of apps by the OS becomes unnecessary for those who want to close all their apps manually. There needs to be a way to turn this off.

  31. Chriswin says:

    On top of having a second or 3rd bettery, have an internal small one that allows replacing the bettery without having to switch off the device.

  32. far says:

    nice post but what about news feeds etc, if  the app is suspended how do i ensure that i am getting the latest news? also why the start orb has been removed and plz just release the damn beta, late feb isn't good enough, also make shutdown and restart easier. pain in the ass to find th

  33. BlindUser says:

    Please I am a blind user and I use ALT+Tab extensively to determine which applications are currently running, i.e. which applications I am currently using or paying attention to. If you make it so that ALT+Tab also switches to subspended apps, you will annoy me, cause confusion and make it difficult to concentrate on the small set of apps that I am currently interacting with. Also, you will make it hard to use ALT+Tab all together, since if I have 15 metro apps suspended, then in order for me to get to an application that is running I might need to press ALT+Tab more than 15 times just to cycle through suspended applications that I don't care about anyway.

    You broke ALT+Tab in Windows 7 compared to XP. Don't break it completely. Please.

    What I mean is that in XP ALT+Tab was always behaving in a predictable manner, i.e. if you started a new application it appeared at the start of the ALT+Tab list. In Windows 7 nobody knows what happens; applications are it seems randomly placed in the ALT+Tab list. In XP if I had an IM in Live Messenger, it always appeared at the bottom of the ALT+Tab list and so I would get to it by pressing ALT+SHIFT+Tab. In Windows 7, it appears wherever it wants and so I have to press ALT+Tab repeatedly. Please consider visually impaired users as well.

  34. WinRox says:

    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is a troll!

  35. Nonumber says:

    I am missing a usage scenario. This is especially true for media centers and home servers:

    Receiving phone calls or fax or recording tv streams requires an always on machine.

    However my idea of power effeciency would be to put this machine to sleep, wake it up when a phone call arrives or the tv show starts. Let the machine complete its predefined job (answering the call or recording the stream) and put it back to sleep.

    Currently there are computer idling all day only waiting for telephone calls to answer or for a specific tv show. This is an incredible waste of resources which is a shame.

    I want a computer that can power up when I need it, complete a certain task and go back to sleep.

  36. Waseem says:

    What about location aware apps??

    There's no mention to that in the post or any of the documentation!

    it can be implemented for example to update the weather based on the user location. or provide a notification when a user reaches a specified area !

  37. @all Please, stop both whining about the Metro interface and constantly begging for a Metro kill button. It is annoying and unconstructive.

    @Sharif Farag and Ben Srour: How can non-Metro-style apps also benefit from the energy saving interfaces and background APIs in order to prolong battery life?

  38. Maksim says:

    @Sven R. Kunze

    This is the only place where potential customers can tell developers what they want, what they like, and what they don't like. So stop telling others what to do and they won't tell you where to go.

  39. @Sven R. Kunze

    It's not annoying and unconstructive to ask Microsoft to make a change that would benefit a huge amount of Windows users. If the entire auto industry were to replace existing car designs with a series full of vehicles that were broken by design, would it be annoying and unconstructive to point out that the cars didn't work? It's a dramatic example, but it reflects the failure of Metro to provide a satisfactory computing experience for desktop users. My PC is not a giant smartphone, and it shouldn't act like one.

  40. Ryan says:

    What about Internet Explorer? One big issue I have currently is that IE consumes way too much CPU–not individually, but collectively when you have many tabs open. In the Task Manager, I'll see 10 or 20 iexplore.exe processes each consuming about 2-10% CPU time–in aggregate, 50-100% of the total CPU resources on the machine. What are all these tabs doing? Many times it's a background script or Flash animation, but more typically, it's *advertising*. It's quite annoying that advertising ends up slowing my machine to a crawl–particularly when it's minimized and not even possible for me to see!

    So… will Internet Explorer also take advantage of the ability to Suspend? I can see there are circumstances where you want something to run in the background, but I think that could handled by the user along with some affordances to website authors to indicate to the browser whether or not this site requires background processing. The vast majority of sites do not, and it's a huge waste.

  41. Ryan says:

    @Ha!

    Memory is a funny thing–for example, you say XP was a "good" release. Go back and look at the user commentary about it at the time. There were tons of folks that "no reason to upgrade from Windows 98" and complained about all sorts of issues. The same thing happens after just about every Windows release (with the possible exception of 7). The advantage XP had was that it was/has been with us for a long, long time, it was a point release after Windows 2000, the ecosystem has caught up (it's the de facto standard), and our memories are short.

  42. Maksim says:

    Can you block Internet Explorer from automatic Adobe Flash installation?

  43. Dan says:

    @Ha

    Disagree with most of your commentry on Windows past.

    Windows 1 and 2 were both fairly poor, but they were totally new OSes and were limited by a cross-licensing deal with Apple. Windows 3 improved the usability, but was buggy as hell. Windows 3.1 and 3.11 were rock solid for their day, though. Windows 98 was an improvement on Windows 95 in most respects. ME I won't disagree with. I still rate that as the worst OS Microsoft put out. Windows 2000, though, was a stellar OS, for which XP was little more than spit and polish to. Heck, XP had loads of problems prior to SP2. Vista is sorely under-rated by people who don't seem to know where its problems came from.

    You also miss out the entire NT line prior to Windows 2000. This "every other release of Windows is crap" mantra is a flawed notion and has little to back it up in facts.

  44. TheCyberKnight says:

    Thanks for the post. It's interesting to know about all the hard work being done internally.

    Question: Is the operating system keeping track of the processes (applications) energy consumption in any queryable way?

    If not, wouldn't it be interesting to offer this feature to allow the construction of UX that would allow consumers to learn about their applications energy behavior profile?

  45. asdf says:

    What about apps that use garbage collection? You can have a bunch of apps in the suspended state with tons of unreachable memory just waiting to be freed but the GC thread can't run because the app is suspended.

  46. acidcode says:

    @Dan I also disagree with "Ha!". Sometimes I think people simply just copy & paste this good-/bad-release listing absurdity from some boulevard press-quality blogs and forums. Without even thinking about or questioning what they write.

    After all, this is a technical blog, but most of the time I have the impression that most people here are consumers rather than developers/professionals. The best example is all the whining about the Metro interface. Sure, I don't really like to have it on the desktop, too, but since Microsoft is going to label the Windows 8 beta a "Consumer Preview", which lets me assume that they don't really want to get any feedback about features, I don't think it will have an impact on the final product. For me, it's simple like that: I won't like to have the Metro interface on my developer machine, so if I can't switch it off, there's no reason for me to upgrade and I will consider to focus more on Linux development in the future. No one is forced to use Metro.

    Feedback side-note: It's funny that the last blog entry showed up shortly after Paul Thurrott and Mary-Jo Foley had an interesting talk about how much feedback Microsoft really wants to get along engineering Windows 8. It smells a little like justification to me… but without an earnest foundation.

    To return to this blog post: I don't know why Microsoft is keeping silent on topics that people seem to be really interested in (reading through the comments) and only keeps up covering the "side-effects".

  47. anilkirugavalu says:

    @ Steven

    what abt driver compatibility..  its my big problem since using developer preview

  48. Why boxed icons? says:

    The biggest diff between Apple and Win is the background of the icon. Apple makes it look flush with the background of the desktop while Win has an ugly square around it. Is it possible to flush the background of the Tile, Icon, etc so only picture reamains as clickable/pushable option?

  49. Kevin says:

    @AdamUCF: I think Windows 8 is actually less restrictive than the Windows Phone. Am I missing something?

    Lock screen app

    - Windows Phone = every 30 minutes

    - Windows 8 = every 15 minutes

    - Apps can POLL for data when appropriate for Win 8/Phone

    - Apps can PUSH data when appropriate for Win 8/Phone

  50. J. Porter says:

    So if you wanted to make Metro versions of applications like handbrake or for some uses of VLC your out of luck unless they are explicitly running in the foreground?

  51. B8Blog says:

    @AdamUCF — In the beta we have added to the functionality quite a bit.  We definitely understand what is available on Windows Phone :-)  You will be able to do a timed URL pull without a push service.  There really aren't significant differences in capability when you consider the different capabilities of the platforms.

  52. B8Blog says:

    @anilkirugavalu — What driver/device?  Please include a URL to the manufacturer's site.

  53. B8Blog says:

    @TheCyberKnight — task manager provides real time and summary information for apps that you can use as a proxy (cpu, memory, tile updates, etc.)

  54. B8Blog says:

    @WirelessBrain Yes.

  55. B8Blog says:

    @nowuniverse  It takes time for PC makers to take the final code and put it on new PCs and get those to stores.

  56. BornRight says:

    @Windowsvista567

    /// My PC is not a giant smartphone, and it shouldn't act like one. ///

    Then you stick with Windows 7, let others who like Metro move on. Nobody is forcing you to upgrade, if you don't like it then don't upgrade. Period.

  57. LTD says:

    @jader3rd

    The power savings wont matter if we can't turn off Metro.  If the UI shifts this much, and remains this unfriendly to PC users, IT costs will skyrocket dealing with support calls and complaints.

  58. JF says:

    @Steven

    Love the quick fire responses!

    About closing Metro apps – I understand that from a power saving standpoint, there is no need to close apps. The problem is, the multitasking design as has been shown up until now is flawed. Its functionality is akin to Alt-Tab but with an ever growing list of apps.

    Most users don't want to cycle through every app they've ever launched. They want to see a list of recent apps and select the one they want to get back to. I do this very frequently on my iPad, and I can't imagine being restricted to what is basically Alt-Tabbing every time I need to switch app.

    I love my Windows Phone, but it's multitasking design, 1.5 app thumbnail at a time, is extremely inefficient as well. I'd love to hear that Windows multitasking on touch devices is being improved.

  59. Kenan Sulayman says:

    This, like every time, is a huge step for Microsoft. Ever since I installed the DP on September 14th, 2011, my PC (I prefer that term to "Mac") ran like a charm, failure: not even once. I got so used to the Metro-startmenu, that I learned to control it with the, yet, pre-mature speech recognition – as it lacks some features, which are currently being worked on. You should improve the accessibility through speech recognition, it'd be awesome regarding my workflow. Regarding the CPU-time required to run Windows itself, there is a great power released: it's not the tasks and applications – it's the task-manager and platform, Windows. Please, stay foolish and create something, which is unexpected, yet revolutionary. I did not use Mac since, by the way. Thank you, Steven, thanks to your team – thank you Microsoft, indeed.

  60. @w3force says:

    @Windowsvista567

    I see lot of good things that need to move to the desktop from mobile devices and Windows 8 doing exactly that. If you feel its enduring your productivity you always have option to stick with windows 7 or move to OSX or Linux.  

  61. DoWhat says:

    Missed comments closing on last post, sorry.

    "Please please display all the copy 'error dialogs' after the copying has completed so I don't have to sit in front of the machine all the time."

    Please do this for restoring files from backup as well.

  62. w3force says:

    @ Steven My RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N USB Adapter doesn't work in Developer Preview.

    http://www.netgear.com/…/WNDA3100.aspx

  63. @BornRight

    Let's imagine, for a moment, that I was one of the users who had decided to use Windows XP instead of upgrading to Windows Vista or Windows 7. Where would that leave me? New software would be incompatible with my computer, the OS would perform poorly on my newest PC, and support for my PC would be gone in two years. That's not a good situation to be in, and it's why the newest version of Windows HAS to work properly.

    @@w3force

    While there are some things that need to move from mobile devices to the desktop, Windows 8 goes too far. I once sent Building Windows 8 a rather long e-mail called "Taking WinRT Beyond Metro" that essentially described how these changes can be made without the Metro UI. If you're interested in reading about this idea, I have a post on the forums called "My Idea of Windows 8."

  64. pcuaron says:

    The task manager should display -%, -Mbps, etc.  for suspended processes instead of zero. Zero could be a rounding error, an app not suspended but running (as in previous OSs like win7), etc. It is an inconsistent treatment and it'd be much clearer that way.

  65. JF says:

    @WindowsVista567

    I'm using the DP as well, and while the new start screen doesn't appeal to me either (not necessarily attractive, animation from desktop is cumbersome, added functionality at this point is null), the key thing to remember is that this was meant as a Developer Preview. It's intended to provide just enough functionality to allow developers to try their hand at making brand new software optimized for touch screen scenarios that did not exist before.

    So regarding Metro: let's all take a deep breath, relax and wait until the Consumer Preview is released. There will be a number of improvements that should make using a mouse and keyboard much easier. If you still have concerns at that point, by all means, voice them! But doing so now is akin to being concerned of the aerodynamics properties of a half assembled car.

  66. Bjartr says:

    My question is will we be able to remove a Metro app from the alt-tab list once it's been started? I accept that it's never necessary to manually terminate such an app, but from a UX perspective that's control I don't  want to lose. In fact, it's one of the reasons I avoid running Metro apps in the dev preview.

  67. Joker801 says:

    (submitting comment take 2)

    Sorry for being off-topic (and lengthy), but I’d like to make some things clear.

    I recently read the Gizmodo interview with S. Moreau and J. Larson-Green, very interesting interview btw gizmodo.com/…/designing-windows-8-or-how-to-redesign-a-religion, and at one point JLG refer to a quote from S. Sinofsky saying: that designing/building for Windows or Office is like ordering a pizza for a billion people and try to make them all happy.

    When you think about it it’s so damn true. Lots of people think they know best how an OS/software should work. Everybody have habits, some use those systems/tools in ways designers didn’t even think it would be possible for users to well… use them. And when making a new iteration developers/designers have to take that into account, they also have to think about future (there should be 3 years between each Windows’ iterations and it can happen a shitload of things in 3 years in the world of technologies)

    That lead me to talk about the haters, I’m no fanboy and I’m not saying any of the decision taken by Microsoft is the almighty solution to everything.

    First, I don’t think any of the Microsoft’s designers get to work in the morning thinking: “I’ll do my best to make everybody’s life miserable by forcing a nightmarish UI nobody will be able to use, a UI with absolutely no benefit because I hate so much our consumers”

    We all agree on that I hope…

    MS don’t want to lose any of their consumers, being so big, so important for that many consumers force them to make sure every move is safe. Every choices you think are stupid have been picked out of hundred possibilities (if not more) been studied for weeks/months/years. Survey, telemetry, bug reports, suggestions, whatnot.

    Also there are thousands of websites out there similar to windows7taskforce, listing all and everything people think would be so great to “improve” Windows. Do you really thing MS people are not aware of that.

    They are not a bunch of stupid people doing stupid thing just for the sake of showing everybody how superior they are to everyone, they simply get too much people to satisfy to act like that.

    People here often focus on things they think they won’t like base on what they know and believe is the best way of doing things.

    People have habits and don’t want them broke. Saying things like they’re use to multi-task in a way and there is no way they’ll take advice for a different or even better way especially if it’s from MS.

    People complain about Alt-Tabbing not working the way they like it because of the suspended apps… So much App to loop through… Ok what about changing your habits and evolve to new and more adapted way to get the same result in an easier way? Start Screen is the new “Home”, the new Start menu and the new Superbar because the concept of an application being running or closed does not apply anymore in the Metro world, so why not just go and start it from there. If too hard to find, use integrated search and voilà! An application being suspended or closed result in the same when you “start” it, it resume where you were when it disappeared from the screen. Similar things happen on the desktop Superbar, it doesn’t matter if the app is running or not, the icon is at the same position: you just click it.

    In the end, finally, I do think MS is doing everything it does for reasons, things that seem silly now may appear marvelous when we’ll understand where they came from. So next time you are about to bash decisions that seems stupid to you, think that there are probably excellent reasons why a decision has been taken over another. Maybe their second choice was the exact thing you think would be so great but they ended up with the one they choose because at the moment, in the current context it was the best choice for them and the majority of their customer base.

  68. @Joker801

    Great points one and all. People don't like change, and Win8 is a big one.

    The multitasking issue issue actually resonates with me. That was one of the first things I re-learned when I started using the DP. I stopped using ALT-Tab and started using Win+click or Win-type-Enter to switch between apps.  What I found is that I'm actually able to switch between apps *faster* than I can in Win7.

  69. Sebastian Foss says:

    @OneCleverBoy

    I think the point in only making one version of Windows is that the user get a stable, safe, unique and coherent experience on all systems. Starting with metro on Xbox, WP, Windows – we see that using same UIs throughout the platforms is a good thing for the user.

  70. Dear Microsoft PC is not a Tablet. Don't mix Apples and Oranges. We do not need Metro since we already have way of communicating between PC and End User. It is called Desktop. Metro makes sense for Tablets and Phones because it is only way for device to communicate with End User and and it should be pushed to that direction. Going from Desktop to Metro and back to Desktop is such 'Mind Set Transition' that it would be like bringing Desktop interface to Windows Phone and switching it between in the same matter. Who says Windows needs to look same across all platforms? Rather work on some other common features but not UI. Most PC don't have touch screens where Metro could be used as supposed to and of course i am not planning to touch my 27" LCD screen even if i had that capability. To be honest i have no idea what is purpose of Metro. Big tiles, big fonts covering and wasting monitor space do not make sense at all. From what i see Tiles are supposed to be used in such manner that they can display more information than just name of application such as Emails, Weather, News etc. People use Android, and Apple iPhone for such things. They are not going to start their PC to stare at Metro with awe and watch notifications. Dear Microsoft, why did you create Metro for Desktops when you have huge unused space of Desktop itself minus very small portion of the screen for taskbar? I think good example of what Desktop OS should be is Ubuntu 11.10. Why would you guys push Metro when Zune which has similar interface idea did not succeed compared to iTunes and other similar apps. When i see Metro UI elements with Windows 8 it is like 6 years old kid used paint to draw plain pictures and slapped to Windows 7 interface. Why Microsoft decided that they have to do something with Windows and basically literally destroy its UI when Windows 7 was going to set new standards and started becoming very popular among all ages. Metro should be focus on Mobile and Tablers, period. What is selling point of Windows 8? I don't see any, infact from all readings and research i did on this i did not find a single reason why people should upgrade to Windows 8 let alone Businesses. Metro is not practical and most companies won't even bother with because it brings such change that simply wont work in huge companies. The biggest competition to Windows 8 will be Windows 7 itself. Again, what about Windows XP users who are still dominant in the market? Most likely they will move to Windows 7 which means Windows 8 might have short life like Windows Vista.

    This is a big gamble Microsoft took risking to lose Windows User Base. Don't bring Mobile world into PC because these two platforms absolutely have nothing in common except that they need to be able to sync between files such Videos, Pictures, Calendar, Photos.

    I am sure some people will care about new power saving features in Windows 8 and people like me don't cause i run PC at full speed all the time where only monitor goes off after 20 minutes. Now, for people who really care about power saving features this could be useful as long as there is option to completely close application. The worst thing would be to eliminate Task Manager and ability to completely close application as some thoughts were.

  71. I also wanted to say that at least at this point of game MS should give option to completely disable Metro preferably option where End User would have ability not even to install it.

    Ribbon idea is great and my feeling is that Ribbon and Metro are coming from two different design teams at Microsoft. Team who designed Metro should be fired along with Managers :) and people who came up with Ribbon idea should be promoted.

    Ideally Windows 8 would keep Windows 7 interface with added Ribbons so Office and other apps blend in completely along with all Kernel and File System improvements and of course no Metro in any form and shape.

  72. Do you people really expect answers to this ***?

    NO ONE at Microsoft will tell you, that's what the Beta is for. so sit tight.

    Do you think Microsoft is sitting on the final build of the Beta? NO they're still coding away. they won't have the final Beta build until a few days before release TOPS

  73. Muhammad Wadiwala says:

    Hi what about location services ? Like windows phone 7 apps can not request location in background ?

    like you said it has to be foreground all the time to get location ?

    Just wanted to know , i think you should allow Apps to request location in background at least timed interval

    coz location based services are all over these days

  74. "Metro Style Apps" isn't necessarily a comment on the interface, but the fact that it relies upon WinRT. and yes, Win32 is deprecated.

  75. @Muhammad Wadiwala

    I guess i didn't know i will have to carry my 30kg desktop around town :)

  76. John says:

    Under iOS for example, as the number of apps build up in the low background state, a scenario may arise where an app is allowed to do some background tasking but it does it "badly" or loops or it does it normally but very frequently and the user is not aware of such a behavior. Another scenario applicable directly to W8 from what I read and understand here would be the app went to the background and triggered a brokered by OS function – but one which could be too intense or power consuming  (I admit to not being aware at all of how the OS protects itself against such possibilities). In any of those cases, how can the user identify the culprit app or culprit brokered task and will he be able to interactively prohibit an app or all apps from doing any background processing for the sake of further preserving power, before the app goes to background or once it's there? In other words 1- can he implement system wide policies to achieve that 2- can he interactively decide that during this session such X app will do nothing if it gets suspended 3- can he quickly identify an app that is doing too much stuff in the background and "steer" it? This is all very interesting. Thank you.

    p.s. I hope I'm not posting this twice, seems like it didn't work the first time over.

  77. w3force says:

    @WindowsVista567 I'm not sure why you are so upset in adding more Mobile device feature in desktop. I don't think they removed any of the desktop featured other than the starts menu which in no way very useful. I remember a desktop utility named fence which I used before it does helps to group your desktop icons and I really liked it but since it’s not native it doesn't perform well so I have to remove it. Metro Start screen is more advances then the fence utility and it’s very snappy even in DP. With mouse and keyboard support in beta I think this is going to be a real useful addition to Windows even if you don't like metro apps.

  78. Franklin Bluth says:

    @Harry Steinhilber

    >What I found is that I'm actually able to switch between apps *faster* than I can in Win7.

    Sorry, but I have to call bollocks on this.

    How is it faster to do "Win-key -> click on tile" (2 actions) or in a case it's not on the first screen "Win-key -> scroll -> click on tile" instead of just one SINGLE click on another pinned item on a taskbar? I have 13 items pinned to my taskbar and I can switch between all of them in one single click.

  79. B8Blog says:

    @John — have a look at the APIs here msdn.microsoft.com/…/windows.applicationmodel.background or check out Ben's talk from //build/ here channel9.msdn.com/…/APP-409T.  

    The main thing to consider is that the things you describe are really what the OS does and it is very difficult to try to manually manage some elements while the OS is trying to do its job.  

  80. John says:

    @Steven

    Thank you for your reply – I will have a look. My concern is not so much manual control as it is "sanity" in the sense of what if this was running on a portable/mobile device – where battery life is critical – and conditions were met where a background app would trigger some power draining feature that doesn't show in the task manager (for instance high network bandwidth would show)… such as scanning for the presence of bluetooth devices for instance or something like that? Maybe this question goes beyond apps power states and has to do with how the OS may or may not detect suspicious behavior or near-error condition for an app? Or maybe it's just far fetched…

    By the way, lots of the stuff I hear and see about Win8 looks really interesting! Good luck with all that!

  81. vantsuyoshi says:

    @Steven

    I'm developer from unsupported country #Indonesia

    I can buy apps but can not sell apps

    the only way to submit apps is by global app publisher program which have horrible offer compared to microsoft offer…

    please let us to register submit free/paid apps directly to microsoft

    Background task maybe need geo location service ?

  82. Stefano says:

    Is it possible to have only desktop sessions without using the metro interface? For example booting Windows 8 directly to the Desktop, using Office 2010 or the next Office 2012/2013, then turning PC off without seeing tiles or metro elements, or at least fewer metro elements as possible.

    Can I boot into Desktop directly? OK, password insertion maybe is in Metro Style only, the command to turn off PC is in Metro Style, from what I have seen so far…

    If I use it like this, how many Metro UI elements will I see?

  83. Redders says:

    Once an app gets suspended it only consumes RAM and therefore no power and so no need to quit the app.  But when the OS needs to free memory it moves the suspended app to disk, assuming some sort of magnetic spinning disk – this requires lots of power.  User switches back to the app and it is moved back from disk to RAM and so again requires more power and delay to reload the app.

    However, if the user quits the app, it uses no RAM, and as it also no longer consumes any RAM, it will never need saving out disk and so will not need to use any power to do so.

  84. karl says:

    Is it correct information that you remove the start button from the taskbar? If so, happy selling

  85. karl says:

    that would be  not  'a kind of magic' but a kind of idiotism

  86. I read the recent Gizmodo interview of 2 senior members of the Windows team and I was quite worried when Ms Larson-Green says '… there's a lot of error conditions, and we don't know how they all get fired after 25 years. '

    Does that imply that new generations of Windows developers don't really understand the product that they're working on?

  87. karl says:

    i think so, instead of solving old problems they make ridiculous changes to the gui. Bye bye MS

  88. Maksim says:

    @Steven

    Currently Windows 8 drains battery of my Acer TimelineX 3820TG in a 2 hours. Windows 7 works up to 9 hours. Probably the problem is in AMD drivers but Acer stopped releasing new AMD drivers for hybrid graphics for my laptop in July (and the latest release is buggy as hell – bsods in games and problems with flash video). AMD never puts drivers for hybrid graphics in their website. In conclusion I want say, that because of such OEMs and manufacturers like AMD, HP, Atheros and others who use their own builds of drivers or don't have drivers on their websites it is impossible to upgrade many notebooks to the latest verson of Windows. How do you plan to fix this?

  89. While I was reading the post, great job by the way, can't wait for Win8, love the new start screen, this will be a great OS.

    A scenario came to my mind concerning suspended apps. In general I agree that I shouldn't need to stop an app or worry about having to stop it, especially if it's not using any resources.  But what would happen in this situation:

    1. A metro style app opens a file for viewing.

    2. The user switches to something else.

    3. The app is suspended, keeping any info it needs to get back to where it was in case it gets unloaded by the OS or the user.

    4. A few days go by and the app is still suspended and waiting to be revived.

    5. The user decides to clean its hard drive by moving or renaming some files, one of which is the file that the metro style app opened a few days ago. The user doesn't even remember about that opened document.

    What will happen?

    - The OS will realize that the file is locked by an app and will return an error.

    - The OS will realize that the file is locked by a suspended metro style app, so will kill the app and let the operation continue.

    - The OS will realize that the file is locked and show a detailed error message indicating which app is locking the file and offer to kill or switch to it.

    - None of the above.

    In windows 7 I had to turn off the Details pane in Windows Explorer because it kept giving me errors whenever I tried to rename a file or folder.  That app was Explorer!

  90. Maksim says:

    And one more question – Will Explorer and Media Player finaly support albums with 2 or more CD? Because all other players (including your own Zune) support that tag/

  91. Max Weber says:

    I used a picture in this article in my blog-post here: microsoftwatchblog.de/windows-8-mit-verbesserter-energie-effizienz Hope, that it's ok.

    Nice greetings from germany! :)

  92. chirag says:

    I have some suggestion for metro apps

    1)I should able to mark app as 'in use' i.e.  it is not suspended automatically.

        consider for example I am using dictionay while reading ebook & use it infrequently but still

        I wish dictionay remain as app as long as I want without requiring reloading program.

    2)I wish the when I open webppages ,it should open in desktop mode instead of metro app,

       the reason is simplicity ,webpages are usally stored to compare with other documents like pdf,doc,etc

       &  extract notes into MSWord or powerpoint ,this is possible smoothly only when webpage open in

       desktop mode.

    3)I also wish to kill metro app with simple shortcut key like alt+f4.consider opening   app mistakenly

      or no longer required.

    4)I also like to see which app is using internet & how much or connected to which website for security &

       privacy.i.e.,I have some control on app on when they can use internet.

  93. Joker801 says:

    @Robertf1

    I'm pretty sure a suspended app is the same as a closed app, it'll only "start" faster since it is already in Ram. As you said, when suspended a Metro App save its current state, let's say which file author is writing in, position of the cursor in it/selected text, etc. Also it probably release any handle to any file or resource. So if you start it again (or “resume” it) I guess it would act like Notepad++ saying something like “File text.txt doesn’t exist anymore. Keep this file in editor?” or maybe just show a blank document since the one opened doesn’t exist anymore.

    @all haters

    Don’t you read others comment before posting, it seems to always be the same bashing over and over again or maybe there is a bug in the blog comment section and it’s always the same like 3 comments displayed again and again. Look at my previous comment and try coming with a constructive one, instead of just coming back saying how MS is screw since they are doing so much stupid things…

  94. I guess this doesn't make sense with a system equipped with Raid SSD Setup. Why would i keep apps suspended when i can open and close applications instantly. What's the purpose of this anyway? Another bloatware layer?

  95. temsan says:

    What I CAN say to wake interface metro

    At this stage vvydu bolshyh already man-hour for the creation and sale of a new concept of interface can only posovetovat maximally optimize ego for desktop machines.

    1) You sdelaly screen "Applications". Make a possible ego just affordable from the desktop. One button / gesture. As can be more than the strukturyrovannoy information. Less in size elements. Ostavte ego for mыshy. For coarse pozytsyonyrovanyya will start screen

  96. Mary Branscombe says:

    How does this fit in with the 'hurry up and finish'/turboboost approach for getting the best performance out of a computationally intensive app – transcoding media or geophys analysis or workstation computing tasks that are desktop apps today but may presumably transition to WinRT at some point – while still being power efficient? Aren't there different tradeoffs than just using less power for some of these classes of apps? I absolutely want power efficient apps and maximum battery life, but sometimes the power I want to prioritise is functionality and processing ;-)

  97. temsan says:

    What can I say about the Metro interface

    At this stage in view of the large already work to create the concept and realization of the new interface, you can only advise optimize it for desktop machines.

    1) you did screen "applications". Make it as simple accessible from Desktop. One button/gesture. More structured information. Smaller items. Leave it to the mouse. For rough positioning of the fingers will start screen

    P.S. Translated http://www.microsofttranslator.com

  98. Actually windows is pretty good OS to learn ;easy and flexi but Microsoft sucking guys gives good things later when someone already gave it like Apple gives multi touch gestures and still PC laptop vendor are doesn't giving it even windows support it

    http://www.synaptics.com/…/touchpad

  99. Actually windows is pretty good OS to learn ;easy and flexi but Microsoft sucking guys gives good things later when someone already gave it like Apple gives multi touch gestures and still PC laptop vendor are doesn't giving it even windows support it

    http://www.synaptics.com/…/touchpad

  100. UCFw00t says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    Thanks. That makes me feel a bit better. I just hope that Windows 8 is a superset of WP7.5. In the dev preview it has more in some areas and less in others. Sounds like I'm going to have some code to write when the consumer preview drops later in the month.

  101. @AdamUCF

    Since when Desktop became Smart Phone?

    @kaustubha_bhilare

    Ubuntu 11.10 is easier to learn and use because it has more user friendly interface. Whole work flow in Ubuntu goes seamless which is not a case with Windows 8 and its addition of Metro interface. It is interesting that even this article talks about battery or power saving features and yet again nothing to do with Desktops. Why didn't they call this Windows Mobile or Windows Tablet Edition? It is beyond me.

    @Maksim

    I use VLC Player. It is not harsh to say that VLC Player brings more value to my PC Experience than Metro all together.

    @Why boxed icons?

    25 Years of Microsoft success with Windows comes from the fact that Windows was everything Apple OS was not. With Metro someone at Microsoft think they should be Apple like which is completely wrong. I dislike Apple Business model and their little box they force people into with no choice at all. Windows is much more flexible and free environment. With the direction MS is going now to and Metro coming our way that won't be a case in the future. Luckily there is Linux :) and Windows 7 will serve as Gaming Platform in many years to come. And since i am professional .NET Develop among other things, there is that second reason i have to be on Windows, hopefully Windows 7 as long as it can hold it.

  102. @smartass1379

    Zune is and was Epic Failure and why would MS push similar interface in form of Metro? It is also beyond me.  

  103. Canouna says:

    5 stars post, thanks.

    PS: When ST Microelectronics will release drivers for NT6.2?

  104. Francisco says:

    @pradeep

    in ARM only Metro apps are allowed

  105. domenicoav says:

    Awesome Awesome and Awesome.

    My PC is Ready :-D

    Go Steve GO!!

  106. B8Blog says:

    @Maksim — We can only support what a manufacturer supports.  In the case of your PC it is likely that there are devices without drivers and often when a device does not have a driver it is in a high power state by default before it is initialized.  Even if you disable the device in device manager it will still drain power in whatever the default state of the hardware is in.

    Hybrid graphics is definitely a feature that requires an update from the PC maker since most of them did not receive the Windows 7 hardware/logo certification we rely on for compatibility going forward.

  107. ye windows says:

    I don't have one  Windows 8 for glory to all of people :)

  108. @far

    "nice post but what about news feeds etc, if  the app is suspended how do i ensure that i am getting the latest news?"

    There are a couple of options available to ensure you are getting the latest news.

    1) Your news apps can use Push Notifications with Live Tiles to update Tiles to reflect the latest and greatest content on the tile as soon as the app's backend picks it up. When you launch the app it will sync and get the data.

    2) The news app could implement a timed background task that runs on A/C power in the background every 15minutes. This would allow fresh content to be available as soon as you launch the app.

  109. @Robertf1

    "…..

    A scenario came to my mind concerning suspended apps. In general I agree that I shouldn't need to stop an app or worry about having to stop it, especially if it's not using any resources.  But what would happen in this situation:

    1. A metro style app opens a file for viewing.

    2. The user switches to something else.

    3. The app is suspended, keeping any info it needs to get back to where it was in case it gets unloaded by the OS or the user.

    4. A few days go by and the app is still suspended and waiting to be revived.

    5. The user decides to clean its hard drive by moving or renaming some files, one of which is the file that the metro style app opened a few days ago. The user doesn't even remember about that opened document.

    What will happen?"

    In this scenario we expect the developer to cleanly release any shared resources such as files when the app gets suspended. If the app fails to release the handles the OS will terminate the suspended app holding the handle so the currently requested resource operation can be satisfied.

  110. Sharif Farag says:

    @Sven R. Kunze

    The principles and guidelines for optimizing non-metro apps are very similar to the approach we are taking with our "power hygiene" investments .  The first thing to think through is what are the common scenarios/experiences of the application and then focusing on performance optimizations, resource reduction in those scenarios.    When the user switches away from the application it becomes even more important to reduce background activity and avoid using timers when possible.  Much of the guidance for application developers which is still very much applicable can be found in the Mobile Battery Life Solutions for Windows 7 in the Best Practices for Software Applications section – msdn.microsoft.com/…/gg487547

  111. @red77star u r correct Ubuntu is  great OS but i m comparing only Windows vs Mac OS X.

    Ubuntu is free so any one PC user can download and install it and also there is lot of freeware available in Linux distros  

  112. @Steven and team, I understand after reading this blog post, especially the background multitasking scenarios how the Metro style apps are best suited to giving the most power-efficient mobile experiences over desktop apps.

    I just have one request that concerns the *user experience* for the hibernation power state. Will Microsoft kindly return the progress bar for hibernation in Windows 8? (social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/35c0b733-878e-4a13-9a26-6e08bb5e6dc6) Systems take longer to hibernate with increasing RAM. Rather than turning off the screen the moment I click "Hibernate", I would rather see it hibernating successfully before I shut the lid or throw the tablet in my bag. Why is the focus on hiding things like progress bars? Standby/sleep is instantaneous, hibernate is not even if its speeded up. Please put a progress bar for hibernation.

    I want an answer please from the right person on the power management team on this. Whatever is the problem if it's something like WDDM drivers can't display progress bar or some limitation like that, please address that and bring back a proper progress bar to show the hibernation progress. I no longer feel confident that my Windows system hibernated successfully. Just the other day, one of my friends whom I taught to use hibernate instead of shutdown said it takes longer to hibernate and he isn't sure when it has completed.

    P.S. When I emailed this request to the B8 blog, I got a rather rude reply from someone at MS as if mocking my feedback which said: "My automatic transmission car does not have a tachometer."

  113. Fran says:

    Off-Topic:

    They are very hard, give a sense of "old", while highlighting much above other interface elements, you have to "unify" a little making it look smoother although relief is easy and fast for the next daily build , is still on time, there are new styles that I love the superbar, but the scroll bars should be given a small touch:

    The first image is of Consumer Preview 8220 with the scroll bars of Windows 7:

    imageshack.us/…/51561481.png

    And now as would, still a little relief, but is more integrated, lightweight load level, smoother, cleaner and more consistent with the style of Windows 8:

    imageshack.us/…/57469626.png

    imageshack.us/…/54666608.png

    I really hope; You are doing a great job, but not this detail will be back.

  114. commongenius says:

    At the risk of being labeled a "hater", everything in this blog post is meaningless as long as Metro apps retain their current restrictions:

    1) I will not use Metro apps as long as I am required to use them full screen all the time.

    2) I will not develop Metro apps as long as the Windows Store is the only way to distribute them.

    So while the advancements in WinRT are interesting from a technical perspective, they are entirely theoretical until the arbitrary restrictions placed on that technology are removed, allowing it to actually have practical application.

  115. Fran says:

    Off-Topic:

    They are very hard, give a sense of "old", while highlighting much above other interface elements, you have to "unify" a little making it look smoother although relief is easy and fast for the next daily build , is still on time, there are new styles that I love the superbar, but the scroll bars should be given a small touch:

    The first image is of Consumer Preview 8220 with the scroll bars of Windows 7:

    imageshack.us/…/51561481.png

    And now as would, still a little relief, but is more integrated, lightweight load level, smoother, cleaner and more consistent with the style of Windows 8:

    imageshack.us/…/57469626.png

    imageshack.us/…/54666608.png

    I really hope; You are doing a great job, but do not leave back, the scroll bars.

  116. Fran says:

    Sorry, delete the other 2

    Now yes:

    Off-Topic:

    They are very hard, give a sense of "old", while highlighting much above other interface elements, you have to "unify" a little making it look smoother although relief is easy and fast for the next daily build , is still on time, there are new styles that I love the superbar, but the scroll bars should be given a small touch:

    The first image is of Consumer Preview 8220 with the scroll bars of Windows 7:

    imageshack.us/…/51561481.png

    And now as would, still a little relief, but is more integrated, lightweight load level, smoother, cleaner and more consistent with the style of Windows 8:

    imageshack.us/…/57469626.png

    imageshack.us/…/54666608.png

    I really hope; You are doing a great job, but do not leave back, the scroll bars.

  117. msn@k-kp.de says:

    also me will no upgrade to windows 8. With Windows 8 Microsoft do the first step to kill Windows of future Microsoft systems. The Metro UI looks insomuch unprofessional that I can't believe that this is coming from the brand leader.

    With Windows 7 you will have a next Windows XP because the least want to change. Listen to the user they want just Windows, Windows with s startmenu, just one Desktop without Startscreen, Metro and an Appstore.

    You want a revolution? The revolution will be that Windows will be not the most popular OS on PCs if you continue like in Windows 8.

  118. -In the list of background APIs, I don't see GPS logging, for one

    -You didn't explain how apps can do OS stuff like copying/moving files in the background

    -I had to go into the Task Manager to close WinRT games because they kept playing game music after I switch away. Probably just a bug but you want to make sure this is not a scenario

  119. Chris says:

    One thing I noticed in DP was that I wasnt able to play Pandora in metro version of IE. It played in the background for a moment but then it stopped. Its not just internet radio, web based IMs (FB chat) have this problems too. How do you handle these background tasks when they are running in IE?

    I would also like to know if this suspended state mean that when I turn off my PC it will resume the application at the startup. I can imagine this would be useful for RSS readers or IM clients where user usually want to have them open all the time.

  120. Frank Otto says:

    I buy a new notebook (not touch) PC, it comes with Windows 8. I don't like Metro and I can't remove it or turn it off so I want Windows 7 installed. Prepare the program to give back Windows 7 as it happened for Vista/XP…  Make it possible to have Windows 7 yet. Leave Windows 8 only on tablets. Believe me. People use desktop, people don't want a phone OS or a tablet touch OS. Believe me. Really. Trust me.

  121. Mike says:

    @Frank

    I want Windows 8 on my desktop.

    Imo it's far to early to say what people do and do not want. At least wait untill the Consumer Preview, see what consumers like. Don't judge an operating system by screenshots.

  122. @w3force

    Even if you never used the Start Menu, I find myself using it every day, more than any other program launcher in Windows. I never used the Windows 7 "SuperBar" – it's easier to use the Start Menu's MFU list and links to folders than it is to pin everything to the Taskbar. I run Windows 7 with the Taskbar with the "Combine when the Taskbar is full" and "Use small icons" options turned on. Besides, Microsoft seems to have the goal of replacing desktop apps with Metro-style apps. In my opinion, the Windows 8 desktop needs a new application model like WinRT for enhanced development.

    Please, if you're interested in discussing Windows 8, use this forum: social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/threads .

    @Steven Sinofsky

    Did you ever read "Taking WinRT Beyond Metro?" Since I sent that message, I have continued to wonder why WinRT is only for Metro and why the desktop UI lacks a number of enhancements applied to Metro-style apps, such as the enhanced password model and better app security.

  123. domenicoav says:

    @HA!

    Win XP-Good ?

    Sorry NO, XP SP2 GOOD , no XP

    ;-)

  124. Winlover_Metro_hater says:

    I really get frustrated about this; we redesign web pages for mobile devices because the UI fits the limitations of the device.  A mobile web page looks horrible on the PC and because of the screen real estate requires a different UI.  It may be more efficient, but then why not use Lynx?  There’s a level of tradeoff we do to support the limits of the device.

    How is Metro any different than forcing PC users to use a mobile device UI on the desktop?

    We've been asking since day 1, if we can turn off metro.   It's generally hated but MS feels that it's the only way to potentially get a foothold in the mobile market, that users will find the transition “easier” if they are used to it on a desktop.  I get the business logic of making metro the default, but I don’t get the logic of not giving the users a choice.

    We can choose not to upgrade or deal with a bad OS that limits our choices; we already have that with Apple.  I haven’t seen one thing that makes me want to ditch my iPad for a windows 8 tablet.  This could also backfire, if people hate the metro experience on the desktop (as I do) it may make them LESS likely to but a windows tablet.

  125. Errr... says:

    The amount of time spent on the start menu (or the Metro version of it) is incredibly minimal when compared to the time spend in browsers, using other programs, etc.  So while some may find it to be an annoyance, it's still a very minor impact.  

    As far as Metro being generally hated, I don't have information to back that up, but neither do you.  Sure, there are some people online at this development blog expressing their distaste, but that's a minority.  It's the same as looking at support forums – people go there to complain, so it's a pool that feeds on itself.  Just because there are complaints in support forums doesn't mean that everyone is having issues, and the same analogy applies to Metro.

  126. Miwa says:

    Seems I'll have the same problems in Win8 as in WP7 when trying to write an IRC app.

    Namely, it's OK to waste battery running an audio app streaming in the background, but not OK to waste less battery to keep a streaming text connection in the background.  With no way to enable an app to keep a socket alive, it's pretty hard to write anything for any service where you do not control the server. (Or you have to create your own server to keep a live connection, and push updates)

    Please let users decide how to waste battery!  I'd be ok with huge warning screens at install that say my app is battery hateful, but at least then it'd be a lot easier to use a mobile communication device to do actual communications.  

  127. Winlover_Metro_hater says:

    @Errr

    Check out the results on http://www.makeuseof.com/…/windows-8s-metro-ui-makeuseof-poll

    (not my poll)

    Not a statistically valid sample but it's better than nothing.

  128. Winlover_Metro_hater says:

    @err

    also check out:

    http://www.howtogeek.com/…/microsoft-removes-start-button-in-windows-8-consumer-preview-adds-hot-corner-poll

    Metro is horrible, I don't need a poll to see that.

  129. Winlover_Metro_hater says:

    Aslo at @Errr

    I don't want to spend too much time on this, but you get the idea

    Also:

    http://www.eightforums.com/…/2238-windows-8-what-do-you-think.html

    So… yeah I have some data that says forcing metro is a bad idea.

  130. w3force says:

    @Winlover_Metro_hater, @Err, @WindowsVista567

    Let me explain how Metro UI is going to help me at least. I consider myself a power user and I use Alienware i7 first gen with 8GB RAM and 1.75 GB Graphical Card pc. At any given point of time I have following applications open.  One note, Skype, MSN messenger, GTalk, IE with 5 tabs (I use IE for all my regularly visited sites like Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook and Amazon and I pin then to  task bar to see  quick update), 5 tabs Google Chrome for other browsing, Outlook, SQL Server, Expression Blend, 2 Visual Studio instance, ITunes/Zune depending on the device connected. With all this open my system which is a high end one is sluggish and not responding at times (I don’t have antivirus installed and no junk ware or unnecessary service running as I told I’m a power user and I know how to optimize my system) . Now I feel this is how Metro UI is going to change my use and in turn going to give me more RAM and CPU power for my VS/Blend/SQL. In the Metro Environment I’m not going to run One note, Skype, MSN messenger, GTalk, IE with 5 tabs, Google Chrome (5 Instance), Outlook since I will see notification from all this application as and when needed and can take action and forget about its system usage and my desktop will have only 4 application open (Blend, SQL, 2 instance VS) and all this four is going to get more of my system RAM and CPU.

    I feel more than all this small start menu issues we are going to get lot more benefits. I’m total into brining some of the good mobile device feature in to desktop OS.

  131. @w3force

    At that point, you just need to start closing programs. If you're not going to run them in the future, why are you using them now? Besides, slapping the Metro UI onto Windows won't make any of those performance problems go away. You'll just have all of those programs running alonside the Metro UI. That was another point I made in "Taking WinRT Beyond Metro" – the current system of placing Metro alongside the desktop doesn't make anything simpler.

    To be honest, I find mobile devices disappointing. I have generally found them to be clunky to use when compared to a regular PC.

    It sounds like you need a computer with one of these:

    http://www.newegg.com/…/Product.aspx

  132. @w3force

    There is something else I would like to add:

    You said: "In the Metro Environment I’m not going to run One note, Skype, MSN messenger, GTalk, IE with 5 tabs, Google Chrome (5 Instance), Outlook since I will see notification from all this application as and when needed and can take action and forget about its system usage and my desktop will have only 4 application open (Blend, SQL, 2 instance VS) and all this four is going to get more of my system RAM and CPU."

    My point is this: there is NO REASON AT ALL why this can't work in the desktop UI. My point is that the Metro user interface solves nothing. Everything that Microsoft hopes to accomplish on the desktop can be done without the Metro UI. That's the whole point of the phrase "Taking WinRT Beyond Metro."

  133. David80 says:

    @ Steven Sinofsky

    Hi! Building Windows 8 twitter post just uploaded the image of Windows Media Center in upcoming beta…

    I can say nothing changed and improved compared to windows 7 or Vista version in term of UI.

    twitter.com

    Why don't the teams make it in the Metro style UI..We're so tired with the conflicting between UI of Aero and Metro already. we don't want to have another non-unified experience with this media center. Besides, we hate to see the new revolution (Windows 8) look like it just port the program from the old into new OS change it version number and consider it as something new without doing anything further to refine that feature. We want a real change-a significant one. So please redesign media center.

  134. @Steven Sinofsky

    Two last things I want to remind/suggest before beta.

    1) Please remove any remaining Focus Border (dot outline when element is focused) out of desktop visual style, it never be a landmark in windows even when it stays that long.

    2) I want to see a beta background/wallpaper (betta fish perhaps) similar in Windows 7 beta. I know we can change it, but it's the best to have something originally set by Microsoft. You guys won't want to give customers the blank screen and tell them that they can customize it.

  135. Joker801 says:

    @Winlover_Metro_hater You do realize that e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y on these poll base their thought on screenshots and on a pre-alpha “Dev” Preview?

    And most of their arguments look like "it was so much better on prior versions"

    Arguments used every time a new Windows iteration show off…

    If you are not working at Microsoft, you don't know how things are planned to be in the end nor the reasons why it will be that way, but be sure of a thing: Nothing MS is doing is done with the goal of losing consumers. As any company they want more and the only way to keep actual consumers and gather more is to improve existing concepts and create new ones to simplify their life and the one of the majority of their consumer base. As stated before any choice that seems silly right now may make perfect sense later on when we’ll understand why that particular choice has been selected among a bunch of other possibilities. May be we’ll only understand when using the final product that indeed new paradigms may in fact make sense in more situation than the obvious initial ones. A bunch of guys at MS are paid to think about that kind of things all day long. I’m not saying they are always right or that what they think about will solve every world problems, I’m just saying: who are we to say they are not, in any way, unto something?

  136. @Steven Sinofsky

    I have question that why there are only few posts in Windows Store Blog.

    I don't see that is the place where dialogue is promoted since I don't see your or Antoine Leblond response to what people said. So take this as reminder!!!!

  137. Wireless Brain says:

    Am testing all Microsoft OS, but i want to know Microsoft got any plans to release service pack 4 for Windows XP. or XP will die soon?Looking for your answer steven.

  138. danwdoo says:

    I'm curious to know how suspension will handle such resource as video encoding. This is a resource intensive task, but I don't want to have to sit and leave the app 'on top' while doing it. I assume this (and similar tasks to this) will be able to be done in a background task somehow?

  139. Joker801 says:

    Just a thought…

    Windows 8 is looking to be different in many ways while offering most of what we already know and use. Why not just starting to imagine how you’ll take advantage (as a dev and/or a user) of what the new platform will provide instead of bashing on things you “think” will be removed?

    Stop living in the past, think about present and start thinking about future.

    Desktop is great and will be there a long time, I’m sure of that, but it’s a thirty years old concept (with its own flaws and weakness) and I’m just wondering in the name of what should MS not start to investigate on new ones, on new ways of doing computing. Even if, in the end, the Windows 8 implementation of Metro might not be “perfect”, we can’t blame them for trying. If that’s the case maybe Windows 9 will bring a more elaborated version of the concept. After all, the first iteration of the desktop metaphor was far from the one in Win7&8…

    For those wondering why all the new stuff has not been integrated in Win32 API (Desktop) it’s probably all because of a single word: legacy. Old Win32 applications have to run as well on Windows 8 as on prior version of Windows, and new Win32 applications *build for Windows 8* will need to do the same. Those making WinRT app, will have no legacy problem, everybody running them will use Windows 8 or one of its following iterations.

  140. @Joker801 WinRT lacks and it is not ready yet.

  141. Does Connected Standby require that %SystemDrive% exist on  a solid-state drive (SSD) partition?

    "By the time Windows 8 is released, there will be a broader range of PCs available than ever before. Many of these will have similar power options to those running Windows 7 today. Besides turning off completely, they will be able to go into a “sleep” state, either on demand, or after a period of inactivity. During sleep, all system activity is completely suspended."

    Code for "Yes", to the above question?

  142. nanasi(from japan) says:

    It is good to be efficiency in the application and file management and all aspects of Windows 8.

    And above all,

    Finally Consmer Preview will open this month (like the Spain time), 29, finally!

    Been looking forward to. I would like to Tablet?.

    The criticism seems to be variously, good luck!

  143. kejserdreng says:

    Any improvements in windows 8 will be received with open arms by consumers, including power-saving improvements.

    But Metro is not thought through well enough. People want more of what they got in windows 7, why it is so popular. People want 3d effects with lighting effects, like the desktop in Windows 7

    Why in heaven's name wont Microsoft implement these delicious effects into the metro, when Metro has come to be?? It's okey with the live tiles it just need more effects as in windows 7 and then the user must be able to adjust the size of the metro squares permantly, to fit the mouse and keyboard.

    Keep up the good work

    Yours sincerely,

  144. anilkirugavalu says:

    rumor release beta build vill b 6.2.8229 ( consumer preview ) & hope too..

  145. anilkirugavalu says:

    @ Steven..

    Intel drivers , amd , nvidia , Epson hp brother canon..  printer drivers.. some application don't run without drivers..  plz  give us something on it..

  146. anilkirugavalu says:

    Intel drivers , amd , nvidia , Epson hp brother canon..  printer drivers.. some application don't run without drivers..  plz  give us something on it..

  147. i want improved Desktop. i don't want Metro. i want Desktop with scrolling feature. i said this suggestion in before posts by an image expression. also i said please add a option in windows 8 for start up in Metro or directly start up in Desktop.

  148. Trythistiles says:

    This is little off topic but I just want to show:

    The current tiles are looking bland and makes the users boring quickly, why dont you explore the possiblitly of having 3D tiles instead of flat looking tiles.

    http://www.microsoft.com/…/Design_Overview.aspx

    this kind of tiles look awesome and also 3D tiles will give consistent look with the 3D desktop icons.

    Just wanted to share my thought. Good luck!

  149. i like archer in four angles of windows. Please add a theme for who wants archer in four angles of windows. this theme not need PC requirement more than Windows 7. need?

  150. i like archer in four angles of windows. Please add a theme for who wants archer in four angles of windows. this theme not need PC requirement more than Windows 7 default theme. need?

  151. TheCyberKnight says:

    Steven Sinofsky: "Task manager provides real time and summary information for apps that you can use as a proxy (cpu, memory, tile updates, etc.)"

    Yes, I already figured that out. My question was not clear enough, sorry.

    Updated Question: Is there a way to query the applications energy consumption in the WinRT universe?

    I think it is not available yet and maybe that is something that could be considered. Consumers may be interested to know which applications have the greatest impact on their device battery life. It could be complemented with a very nice Metro UX to communicate this information.

  152. Experience says:

    @Fran

    Windows 7 Scrollbar:

    imageshack.us/…/51561481.png

    And is they are simply excellents the Scrollbars proposed true that, is necesary a retouch for Windows 8;

    I even, I changed the color the edges, a tone more soft:

    imageshack.us/…/47050616.png

    imageshack.us/…/82987321.png

    I think they will take note because

    Any the two options are brilliants and easy to do.

  153. Dumb question.

    Are you defining the screen being on as "Screensaver is not on, power saving hasn't kicked in and turned the screne off" or are you also polling the monitor to see if it is still turned on?

  154. commongenius says:

    At the risk of being labeled a "hater", everything in this blog post is meaningless as long as Metro apps retain their current restrictions:

    1) I will not use Metro apps as long as I am required to use them full screen all the time.

    2) I will not develop Metro apps as long as the Windows Store is the only way to distribute them.

    So while the advancements in WinRT are interesting from a technical perspective, they are entirely theoretical until the arbitrary restrictions placed on that technology are removed, allowing it to actually have practical application.

  155. What a bunch of grumpies! Just wait for the damn product to finish and stop your whining.there are too many people who think they know it all.METRO IS COMING GET USE IT.i for one cant wait for the brave new world.

  156. @Steven Sinofsky

    Why is 'Suspend App Feature' needed for desktop PC? What about system equipped with SSD which will become mainstream in 2 years. Why would i need to suspend app when i can close it or open it instantly in a system with such setup? What is role of Superfetch in Windows 8? Why would i worry about Power Savings on Desktop running with 1000W PSU for example? To me all this seems useful on Tablets and Phones but really have no place no Desktops.Honestly i am dissapointment with Windows 8 especially Metro and direction Microsoft taking.

    First time i heard about Windows 8 i was hoping we will keep Windows 7 Interface with added Ribbons on Desktops among the following things.

    1. Get rid of registry

    2. Get rid of all legacy, Windows 7 has enormous hard drive print

    3. Kill 32bit OS and go only with 64bit #We don't need IE and IE x64, just IE x64#

    4. We don't need Metro, and Desktop itself is so unused.

    5. New file and folder organization in Windows. The one we have now is absolutely horrible.

    Additional Comments

    I am quite pleased with IE10 Team, it seems they know what they are doing. Additional feature for IE10 called update is welcomed. Also i would change default view of IE10 to show tabs in separate row otherwise it is very useless and space lacking the way is now.

    5. Don't break Windows for sake of unification and thinking that if People have Metro on Desktops they will be familar with it so they will buy Windows Phone more. Totally wrong!

    6. WinRT is a nice idea but it lacks and it is used wrongly, just saying. I should say its practical usage is not what i was expecting.

    7. Metro seems very intrusive and offensive. Do i need to glance inbox status using tiles which are big, space wasting objects and make no sense? Hm, no cause i already do that from Desktop and it is not elegant. However i did see brilliant solutions for things like that in Ubuntu 11.10. Thought something like that could be applied to current Windows 7 interface.

    8.  I understand Metro in Windows Phone. I own one. Question is how would i interact with my phone without Metro? Obviously i would not be able therefore Metro as solution is ok. Let's say i own Tablet, same thing. I go home and start up my PC which i mostly use anyway. Do I need Metro? Absolutely not. It is a such transition of Mind Set from Desktop to Metro that i am left with impression WOW, seriosly MS. Who was a brain behind this 'wrong' idea.

    I have couple more questions for you. How deep Metro is integrated into Windows Kernel, is it even possible to make it optional at this stage of developmen? Will be there option to disable Metro and its elements or perhaps option not to even install it? Will perhaps Windows Install process detect if user actually runs Tablet or Desktop and based on that install or not install Metro interface?

    As End User i believe people should have a choice to choose whether they want to install Metro or not. Perhaps easiest way would be to create Windows 8 Tablet/Mobile Edition and regular Windows 8 for Desktops.

  157. It's a 5-month old post, but my concern is Media Center.  I've posted a few thoughts on it, along with the rest of Windows 8, where I think it could be improved: http://bit.ly/yGhF0i

    I'd like to see a WOA device straight out for Media Center, with Media Center as its only interface, similar to the Roku or Apple TV, except with Media Center integrated with the Zune Marketplace for purchase/rental of movies/tv/music/music videos/podcasts/apps.  With Media Center and the upgrades I mention in the link, millions of people will be drawn into the Zune Marketplace and Windows Store, and with the Homegroups, the entire Windows Experience would be utterly seamless.  

  158. What happens in cases where I have a long running task in an application and I want to do something else, like browse the web, while it is finishing? This could be a calculation or a data manipulation (like importing a text file in to a dictionary application or converting a text file to an epub. I don't see any WinRT service to allow such a scenario to run in the background. I would hate to have to watch my screen for something to finish just because there wasn't a background WinRT service for a 'background long-running task'. It would be nice if I could register a single task as one that should continue running to completion even if the application is not the foreground application.

  159. @JRJohnson1701

    Use VLC, it's free and you will be pleased with it :)

  160. Jane Lawrence [MSFT] says:

    @w3force

    Thanks for trying out Windows 8 and sorry to hear about your Netgear adapter issue. We'd appreciate if you could email the details to usb3fb@microsoft.com so we can follow up.

  161. CoolJRT says:

    This has nothing to do with power efficiency, but don't you think it's time to allow (at least) the copying of active or open files?

  162. @Ryan

    Yes, Internet Explorer will be suspended in the background when you switch away.

    Like other desktop applications however, Internet Explorer on the desktop will continue to run webpages that are loaded. We’ve added support for the W3C Visibility events in IE10, which means that website sites are now notified when they’re a background tab and/or minimized. Web developers can now throttle their work when hidden, decreasing their CPU impact and conserving power. Some large advertising networks are already taking advantage of these emerging API’s which significantly helps with the scenario you mention.

  163. @Jane Lawrence

    Talking about power efficiency and driver issues, I've had a lot of problems with nvidia optimus drivers – on Windows Developer Preview only nvidia graphics was active, but bigger issue – Server Developer Preview became unusable after installing video drivers – the screen (or more precisely, system video mode) started to constantly turning on and off, so even logging into system was impossible.

  164. Xero says:

    [Windows 7 -> IE9]

    Sometimes if the system shuts unexpectedly, on next boot IE9 forgets all the preferences. These include; the :visited hyperlinks, the popular sites on about:Tabs page, Bing language preference and since so forth — though the history (Ctrl+H) remains intact. Please prevent IE10 from this disaster!

    Thanks for communicating back! It would be great if Microsoft provides a prototyping tool for ideas something like Conceptshare.com to let the consumers communicate more intuitively! :-)

    ~Thanks Steven.

  165. Xero says:

    In addition to my previous post about problems with IE9 on OS crash, IE9 forgets the saved password for Hotmail / Window-Live ID but remembers that of Gmail. 8-)

  166. Ryan says:

    @Ben Srour [MSFT]

    Thank you for your response, Ben–that is excellent news!

    I don't know if this would be an easy change to implement, but I would really love the option to have "desktop IE" behave the same as the non-desktop (?) IE–like a checkbox in Internet Options "suspend background/minimized tabs." It seems you have to make that trade-off if you use the desktop IE, but from a responsiveness standpoint, it's sorely needed.

    Another resource-exhaustion situation I often encounter is a leaky iexplore.exe process on certain sites–sometimes one or more tabs consume 600 MB or even up to 1.8 GB, severely affecting performance. It would be great if IE had some sort of self-monitor you could enable/disable to catch these scenarios (perhaps recycling the tab) before they run away with all your RAM, that would be awesome!

  167. @Sharif Farag

    I see. Thank you. I assume that it is not possible to force developers to comply with those guideline as they are by writing for Metro.

    @all

    Joker801: "Windows 8 is looking to be different in many ways while offering most of what we already know and use. Why not just starting to imagine how you’ll take advantage (as a dev and/or a user) of what the new platform will provide instead of bashing on things you “think” will be removed?

    Stop living in the past, think about present and start thinking about future."

    Just my saying.

    No offense intended but complaining will not change anything. And in fact, this all is about changing. Do you remember? "The only constant is change." Thus, seize the opportunity.