Building a rich and extensible media platform


Windows provides a broad set of technologies for consumers to experience video and audio and for developers to tap into these technologies through rich APIs. This post goes into depth on both of these aspects of the Windows media platform, which has been substantially improved for both desktop and Metro style apps. The landscape for media playback has changed significantly since Windows 7 was released, with an increased focus on streaming, and the desire for content owners to offer playback of their content on a broader array of devices, all while significantly reducing the battery power required for playback. With these new capabilities, which are part of both Windows 8 and Windows RT of course, we worked to provide industry-leading support for consumers and developers. This post was authored by Scott Manchester, group program manager for our Media Platform and Technologies team. –Steven


Engaging with rich media—whether watching a movie, video chatting, or playing music—is one of the most prevalent and enjoyable things we do on our PCs today. I’d like to talk a little bit about the work we’ve done in Windows 8 to make a rich variety of multimedia activities possible, and to extend those capabilities to third party developers through an extensible media platform.

We had three goals in mind when designing the Windows 8 media platform:

  1. Maximize performance. We wanted media playback to be fast and responsive, enabling the full power of the hardware while maximizing battery life on each PC.
  2. Simplify development and extensibility. We wanted to provide a platform that could be easily extended and tailored for a given application, setting the stage for innovative custom media apps on Windows.
  3. Enable a breadth of scenarios. A high performance, high efficiency, extensible platform can then enable a wide range of music, video, communications, and other multimedia apps.

With these three goals in mind, we set out to reimagine the media experience on the Windows platform.

Faster, more responsive media experiences

Performance is a key aspect of any user experience, but it is especially critical in multimedia scenarios. Videos need to play in real time, voice communication needs to feel instantaneous, and all of these tasks need to minimize the drain on your battery.

We measure performance by the time, computing resources, and memory that a given task takes on a system. We aimed to minimize all of those metrics. Our goals for media performance were focused on audio and video playback, transcoding, encoding, and capture.

Efficient video decoding

To get better battery life or just reduce power consumption for all media scenarios, we continue to work with partners in the silicon chip industry to enable new and faster experiences. With Windows 8 running on a Windows 8 certified PC, video decoding for common media formats will be offloaded to a dedicated hardware subsystem for media. This allows us to significantly lower CPU usage, resulting in smoother video playback and a longer battery life, as the dedicated media hardware is much more efficient than the CPU at media decoding. This improves all scenarios that require video decoding, including playback, transcoding, encoding, and capture scenarios.

The figure below shows a comparison of the average CPU utilization between Windows 7 and Windows 8 during playback of 720p VC1/H.264 video clips and webcam capture preview.

Windows 7 and Windows 8 CPU usage compared. WMV Decode on Windows 7: 32%, on Windows 8: 14%; H.264 Decode on Windows 7: 30%, on Windows 8: 13%; Capture Preview on Windows 7: 27%, on Windows 8: 8%.

In addition to video offload, the improvements to webcam capture are made possible by the move from a DirectShow Capture API to the new, far more optimized Windows 8 Media Foundation Capture API. We’ve also improved software encoders for H.264 and VC-1 content so that encoding using the CPU (when it makes sense) is both fast and power-efficient.

Maximizing battery life during audio playback

Another example of the media performance improvements we’ve made in Windows 8 is in maximizing battery life (or just reducing power consumption) during audio playback. In addition to enabling offload of the audio pipeline (similar to the offload of video described above), we’ve radically improved the audio playback pipeline to be more efficient during steady-state playback. By batching up large chunks of audio data and doing all the processing for that chunk at one time, the CPU can stay asleep for over 100 times longer (over 1 second vs. 10ms), which can result in dramatically increased battery life during audio playback.

Of course, this approach isn’t perfect for all scenarios since the increased buffering introduces additional delay. In the communications section below, we’ll talk more about these tradeoffs and how the media stack adapts to optimize for each scenario

Audio and video offloading are just a couple of examples of the ways we’ve optimized the media stack in Windows 8 to provide lower CPU utilization, lower memory utilization, and better battery life for Desktop and Metro style apps.

Supporting a rich set of media scenarios

Performance is a critical aspect of the platform, but it is only as important as the features that shine because of it. In Windows 8, those features include support for modern video formats, low-latency communication streams, and a seamless connection to external media devices.

Platform tradeoffs

One of the challenges in developing a single media platform that serves different scenarios is that the platform has competing goals. For example, communication scenarios require low-latency, and audio/video encoding and playback, whose quality and performance benefit from buffering, which results in higher latency. In the next several sections, we’ll touch on these challenges in the context of some of the scenarios we’ve worked to enable in Windows 8, including:

  • Communications (e.g. Skype, Lync, etc.)
  • Video playback and modern format support
  • Auto-orientation of video
  • Playback of premium content
  • Seamless audio transitions
  • Bringing the media experience to additional screens
  • Emerging media capabilities

Simplifying development and extensibility

One common theme across these experiences is the extensibility that we’ve incorporated into the multimedia platform. Because users have a wide range of use cases, media formats, codecs, protection mechanisms, and processing, we provided our developers with the ability to customize and tailor their offerings to create great apps and websites on Windows.

As we discuss some of the media scenarios in the next several sections, we’ll also cover some of the work we’ve done to make those scenarios extensible by developers and third-party partners. Let’s dive deeper into the scenarios we’ve targeted for Windows 8.

Communications

Real-time communication on PCs, especially on mobile devices, has seen a huge growth over the last decade. Windows users are using services like Skype and Lync to make several billion minutes of voice and video calls per day. TeleGeography estimates that international Skype-to-Skype calls (including video calls) grew 48 percent in 2011, to 145 billion minutes. We’ve made a significant investment in improving the experience of video and audio calling on all Windows 8 PCs. To achieve this goal, we focused our efforts in two areas:

  • Enable built-in low-latency media capture and rendering. Low latency is essential for communications apps, so Windows supports low-latency media capture and playback into the OS.
  • Support HD cameras to enhance video communication experience. High-definition videos make your communication experience more real and enjoyable, so Windows supports HD camera devices.

Enabling low latency

When you communicate with another person, you expect near-instant responses. For this reason, communications systems generally try to minimize the end-to-end delay (also referred to as latency). In designing audio and video systems for playback, buffering is often used as both a protection against glitches caused by processing spikes or network traffic, and to reduce power consumption. However, this buffering introduces a delay into the audio and video, which is perceived as latency by the audience. In engineering Windows 8, we designed the media platform to support both playback-optimized and communication-optimized scenarios. The media infrastructure can switch between a playback mode (high buffering, more tolerant of varying conditions) and a communications-optimized mode (low delay).

According to the TIA/EIA 920 standard, the one-way audio latency that can be attributed to just the media processing pipeline cannot exceed 100ms in order to achieve a usable real-time communication experience. With this metric in mind, we designed a test environment to measure the end-to-end latency of the pipeline, shown in the following diagram:

Illustration of latency between sender and receiver. Includes camera latency on capture device; latency in capture pipeline including capture source, encoder, and network sink; playback pipeline latency including network source, decoder, video processor and renderer; and rendering device latency in the display or audio speaker.

There are many components to optimize to get low latency

In the case of video communication, the end-to-end or “glass-to-glass” pipeline latency is measured as the delay it takes for a video frame to be captured by the camera device and then encoded to a supported video format, streamed over the network loopback interfaces, decoded, and finally rendered by the display.

Looking at the figure below, you can see the result obtained for capturing and rendering PCM audio when the media pipeline is in low latency mode. The first set of spikes corresponds to the original spoken words at the transmitter and the second set shows those words at the receiver. The delay between the two is 65ms, well below the 100ms goal.

Graph showing 65 millisecond delay between sender and receiver of audio transmission

End-to-end pipeline latency of PCM audio: Low latency mode

The next chart shows a comparison of the pipeline latency of playback and communication-optimized mode when a video frame is captured, encoded (in H.264 format), streamed, decoded, and then displayed at various resolutions. The goal of 145ms overall latency (as deemed by TIA/EIA 920 for usable real-time video calling) is shown by the green line on the chart.

Comparison shown for VGA, SVGA, 720p and 1080p. In all cases, playback mode is over 500ms but in Low latency mode is close to 100ms, under the goal of 145ms.

Video frames are captured at a rate of 30 frames per second and encoded into H.264

In playback mode, the average latency of the pipeline is about 575ms. This delay is necessary for a smooth playback experience when consuming video, but unacceptable for real-time video communication. In low latency mode, on the other hand, the measured latency is well under the target goal at each of the measured video resolutions.

Supporting HD video calling

Another example of the work we have done to improve communication on Windows 8 PCs is through OS support for HD cameras. New class drivers will work transparently with applications to provide support for HD video features. In addition, all of the hardware acceleration for video decoding discussed previously will be utilized for communication scenarios.

Windows 8 will offer a consistent, high-quality, hardware-accelerated, power efficient media communication experience on PCs designed for Windows 8. We have made significant investments in the media platform to improve pipeline latency, and with added support for H.264 cameras, users will be able to communicate with friends and family in high-fidelity HD video.

Video and audio support for Metro style apps

Our main goal for native media format support for Metro style apps was to ensure users and app developers could count on a consistently great playback experience across a wide variety of PC form factors, with modern formats used in mainstream scenarios such as:

  • HTML5-based entertainment on the web
  • Home movies captured using popular smartphones, point-and-shoot cameras, or AVC-HD cameras
  • Streaming music, movies, and TV shows from popular services

The tables below show the video and audio formats that have built-in support for Metro style apps. Formats recommended for use by Metro style apps are a reflection of deep partnerships with hardware manufacturers for predictable hardware acceleration across PC form factors and predictable end-to-end scenario performance beyond playback such as capture, streaming, and transcoding.

Media file and stream formats

Windows 8 has excellent support for MPEG-4, most typically comprised of H.264 video and AAC audio. Several popular codecs, including Divx and Xvid, implement the MPEG-4 Part 2 standard, so many of these files play great in Metro style apps. The same is true for modern MOV files, which are based on the MPEG-4 Part 12 standard, such as videos captured on iOS devices. Fragmented MPEG-4 and 2K/4K resolutions are now possible. We have previously talked about MPEG-2 and DVD playback, which is available in Windows 8 Media Center.

During the development of Windows 7 we talked quite a bit about CODEC support natively in Windows and the formats available through extensibility. Since then, the environment around CODECs has consistently moved towards a smaller set of well-defined and broadly-supported formats, particularly h.264 for video. Due to factors such as intellectual property and hardware support, this makes a great deal of sense. Even browsers are making this transition with HTML5. But we also recognize that some individuals have preferred formats for a variety of reasons, and we wanted to make sure Windows 8 app developers could choose to use the formats they prefer. Formats popular among the enthusiast community or with specific developers such as FLAC, MKV, and OGG, can have their own CODECs packaged as part of a Metro style app, since the Windows 8 media platform is highly extensible.

Auto-orientation of video

With the proliferation of video recording in traditional cameras, smartphones, and tablets, users can capture video while holding their device in either portrait or landscape mode – there is no “right-side-up” any longer, thanks to modern touch-based interfaces. Many of us have experienced the frustration of recording a video and realizing the camera was sideways or upside down only after viewing it on the PC. Since the video scan pattern is fixed, videos may not be oriented properly when viewed.

To overcome this problem, cameras are beginning to author orientation metadata in mainstream file formats such as MP4 and ASF when saving recorded video to storage.

Image appears sideways without metadata support, but appears correctly with metadata support

To ensure a terrific viewing experience of personal videos from Windows PCs, we’ve made the following improvements to address this problem:

  • Orientation metadata is now supported in MP4 and ASF (VC-1, WMV) videos.
  • Videos with orientation metadata are auto-rotated during playback.
  • The thumbnail for a video with orientation metadata is auto-rotated.
  • Metro style apps with video capture capabilities can easily read and author orientation metadata.

Premium content

Another area where we’ve invested heavily for Windows 8 is in allowing seamless playback of premium content. Although most of the video content consumed initially on the Internet was user generated, much of the growth in the Internet video space can now be attributed to “premium content,” which includes online movie purchases through on-demand streaming video, as well as the ad-supported TV offerings. According to IHS Screen Digest, 3.4 billion paid movies will be streamed online in the US in 2012—over double the number watched in 2011, and over a billion more movies than were consumed via DVD and Blu-Ray combined.

Premium video content has many of the same requirements as any other video content, but it also requires two substantial platform features in order to deliver the best experience: adaptive bitrate streaming and content protection.

Adaptive bitrate streaming

Adaptive bitrate streaming provides a smoother, more responsive video playback experience by enabling the PC to adapt to the most appropriate bitrate under varying networking and resource utilization conditions. As a result, startup and seek times can be significantly improved because the first few frames can be delivered at a lower bitrate to reduce buffering time and increase responsiveness. If network or device conditions change, the PC can negotiate a lower or higher bitrate to minimize buffering or increase video quality.

Through the extensibility of the Media Foundation Platform in Windows 8, apps can have custom media sources and adaptive bitrate media sources to support new formats. Custom media sources and streaming protocols can also take advantage of hardware offload and content protection.

The Windows Azure Media Services team is using our extensibility model to build the Smooth Streaming Client SDK for Metro style apps. Smooth Streaming is Microsoft’s initiative to deliver high quality multi-bitrate content and enable Video-on-demand, Live, Linear TV, and Download-and-Play.

Content protection

Most premium Internet video content services choose to apply content protection, which is often a requirement from the content owners (e.g. movie studios or TV networks). To enable the playback of protected content in Metro style apps, Microsoft is making available the PlayReady Client SDK for premium content services. PlayReady supports download as well as streaming, and the above-mentioned IIS Smooth Streaming Client SDK integrates seamlessly with the PlayReady Client SDK to allow services to easily build protected streaming experiences.

We recognize that there are other content protection technologies being used today in the industry. Just like with adaptive streaming, the Media Foundation extensibility model allows for third parties to integrate their custom content protection systems with built-in hardware-accelerated video decoding. If a service needs to use a custom streaming format or content protection system, it can integrate its own technology without having to compromise on decoding quality or battery runtime.

In summary, Windows 8 will enable a wider offering of premium content services for customers to choose from and enjoy on their Windows 8 devices, providing a great streaming and downloaded experience as well as great battery life when watching premium HD video content.

Seamless audio transitions

As Windows 8 enables a multitude of media scenarios, we wanted to make sure that transitioning between these scenarios was as seamless and fluid as possible. Users often run into overlapping audio-based activities – for example, while listening to a music streaming service, they attempt to watch a video clip. We wanted to provide a clean, uncluttered audio experience that would make it easier and simpler for you to listen to the content you want, when you want it.

In Windows 8, instead of mixing all audio content and sending the resulting (often incoherent) stream to the speakers, Windows can pause a stream when a second stream is played and when it makes sense to do so. In most cases, Windows prioritizes audio coming from the app that is in the foreground. When you move the app to the background, the system quiets the stream. An example is a game app where you likely don’t want to listen to game audio when you’ve switched away from the game. However, there are cases where this is not the desired behavior – for example, if you’re listening to music in the background while checking email or surfing the web. To enable these scenarios and to allow you to hear background audio when it makes sense, we’ve introduced stream types that reflect the type of audio being played.

Below is a list of different stream types, along with an example of the type of content expected for each stream.

Audio category

Example streams

Background
capable?

Background capable media

Local and streaming audio playlists

Yes

Foreground only media

Movies, games

No

Communications

Skype, Voice-over-IP, live chatting

Yes

Alerts

Alarms, ringing notifications

No

Game media

Background music played by a game

No

Game effects

Gun shots, explosions, characters talking, all non-music sounds

No

Sound effects

Button confirmation sounds, beeps, dings

No

Other

Default audio type, and recommended for all audio media that does not need to continue playing in the background.

No

Bringing the media experience to additional screens

In Windows 7, we announced Play To, which you can use to stream media files to supported external devices from Windows Explorer and Windows Media player. In Windows 8, Play To makes it even easier and simpler to share personal media collections and HTML5 media with Play-To-enabled devices at home. Our focus for Play To was to create rich social experiences built around personal content – like sharing photos with family and friends, streaming music for a party, or watching user-generated videos from the Internet. The experience has been designed from the ground up to integrate tightly with HTML5 from existing websites and your personal media collections, whether they’re stored in the local library of a Windows PC or tablet, on another home PC or network-attached media server, or on a web server in the cloud.

Play To is now easier to discover and will deliver a consistent, high quality experience from a multitude of Metro style apps. A few of the improved user experiences include:

  • Improved setup: On home networks (or HomeGroup) where you’ve allowed sharing, Play To devices are automatically discovered and installed on your PC.
  • Improved device experience: Metro style apps work only with Windows certified Play To receivers. These devices are validated to support modern media formats, are DLNA standards-compliant, and have great performance (including the updated Xbox 360 available later this year). The desktop experience first introduced in Windows 7 has been added to the Explorer Ribbon and will continue to support all DLNA DMR devices.
  • Easier discovery: Play To is accessible from the Devices charm, making it easy to initiate from any app that supports Play To. Just swipe in from the right edge (or point your mouse to the top-right corner), select the Devices charm, and then select the device you want to stream to.
  • Integrated into Metro style IE: IE allows you to stream HTML5 music, video, and photos from the web to your devices.
  • Works with the new Music, Video, and Photo apps: Apps can stream photos from a variety of sources and personal music and video collections.

Video on a tablet PC with Devices pane, playing the same video on a second screen

Play To from the Videos app

We have also focused heavily on making it easy for developers to use Play To in their apps and websites – the functionality is available to all Metro style apps via the Play To contract. The XBox 360 will support Play To in an update later this year.

Emerging media capabilities

Windows is enabling support for new content types for consumption and increased flexibility for content creation and communication. Stereo 3D, accessibility, and DSP effects are three examples of how we are enabling great multimedia experiences on Windows 8

Experiencing stereo 3D video

Over the last few years, the Stereo 3D (S3D) market has evolved from hype to finished consumer products. S3D provides a 3D viewing experience by displaying two overlapping copies of a video (captured from different angles), which appear as a single 3D video when viewed with 3D glasses. Our goal is to enable a viable S3D ecosystem for Windows by enabling key gaming and video playback scenarios on a platform that abstracts away the specifics of the 3D technology from the end-user’s PC.

In Windows 8, S3D support is available on DirectX 10 or higher GPUs with compatible drivers. A S3D-compatible display is needed to see S3D content. We wanted to make sure that Windows would support a wide range of display technologies with a consistent user experience, and make it easy for software and hardware to develop on our platform. As a result, specific S3D display technologies are largely made irrelevant by the graphics drivers, and a consistent set of APIs are available to apps using stereo 3D.

The Windows 8 media platform provides support for standards-compliant media formats for S3D video. H.264 video with frame-packing metadata represented as Supplemental Enhancement Information (SEI) is the typical format being adopted for online delivery, and is therefore the desirable S3D video format in Windows 8. The frame-packing formats that we support natively in the platform include both side-by-side and top-and-bottom arrangements, as in the illustration below.

2 images displayed side by side, and 2 images stacked vertically

Windows 8 supports a range of stereo 3D input formats, including side-by-side and top-bottom.

Delivering accessible media experiences in the web platform

Media accessibility is an important part of the Windows promise to our customers, especially for users with accessibility needs.

Subtitles provide interpretive or additional information to viewers who prefer a written transcript, those who need to see a translation in a different language, or those who need to see a transcript due to limited hearing ability.

Still video image with subtitles, video controls, and subtitle options: Off / English / German

Video playback in Windows 8 with subtitles

The web community has worked together through W3C to specify the best ways to deliver the subtitling experience through all modern web platforms. These include the following:

  • The <track> element can carry subtitle and closed captions for the HTML5 video tag. This feature is now incorporated into Windows 8. Subtitle support is now available through the video tag in IE10 and in apps using HTML.
  • User controls are available on the default media controls of the video tag.
  • There is native support for the WebVTT and SMPTE-TT formats that are commonly found in the web community and with partners in the TV and broadcasting industries.
  • The Windows 8 media platform provides support for multiple audio tracks within a media source. Users can switch audio tracks to their preferred language, and tracks can also be used for audio descriptions for sight-impaired users. Metro style apps can now easily switch between audio tracks or even play multiple audio tracks simultaneously, for instance, a normal audio track plus an audio description.

Standard video controls, plus language options: English, Hindi, Chinese, Polish

Video playback in Windows 8 with multiple audio tracks

Adding effects to the media pipeline

The Windows 8 media platform has been designed to adapt easily. One way that we’ve done this is by allowing effects (often referred to as digital signal processing, or DSP) to be added to the pipeline. We’ve included several built-in effects, like image stabilization and horizontal flipping (which is useful for webcam preview), and we’ve also made it easy for applications to plug in to the Media Foundation pipeline with custom effects. In addition, we’ve made sure that media data can pass through the pipeline efficiently, thus minimizing the performance and power impact of adding DSPs.

Summary

The Windows 8 media platform is designed to deliver a fluid and responsive media experience with great battery life. We’ve engineered Windows to give you a great user experience across a broad set of scenarios, including voice communication, audio and video playback, and streaming content. As media applications continue to evolve, the media platform in Windows will enable these experiences to shine across all Windows 8 PCs.

I’ll close now with a video that walks you through some of the highlights of the new media platform.

–Scott


Download this video to view it in your favorite media player:
High quality MP4 | Lower quality MP4

Comments (116)

  1. 600p says:

    Metro sucks on Desktop! +1

    Everybody who agree …  post the same comment.

  2. krishg says:

    Awesome post. Thanks for all the details.

  3. Darren says:

    "Media accessibility is an important part of the Windows promise to our customers, especially for users with accessibility needs."

    What is your promise to customers with red-green blindness? Will they be able to change the colour of the tiles or do they have to unfortunately stick with red and green tiles if chosen by the developer of an app?

  4. Walup says:

    @600p

    Do you really think you will change something with posting this piece of crap?

  5. Vini says:

    Reminds me Apple AirPlay…….

  6. @620p

    If you don't like it, keep on using Win7, and, PLEASE, stop trolling!

  7. @Vini

    I've been using Play To in windows 7 for some time, and it works fine. All you need is a DLNA enabled TV.

  8. domenicoav says:

    SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER !!!

  9. 600p says:

    @Pedro Roque you will see that a lot of people will stick with windows 7, ignoring 8, and in SP1 of windows 8 you will be able to disable Metro, I think so…

    Look in the previous post how many comment re-posting the same comment…

    But the feature of decoding videos faster is rocking! :)

  10. Developer of Recorded TV HD for Media Center says:

    Are developers going to be able to play WTV files (Recorded TV from Media Center) through Metro Apps? Thanks!

  11. Someguy says:

    @600p

    What do you think how many people like Metro and are not posting something in the comments?

    Stick with Win7 or go with Linux or Mac and thats fine but this spamming is annoying.

  12. Eli says:

    It's very good!

    I think that you need to add more animations for windows 8, and also make the exist more fluid.

  13. The new volume thingy breaks MCE remotes, I have a RC6 ir remote and the volume & mute buttons don't work anymore

  14. andrewz says:

    Those "under the hood" tweaks are fine, but from the user perspective, there is a lot to improve. http://www.youtube.com/watch

    P.S.: Although I browse with IE10, I had to write this comment for two times. The first one was not accepted.

  15. @600p

    In case you didn't notice, this is a post about the Media stack in windows 8.

    Lots of people skipped Windows 7 and stuck with XP. Microsoft is doing the right thing. If they want to break away with past, they just can't base their decisions on customer feedback. I remember when MS went from NT 4.0 to NT 2000, people weren't exactly happy, but it resulted in the biggest success.

  16. Matt Sharpe says:

    These improvements are all well and good, but utterly useless for me and my collection of DVDs :-(

  17. @Matt Sharpe

    DVD? What's a DVD? Just kidding! :)

    I'm sure the VLC folks will step up to the plate and develop a Metro version.

  18. Elie says:

    Metro sucks on Desktop! +1

    Everybody who agree …  post the same comment.

  19. Billy82 says:

    Metro sucks on Desktop! +1

    Even if it's desktop with touchscreen!

  20. Metro bashing trolls suck on any blog +1

  21. RBJ says:

    And still no MKV support.

    Lame.

  22. pure says:

    @Pedro: I don't agree. Microsoft is not necessarily doing the right thing, they're doing the Apple thing now, and they'd better listen to customer feedback because otherwise no one might be happy with the results of their work and won't buy their products. Windows is exceptional in this case in that it usually comes pre-installed with new PCs and the customer doesn't have any choice. But there's also a chance that many OEMs will downgrade their systems to Windows 7 once Windows 8 is out for a few months if it is not well-anticipated, just the same way they did with XP when Vista came out and no one liked it. Although it will be still a success in sales (and, frankly, this is but the only thing that seems to count for Microsoft) that way, it is a failure for all the effort they put in developing this technology. Again, this release is focused on consumer users, or more precise: consumer users withs Tablet PCs. The business is left behind right now, and I wonder how Microsoft is dealing with it with the version of Windows that follows 8.

  23. Dear Microsoft Team,

    It says in the blog that it will be possible to integrate mkv Support into Metro apps. But will it be possible to use mkv for PlayTo? If not, well then i'm kind of sad that i still can't use it :(

    So please make it possible to extend the PlayTo functionality with new codecs, or just support mkv :)

  24. erix says:

    That post is all about consuming media. No doubt Win8 will be optimized for that.

    But what about creating media?

    For instance, Win 7 introduced a huge latency in audio recording.

    Pro musicians didn't care because they are using ASIO cards and drivers.

    It seems there is no more support for ASIO drivers in Win8, right?

    And no support for MIDI?

    Did yo decide to ignore the music market?

  25. David says:

    I think it's a shame that Windows still doesn't support Blu-Ray playback natively. It seems like all efforts are focused on streaming media. Yeah, you can say physical media is so yesterday and streaming is the future, but show me one example of streaming media with quality on par with Blu-Ray.

  26. Performance improvements are always welcome. Especially, because Microsoft's products lagged a great deal in efficiency in the past. I hope those days have gone.

    What about a comparison between iOS and Windows 8 devices when using the same hardware? I would be really interested in an comparison of the battery lives.

  27. Waseem says:

    @ Scott and team

    So is the play-to be limited to videos? or can windows 8 mirror the screen to other devices?

    Also is the current generation Xbox capable of mirroring, or at least capable of video play-to?

  28. Per L. says:

    Cool Microsoft. Keep up the good Work.

    I love optimizations. make everything run smoother and faster thats the way.

    Do some more cool media Things. Make a Metro Media Center and open up the WTV format, so it is more easy to edit.

  29. Thanks for all the hard work Microsoft!

    I do have a question tough: In multi-monitor mode, when I am in desktop mode in the primary monitor and then I am looking for something in the Start screen in the secondary display, why when I focus the cursor back to the desktop, the Start screen disappears and only a solid background color stays. Why I can the second monitor just default to desktop as the primary?

    Thanks,

  30. I watch anime a lot. It is pretty much my only free time activity. The problem is, that most anime is not available through "official" channels. So most anime use formats, that are not normally suported. At least not yet. So my question is: is Metro media pipeline extensible to the point of adding new media encoders (H264 Hi10p), new container decoders(Matroska), new subtitle decoders and renderers (ASS) and audio codecs (FLAC). It is fine on desktop. But my question is mainly about Metro and especialy ARM version of Windows.

  31. 600p says:

    Metro is a star on Desktop! +1

    Everybody who agree …  post the same comment.

  32. Idea: I think it can be understood that mouse pointer navigation in the Metro interface isn't the best (Metro isn't a 1-for-1 example of WIMP — windows, icons, menus, pointer).

    So I was thinking — how about mouse-guided tiles/menu/object selector navigation? To navigate, imagine a highlighted-bold box (that contrasts with the theme to stand out) around the "thing" you are moving across. Move right enough, and the move will "select" the next element. It can be inertial and acceleration based, so move quickly to a direction and the selector moves that speed. (The acceleration should be a setting the user can change because mouse tracking settings vary a lot.) The selector should also cover up a sizable portion of the tile's corners to make it stand out a bit. (If an app has a notification or something on the corner, maybe that can be blended/bumped up once the selector appears over it?)

    If there aren't any more tiles (or if you move fast enough — maybe gesture based?) — you get the charms menu or the elements on top (like login/user and stuff). For Metro apps that need a mouse pointer (and not a mouse "selector" thing), then just give it to them and let them use it how is currently behaves.

    It is still precision mouse navigation, but can cover more area with less effort. (While it may not be necessarily "faster," the perception that you are covering more area each mouse over makes users happier.) The Metro interface isn't like the traditional desktop, so we have to stop treating it like such. This also perpetuates the Metro-tile object concept (with a tile-like selector over it); its not exactly an icon.

    (Admittedly, I don't think the "go all the way to a side to activate a settings menu" is the best thing — maybe it can work with the selector selecting a corner, click, and then navigate according to that? What if I want to quit out of a menu? I don't know … Middle click or double click?)

    Any opinions? I know its a bit late, but I think this would improve usability a lot for mouse-based navigation on Metro. Please take it into consideration?

  33. It seems quite crazy that Windows 8 won't be able to play .MPG files (MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video) out of the box. Binning DVD playback is one thing but .MPG files are still pretty common, even though .MP4 is taking over for most newly-created content.

    There's a lot of great stuff here, all the same, but what could have been a hugely positive story is hampered by other decisions which seem so unnecessary. Which pretty much sums up Windows 8 as a whole, thinking about it.

  34. Extending my comment from (blogs.msdn.com/…/building-a-rich-and-extensible-media-platform.aspx)

    So, essentially, if there is whitespace/unclickable areas, the selector would just pass right through it onto the next "selectable thing." Or maybe it can just become a mouse pointer again, doing a selector-pointer-selector-pointer transition over different the Metro interface. (Once it's a selector, it won't need to pass through as many pixels as a mouse — improving mouse-travel distance?)

  35. Metro sucks on desktop, +1

    Fight the power my brothers!

  36. Shahroom says:

    Great job and thank you for the details… I like everything you explained but I have a concern about background tasks. Many people(including me) run Video Musics from Youtube or other video sites in their browser and go to other applications to do their work while listening to music. I guess cusrrent design classifies this media as Streaming Movie and it's not possible to listen to the music from youtube while IE is not in the foreground… Should we expect any fix for this problem in final release? Thanks….

  37. Daniel says:

    Metro sucks on desktop! +1

  38. Adams says:

    Metro sucks on desktop! +1

    I will get a Mac, because Metro is terrible.

  39. Adam says:

    Hi everybody,

    I think, you don't exactly have to like everything from MS, but you must admit, that if you've spent some time playing with Win8RP from the user experience point, it is actually great considering, there will be other improvements to the desktop UI (I suppose it will support high DPI density screens better?)

    The improvements in hardware acceleration in video playback are great. But the post doesn't cover any technical details.

    Scott, could you please elaborate on the technology further? Are you using the DirectX capabilities? (Which?) When encoding/ transcoding movie files with a use of some API'S (the faster encode thing) are you utilizing Direct Compute or OPEN CL? Or something totally different like Intel QuickSync or a combination of those technologies?

    Could you also shortly cover, if there is any possbility to convert FLAC files to WMA Lossless to be able to sync huge libraries of quality music to Windows Phone through Zune at all? There is no difference between FLAC and WMA Lossless from the quality point of view, but there is no app nor any desktop program that can batch convert FLAC to WMA Lossless. I am searching for a tool like this for years. I have tried Foobar 2000 + Windows Media Encoder 9, I have used also dbpoweramp but it doesn't work!

    I am not able to convert everything to WAV and then to WMA Lossless either. I also don't want to convert only to WMA, because I just want to keep one copy of the same music. (My library is legally obtained from CD's I posses or FLAC files I bought on-line. I have thousands of files…)

    Is there any way to implement a simple yet powerful FLAC to WMA Lossless Metro app?

    Thank you for any suggestions besides 'Just bing/google it' because that is, what I have done for years asking on various forums etc.

  40. MPG says:

    I agree with LeoDavidson. When people upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8, they'll find out that they can't open their videos anymore. I can imagine how disappointed they will be.

  41. far says:

    Metro sucks on desktop! +1

  42. METRO HATER says:

    Metro Metrooooo Metrooooooooo Metroooooooo MEEEEETROOOOO IS THE PROBLEM!!!! I don't want METRO CRAP IN MY OS!.

  43. Wow , someone doesn't have anything better to do than troll this blog…

  44. @600p

    If you really think "Metro sucks on the Desktop! +1" then how about you give us a compelling argument and a good list if reasons why that is, and then maybe someone will take your comment seriously.

  45. Bob says:

    Also

    Metro sucks on desktop, +1

  46. JF says:

    Hello Scott, I have one concern: The RC brings up a neat "Play on Xbox" button on the app bar, which unfortunately works only with Zune content. When Xbox gets full DLNA support, will there then be two separate interfaces to play content on the Xbox, one through the app bar, the other through devices, all depending on whether the file is from Zune or not?

    Here's what I hope happens: on a non-Zune content file, Windows enables the "Play on Xbox" button and launches the file through DLNA. In fact, going through devices should also enable playback of Zune content through SmartGlass if that's the case.

    The point is, the user shouldn't have to care where the content is coming from. The scenario is a simple "Play this file onto my TV through my Xbox" and Windows should be clever enough to choose the proper method of distribution and play the file successfully.

  47. Neticis says:

    Considering what a resource hog were Windows Vista and 7, would be interesting to compare performance to Windows XP.

  48. Bob says:

    You know, after seriously considering all the neat things metro does, and thinking about all the work Microsoft put into making metro, I take back my comment "Metro sucks on desktop, +1". My opinion might be that metro sucks, but that doesn't speak for everyone, and I apologize for trolling and making the blog less enjoyable. Maybe I'll even get a windows live ID so I can make more reliable comments.

  49. small_mountain says:

    Regarding Play To:  I found Play To to be utterly unusable in Windows 7.  I have a DLNA-compatible Onkyo receiver, but I was never able to get my computer to send music to it.  I could control it from the receiver, but the UI was absolutely horrendous.

    By the way, who is the marketing genius that decided this should be named DLNA?  This is a product for *consumers*, not computer geeks. It took me a week to realize what it even was.

    So I bought Apple TV 2 and connected that to my receiver, and within about 10 minutes I was having exactly the sort of music experience I had dreamed of.  Apple TV was the first Apple product in my home other than iPods.

    The mistake of DLNA was requiring all these different TV's and receivers to incorporate support.  Apple properly applied separation of concerns and ended up with a $99 device that supports any TV or receiver with an available HDMI input (and you can even go analog with a $30 D/A converter).  Support for DLNA in the XBox is a good step, but why do I have to buy a gaming system to stream music to my home theater?  Where is the $99 DLNA device?

    The other coup for Apple TV came when I bought my wife an iPad.  The Remote app for the iPad allows me to control iTunes on my Windows PC from her iPad, plus the Onkyo Receiver iPad app allows me to control my receiver from the iPad.  So now, when I'm downstairs (Onkyo is upstairs), from the iPad I can turn on the Onkyo receiver, switch it to Zone 2, pick a playlist from iTunes on my Windows PC to play, and control the volume.  Throw in a Phillips Air Play speaker in the master bathroom, and I can play my iTunes there as well.  And this is wireless, which has much longer reach than Bluetooth.  I'm not going to bring my music sources into the bathroom with me.

    When I see a demo showing all of these things in place on Windows 8, I'll consider moving my music ecosystem back to Windows.  It's going to be tough to displace iPad/Apple TV at this point, though.

    Eric

  50. Microsoft says that the desktop isn't "legacy" but I notice the "Microsoft PlayReady Client SDK" which will allow developers to use all these new abilities is ONLY for Metro. Soon you won't be able to stream a movie that isn't fullscreen. Its so frustrating that all the niche abilities that made Windows a good fit for everyone are dissapearing.

  51. jeorge says:

    @Bob

    good job!

  52. andrewz says:

    Happy-Dude: I agree, the current state sucks. This is how I would do it: http://www.youtube.com/watch .

    It's sad that these elementary things are not done well yet. :-(

  53. Adam says:

    If you wan't to talk crap about Metro, go somewhere else. Nothing is going to happen, because that is a strategy by MS, which was done about 2 years ago, when the Windows Phone got into market… If you pollute this blog, you just prevent other people from asking important questions/ discussing or consulting ideas, which might have been omitted by Microsoft.

    You also have to think from the perspective of somebody, who spent 3 year working on a product. There isn't so much which is going to change in 2 months. It just isn't humanly possible!

    So just ask / discuss things, that are reasonable and don't troll.

    (And btw. you will see, Microsoft also thought about enterprise customers. MS still sells the most copies of Windows in productivity environments, which will explore Windows 8 as time goes on and find it better to manage. I can bet on that!)

    Btw. I have maybe found, what I've been looking for to some extend. I have googled again and the helium converter (although it doesn't mention it anywhere) supports WMA Lossless if you apply variable bitrate with quality set to 100 (max). I am still working on confirming that in the process, no information is lost.

  54. johnfrink says:

    What's with Windows 95-ish popup menus?

  55. Metro metro metro says:

    Hey kids!! you what time it is?!!!

    TIME FOR METRO METRO METROOOOOO

    http://www.youtube.com/watch

  56. de@iru.ch says:

    Sure hope you can bring those improvements, especially the improved seeking, over to the Xbox. It sure looks great!

    Is there a way for developers to extend the supported video formats and codecs of built-in applications? Because if not it's going to be a problem for me…

  57. Is Windows ever going to support voice and video communication over IP (intranet) right out of the box but in the home edition?

    Thanks,

    PS: Windows 8 Rocks!

  58. Adam says:

    I wanted to convert many, many files from FLAC to WMA Lossless so that Media Player and Zune know how to deal with those files. I also didn't want to lose any quality, so that's why I couldn't find any solution for a long time.

    So here is what I've done:

    I have downloaded the http://www.intermedia-software.com/…/helium-audio-converter

    Output format: WMA, encoder options: Vairable bitrate with quality set to 100

    To confirm, that no information was lost I did this:

    I put the original file (FLAC) into Audacity and inverted it in the effects menu.

    Then I had to convert the WMA Lossless file to WAVE, which Audacity understands. (If some information was lost, It would be just worse. I no information was lost in the process of converting, there wouldn't be any difference.)

    I mixed those files together. And the output was silence! (No difference in information.)

    To check the result even more precisely, I analysed the first 3 minutes of the file and it didn't find any sound – again, it confirms the good scenario!!!

    It has been so long, I couldn't listen to my favourite music in decent quality on my Windows Phone. I am really happy.

    This doesn't mean, somebody (me) couldn't write a tool to convert FLAC to WMA Lossless as a Metro style app for compatibility reasons.

    The only disadvantage is, the file is a bit larger (about 52 MB compared to 49 MB) because it uses less compression – still better than keeping a standard MP3 file for Zune (on the Windows Phone device) and a FLAC file for listening on computer.

  59. Even if "Metro sucks on desktop, +1", which it does W8 could be usable.  However if there is no support to mkv, mpg, flac, m4v and m4a there is no reason to spend my money on Microsoft's media solution.  I use VLC on W7.

  60. JF says:

    @AZJack I don't think W7 shipped with native codecs for mkv, flac, m4v or m4a either. You're free to use VLC or install other codecs (or run apps that support the extra codecs on WinRT) in Windows 8.

  61. techy46 says:

    Microsoft could you please add a filter to eliminate duplicate posts or all posts that contain the juvenile  remark "Metro sucks"

  62. xson says:

    For user in Asia, i think Windows 8 should support mkv and external subtitle in the Video App

    It is very common for Asia user!!

  63. changeishardformorons says:

    Sick of all these trolls in here. All these major improvements shown in the video and all they care about is bitching how metro sucks. Install Classic Shell and shut the hell up. Move on, live with it, nothing stays the same forever.

  64. Pol says:

    @techy46

    Microsoft could you please add a filter to eliminate duplicate posts or all posts that contain the juvenile  remark "Microsoft could you please add a filter to eliminate duplicate posts or all posts that contain the juvenile  remark "Metro sucks"

  65. Windows8isgoodforblindedfanatics says:

    @changeishardformorons

    "Sick of all these trolls in here. All these major improvements shown in the video and all they care about is bitching how metro sucks. Install Classic Shell and shut the hell up. Move on, live with it, nothing stays the same forever."

    And I'm sick about all the Windows 8 blinded fanatics, and thos who cannot tolerate that WE HATE METRO!.

  66. Jeff says:

    MKV is not a codec, it's a file format. Those files still contain standard H.264 video and AAC audio. It will be up to a Metro app to pull the relevant data out of the MKV container for the Media Foundation framework to play.

  67. I like the new Media platform a lot. It's modern and cool. Especially the new Play-To feature is amazing.

    Are you planning to include a CD-ripping feature in the Music app? That feature is still important!

    Otherwise i cannot say goodbye Windows Media Player 😉

  68. Lilo says:

    @techy46

    Yeah we know how much do you love Windows 8 but some others don't like it, it's that hard to understand?

  69. Livio says:

    Did you finally fix ID3 tags support? No support for "CD number" tag is a big shame in WMP in Windows 7…

  70. paragliding video says:

    Hi i want this paragliding video, which you have shown so often. Would be nice.

  71. Richard says:

    Its not 'majority of users' its mostly same guy sending messages from different alias. If you wana decide wheter you like Windows 8 or not, give it a try and make your own impressions. These creeping trolls (paid by some bullsh*t company) are plauging you and have no idea about anything.

    Go away trolls. Metro rocks +1

  72. Richard says:

    @Microsoft Media team, please provide us a builtin feature to download subtitles from open-subtitle-database within the box. For reference, please check out KLite-MPC (click file>subtitles>download-subtitles).

    @Steven Sinofsky, please delete the bashing comments. +1

  73. WMP for Windows 8? says:

    What will happen to Windows Media Player? I don't want to be in the Metro environment just to view a photo, listen to a song or watch a video from Windows Explorer.

  74. Alexander Kellett says:

    Does this mean Windows 8 might finally get a system wide reliable equalizer?

  75. Aki says:

    Please add support for .mkv and .flv for the Video Metro App.

  76. Sansa says:

    I am using Bluetooth speaker with windows 8 and experience I am seeing is not great. It works like shown in the video. I can connect to the Bluetooth device and play the audio from it. Yes, the audio moves back to the computer speaker if I disconnect the Bluetooth device. However, problem starts if I want to re-connect to the Bluetooth device. I do not see any way to established connection to the previously added devices.  I have to remove it and add again (PAINFUL). In windows phone I would see the device in the list and just press the device name and it will connect. In windows 8 there is no option like that. It does not list Bluetooth device under play to source. I believe it will only list DLNA devices. Ideally I would like to see it there so I can send the audio to Bluetooth speakers like any other DLNA devices.

    Am I missing something or this is how it supposed to work? Please, please fix it. Don’t make me move to other system.

  77. Lop says:

    @Richard

    You Mad?

  78. Future Apple Customer says:

    Meanwhile at Apple….

    http://www.apple.com/…/mountain-lion

    A real OS is given to customers.

  79. I don't like Metro says:

    "(paid by some bullsh*t company)"

    Yeah, sure… Paranoic.

  80. I don't like Metro says:

    I sold my loyalty for $2… coz im a cheap b a s t a r d   😎

  81. NPeete says:

    You should really consider supporting some popular containers (eg. MKV) by default. I understand it is available through codecs, but simplicity what comes with Metro is not compatible with "you can extend what you want" idea.

  82. Lop says:

    @Future Apple Customer, i appreciate your liberty, but you dont have to tell everyone about uor orientations.. You said mountain lion is "A real OS" really? can you install it on desktops and laptops  ranging from Pentium-III (1Ghz cpu) to core i7)?? Can you install on ARM too?? You are definitely one crazy troll out there!

  83. Richard says:

    Im such a blinded fanatic, I love my master, Ballmer.

  84. Richard says:

    Please Sinofsky, these trolls are making me feel bad, Im crying, please remove their comments, :( Im such a loyal fanatic to my master Ballmer.

  85. Future Apple Customer says:

    ilove you iRichard.

  86. Future Apple Customer says:

    steveeeee i miss uor cockooo! :(

  87. JF says:

    On the topic of media, will playback controls be more easily available in the final build? (volume, play/pause/skip)

    Another issue with codecs is that when a user does require one that isn't natively supported in Windows, users must search online for it. It seems many people are taking advantage of this to spread malware. Can a section of the app store contain these extensions?

  88. Can someone explain if Microsoft has plans to extend SmartGlass to be able to stream any content across from a Windows Phone/Windows 8 device to XBox/Windows 8 PC?

  89. Richard says:

    HEREEE IS BALLMER!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch

    WHAT'S NEXT?…. METROOO METROOO METROOOO

  90. Angry Microsoft User and Ballmer Hater says:

    slogan before Steve Ballmer:   "Microsoft – where do you want to go today?"

    ..and when Steve Ballmer replaced Bill Gates: "Microsoft – is it going to work today?"

  91. Future Apple Customer says:

    @Richard, You know I am mad because when MS announced W8, my bed-partner Steve Job died! :( I will never forgive MS for that one and keep trolling on every forum…

  92. RM says:

    @Richard

    They've metroized the Ballmer monkeyboy dance. Try looking on youtube for the NDC 2012 Azure Dancing Girls. And cringe at the horror.

    @WindowsTeam

    Really lads and lasses. CAT scans for management. stat.

  93. RM says:

    and Jobs was a mischevious conspirator but he was …. Fury!… Fury in my head and Fury in my bed! Thats why I love him forever..

  94. Den says:

    Metro sucks on Desktop!

  95. drano says:

    just goes to show how juvenile users of other platforms really are. i guess it is so boring and ugly for them that they have to come to these blogs to troll.

    anyways,for the person complaining about MPEG2, are you serious? this wont affect %98 of windows users. its legacy. youre always free to download the codec from a 3rd party,but it isnt required to be part of windows. id rather they remove all the bloat and only keep whats needed.

    the same with blueray,dvd,mkv,etc… just because its not built it doesnt mean its not available. thats what third party applications are for. microsoft is giving you the foundation,like this great media stack. stop complaining for the sake of complaining.

  96. Woof says:

    So you improved the Media Platform but you don't improve Windows Media Player and make new metro style apps FOR Music and Video.

  97. RM says:

    @drano, stop whining. No one can win over Apple!! Microsoft sucks.. thats for sure and we are here to enlighten people… its a public service we are doing.. also Apple dont need customer's opinion to make stuff they just deliver it !

  98. I assure you, I'm not the same guy as 600p, and I'm not trolling. I truly and honestly do feel that metro sucks on desktops. Hard and deep.

  99. RM says:

    @Rodalpho, bor metro and microsoft both sucks hard and deep! please quit using microsoft products.. switch hotmail with gmail.. windows live sucks too :) avi format sucks coz it was developed by microsoft.. anything coming from microsoft sucks.. skype too!

  100. Xoon says:

    @Alexander Kellett

    I'm with Alex.  Zune software is unusable because it lacks an equalizer.  All the fancy graphics and geegaw…pointless fluff, without an equalizer.

    So will Windows 8 get an equalizer, or are equalizers too "dated and cheesy"?

    Btw, the gui colors in Visual Studio and Active Directory Administrative Center are dull, drab, boring and will push people on Abilify to commit suicide.  PLEASE do not push this depressing design style into other products.  The missing Start button is bad enough, now we have to suffer through this GUI Nihilism "experience" too…

  101. Pol says:

    @Rodalpho

    Si pero para ellos somos trolls, nos ven como usuarios de Apple trolleando, peor la verdad es que estoy sentado con mi maquina usando Windows 7, usandola con bastante mas fluidez que la que tengo con Windows 8 uso las dos para ver el desempeño que tienen, y honestamente no es por odio irracional, pero Windows 8 es un completo estorbo, solo las funciones "escondidas" son las que de verdad merecen reconocimiento, pero la maldita experiencia en Metro es un asco, aparte que en el diseño y el uso de los colores es torpe, lo mas asqueante es que de esta gente salgan comentarios como que "Aero look" esta pasado de moda… EN SERIO?

    Que mas sofistiquez que tenia el "Aero look", están tan cegados con el fanatismo y les molestan las opiniones contrarias, Microsoft se esta volviendo un fastidio y no queremos convertirnos en usuarios de Apple pero parece que es la opción menos peor, Microsoft pudo haber hecho un buen trabajo tras bastidores pero en el uso de la maldita interfaz Metro han sido torpes, nadie quiere tener una experiencia "mobil" en una PC, ese ha sido el principal motivo de que muchos odiemos Windows 8. No puedes unir dos cosas distintas en una. Y menos haciéndola tan mal como es Windows 8.

  102. JF says:

    @Xoon, Instead of posting this on an irrelavant platform, support the community by voting on the feature request: visualstudio.uservoice.com/…/2623017-add-some-color-to-visual-studio-11

    Or you are just another troll?

  103. Pol says:

    @Rodalpho

    Si pero para ellos somos trolls, nos ven como usuarios de Apple trolleando, peor la verdad es que estoy sentado con mi maquina usando Windows 7, usandola con bastante mas fluidez que la que tengo con Windows 8 uso las dos para ver el desempeño que tienen, y honestamente no es por odio irracional, pero Windows 8 es un completo estorbo, solo las funciones "escondidas" son las que de verdad merecen reconocimiento, pero la mald*ta experiencia en Metro es un asco, aparte que en el diseño y el uso de los colores es torpe, lo mas asqueante es que de esta gente salgan comentarios como que "Aero look" esta pasado de moda… EN SERIO?

    Que mas sofistiquez que tenia el "Aero look", están tan cegados con el fanatismo y les molestan las opiniones contrarias, Microsoft se esta volviendo un fastidio y no queremos convertirnos en usuarios de Apple pero parece que es la opción menos peor, Microsoft pudo haber hecho un buen trabajo tras bastidores pero en el uso de la mald*ta interfaz Metro han sido torpes, nadie quiere tener una experiencia "mobil" en una PC, ese ha sido el principal motivo de que muchos odiemos Windows 8. No puedes unir dos cosas distintas en una. Y menos haciéndola tan mal como es Windows 8.

  104. Pol says:

    It's funny the only thing that look "dated and cheesy" is Windows 8 Metro Ui. Aero Look was & is better.

  105. Good lord the wankers  are going crazy , they are losing it over metro. The closer windows 8 gets ,the more they seem to troll.

  106. @Pol: Sorry, I don't speak Portuguese, but from what I could get out of google translate, you're saying you agree that metro doesn't belong on the desktop, and you aren't an apple fanboy.

    I don't even own a mac, and I love windows 7. I'm typing this on windows7. I'm not being paid by some competitor, and I have no hidden agenda. I'm not looking to troll up these comments. I honestly and profoundly hate metro on the desktop. Really, I do!

  107. Mark says:

    The more you write it, the more I like Metro :)

  108. I'm a registered user,

    i'm not payed from noone to post negative feedbacks

    negative feedbacks all around here, Microsoft is just ignoring it…

    Bugs are well presented around the web, and some not yet solved in RC stage

    Still missing/buggy or "no comment" about a drivers be compatible with Windows 8 from some important manifacturers.

    I'm testing 8 from the beginning, classic shell is having a enormous success, Windows 8 without metro and with classic shell is faster, light, a MORE THAN EXCELLENT W7 sp2.

    Trolls are just suggesting to MS to change Titanic route before it is too late….

    Trolls(REAL UNHAPPY USERS-TESTER-DEVELOPERS) are just loosing nothing, (better they keep money in their wallet)

    Microsoft maybe will feel bad about no money earnings….

    OEM will feel worse….

    You have repeated million times "maximizing battery life" wtf does it mean for desktops?

    Your fu***ing telemetry says how many people uses battery with Notebook  when available a AC plug??

    A pc battery has a life of charging, so…..

    reducing power consumption of desktops?????

    your telemetry says which is average use of energy of a PC???

    OH my god….. With windows 7, XP, linux, i pay too much money to energy SP for using my PC when watching blue rays that i cannot survive at the end of the month!

    Thanks Microsoft, now you'll save my life with Metro, Metro, Metro…….

    Metro is just a big effort called spoilty fashion that will last for some time…..

    …. than be forgotten as fast as Seven will be a next choice for all XP user….

    Enterprises will definitely adopt 7(you know all enterprises blocks all internet access from non working ambient apps- programs???? so all your beautiful Metro Apps will be not considered as App store will be blocked by default, otherwise employees do not work – IT enterprise rules)

    Microsoft will anyway get lot of money……with W7 of course!!!

  109. Pol says:

    @Rodalpho

    Don't worry Is spanish, but the main reason I wrote that, is that Im not a "troll" btw using the word troll to someone who thinks different is not a good use of the word.

    I don't feel that Microsoft or Apple are making good OS, I even feel that there are betters ideas out there, I work with Graphic Design and Media, It's not easy to me to work on Windows 8 beacuse the whole Metro UI, I don't understand why they are trying to merge two devices with an ugly Os, even visually is ugly, the color scheme looks ugly, I love Windows 7 I love the Aero look I dont even use the original theme, Im using a custom minimalist theme, without the ugly start orb, I made a minimalistic one, I don't understand the whole Metro Madness, and the fanatics. Give them their fancy ugly fashion named Metro ui and watch them being happy like kids.

  110. Xoon says:

    @JF

    Requesting an equalizer is trolling?  

    Now *this* is trolling –> Hiding the Start button is a huge mistake!!!!!

  111. Game Maker says:

    I'm still crossing my fingers that they will find some way to make XNA games work as Metro style apps.

  112. Martinus says:

    Changes are very noticeable. Noticeable improvements.

  113. Bluetooth audio... says:

    I hope Microsoft will add a settings feature to the Bluetooth devices to provide greater settings options.

    Currently I have Windows 8 Release Preview – a set of Nokia Play 360 speakers and a Bluetooth Dongle.

    This setup makes watching a video on windows 8 impossible – except if I use vlc player so I can change the audio sync issue.

    all audio that gets sent to the speakers (Bluetooth stereo) ends up with a -250 delay caused by the USB Bluetooth dongle – unfortunately Windows 8 and Windows 7 do not allow me to adjust these settings at all and makes it feel like there is something wrong with windows.

    Nokia offered no support in this respect and blamed the Bluetooth dongle – recent purchase after the Microsoft one I had with my wireless desktop 7000 had the same issue.

  114. I understand restricting the built-in codecs to a managable set, and it sounds like playback is going to be awesome.

    I have a couple of questions:  will downloaded codecs plug in to this new environment and work? We already know that a downloaded DVD decoder will not work inside of Media Player – are there other restrictions or if I download an MPEG1 codec, my Metro video player will happily play MPEG1 avi's?

    The entire blog entry specifically talks about Metro apps and their environment – are all of these same changes built in to the desktop environment as well?

  115. Place add a "Speed Control" to the Audio and Video apps.  I often listen to teachings/seminars etc. at 2 times speed.  For now I have to switch to the old media player for this.