Hardware accelerating everything: Windows 8 graphics


With Windows 8 we set out to enable all applications to have the beautiful and high-performance graphics enabled by modern graphics hardware.  This work builds on the well-established foundations of DirectX graphics, which have been providing an increasing breadth of APIs and capabilities. In Windows 7, we expanded the capabilities of DirectX to provide a common hardware-accelerated graphics platform for a broader range of applications. Whereas previously, DirectX mainly provided 3-D graphics, we added functionality for what we call “mainstream” graphics. Mainstream uses center on the typical desktop applications most people find themselves using every day, including web browsers, email, calendars, and productivity applications.  Windows 7 added two new components to DirectX: Direct2D for two-dimensional graphics (shapes, bitmaps, etc.) and DirectWrite for handling text. Both of these additions not only focused on performance but also on delivering high-quality 2-D rendering. With these additions, DirectX became a hardware-accelerated graphics platform for all types of applications. Indeed, we showed what a typical application could achieve by using DirectX when Internet Explorer 9 brought hardware-accelerated graphics to the web.  WinRT bring these capabilities to the full range of new Windows 8 applications.  In this post, authored by Rob Copeland the group program manager on our Graphics team, we look at the details behind the scenes in enabling this new class of graphical application.  –Steven

 


In computer graphics, high performance is a guiding principle. In the early days of personal computing, discrete, add-on graphics cards were mostly focused on specialized applications such as CAD/CAM and gaming. Even early on, there was a view that all of this graphics horsepower could be used for more: notably a better user interface and experience. One of the first graphics cards for a PC was called a “Windows Accelerator” from S3 Graphics, which focused on the user experience by moving windows around the screen faster. As graphics hardware evolved, so, too, did the methods that developers use to interact with that hardware.

DirectX is the part of Windows that provides a common application programming interface, or API, that allows developers to use the graphics hardware in the PC to draw text, shapes, and three-dimensional scenes, and display them on the screen. DirectX has also evolved over time in both capabilities and performance characteristics. In the early years, DirectX was focused mainly on games. As applications evolved to provide richer and more graphically-intense user experiences, many of them started to use DirectX as a way to get better performance and richer visuals.

 

Enter Windows 8

When we started to plan the work we’d undertake for graphics in Windows 8, we knew that we would be creating a new, visually rich way for users to interact with apps and with Windows itself. We also knew that we’d be building a new platform for creating Metro style apps, and that we’d be targeting a more diverse set of hardware than ever before. While we had a great graphics platform to start with, there was more work to do in order to support those efforts. We came up with four main goals:

  1. Ensure that all Metro style experiences are rendered smoothly and quickly.
  2. Provide a hardware-accelerated platform for all Metro style apps.
  3. Add new capabilities to DirectX to enable stunning visual experiences.
  4. Support the widest diversity of graphics hardware ever.

While each of these focus on different aspects of building Windows 8, they all depend on great performance and capabilities from the graphics platform.

Planning for performance

Graphics performance on Windows depends on both the operating system and the hardware system, comprised of the CPU, the GPU (graphics processing unit), and the associated display driver. To ensure that we could deliver a great experience for new Metro style apps, we needed to make sure that both the software platform and the hardware system would deliver great performance.

In the past we’ve used many different benchmarks and apps to measure the performance of DirectX. These have been largely focused on 3D games. While games are still very important, we knew that many of these existing ways to measure graphics performance did not tell us everything we needed to know for graphics-intensive, 2D, mainstream apps.

So we created new scenario-focused tests and metrics to track our progress. The metrics we use are as follows:

1.  Frame rate

We express frame rate in frames per second (FPS). This metric is widely reported for gaming benchmarks, and is equally important for video content and other apps. When something is animating on the screen, a rate of 60 FPS makes the animation appear smooth. We target that rate because most computer screens refresh at 60 hertz. With that frame rate, Windows can provide very smooth animations with “stick to your finger” touch interactions.

2.  Glitch count

While frame rate is an important metric, it doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, running a benchmark for 10 minutes and getting 60 FPS on average sounds perfect. But, it doesn’t tell us how low the frame rate might have dropped during the test. For example, if the frame rate dips down to 10 FPS momentarily during demanding parts, the animations will stutter. The glitch count metric looks for the total number of times that rendering took more than 1/60 of a second, thus resulting in a reduced frame rate. It also looks at the number of concurrent frames missed. The goal here is to have no missed frames during animations.

3.   Time to first frame

Most people expect their apps to launch quickly, so initializing DirectX needs to be fast. “Time to first frame” tells us how much time it takes from the moment you tap or click to launch an app until you see the first frame of the app on the screen. To measure this, we created simple apps to help analyze and optimize the graphics system for the time it takes to initialize a graphics device, allocate the required memory, and so on. This helps us ensure that the work to set up DirectX takes very little time.

4.  Memory utilization

The more memory our graphics components use, the less memory is available for apps. By ensuring that most of the system’s memory is available for apps, you get the best app performance, and more apps can run at the same time. Apps use a mix of system memory and GPU memory. GPU memory is mostly used for rendering operations such as drawing images, geometric shapes, and text. Additionally there are graphics operations that use the CPU and therefore use system memory.

In order to characterize memory utilization, we measure the memory used by the system for the following scenarios:

  • The app is idle. That is, it is not doing any work and is not rendering or displaying new information to the screen.
  • The app is displaying information to the screen. This represents the base memory cost of a simple drawing.
  • Texture creation. This represents the memory used for creating a large number of image objects on the GPU.
  • Vertex buffer creation. This represents the memory overhead of creating geometric shapes.
  • GPU data upload. This measures memory overhead involved in uploading data to the GPU.

Measuring memory usage across many types of apps and these various scenarios has helped us further optimize DirectX and the display drivers.

5.  CPU utilization

Most graphics operations utilize the CPU in addition to the GPU. For example, when an app is figuring out what it’s going to draw, it typically does these calculations on the CPU. CPU utilization is important to understand because the higher the percentage of the CPU used by a task, the fewer cycles the CPU can devote to other tasks. For good graphics performance and overall system responsiveness, it is important to effectively balance work between the CPU and the GPU.

These benchmarks and metrics help us ensure that the experiences and apps are smooth and have great performance. They play a big role in our understanding of mainstream apps. Of course, we still utilize industry benchmarks, games, and other ways to measure our overall performance.

Hardware accelerating mainstream graphics

There are many ways to look at mainstream graphics. To ensure that our work would give users the right performance and the right experiences we studied many examples of both Metro style and desktop apps to understand how they used the graphics hardware. In particular, Internet Explorer 9, Windows Live Mail, and Windows Live Messenger make excellent use of DirectX. Because these apps have done great work utilizing DirectX, they’re good examples of what other apps might do. This led to a number of investments to ensure mainstream apps were fast and looked great.

Improving text performance

Text is by far the most frequently used graphical element in Windows, so improving text rendering performance goes a long way towards creating a better experience. Web pages, email programs, instant messaging, and other reading apps all benefit from high-quality and high-performance text display.

The Metro style design language is typographically rich and a number of Metro style experiences are focused on providing an excellent reading experience. DirectWrite enables great typographic quality, super-fast processing of font data for rendering, and provides industry-leading global text support. We’ve continued to improve text performance in Windows 8 by optimizing our default text rendering in Metro style apps to deliver better performance and efficiency, while maintaining typographic quality and global text support.

The bar chart below illustrates the performance improvements that result from this work. It includes measurements for the following text scenarios:

  • Rendering a screen full of reading-size text formatted as paragraphs as you would find in a web page or Word document
  • Rendering a screen full of small chunks of text at reading sizes as you would find in user interface controls such as button labels or menus
  • Rendering a screen full of small chunks of heading-sized text as you would see in titles & headings in Metro style apps and as headlines on blog posts and news articles on the web.

Framerate increase over Windows 7 Paragraphs 150%, User Interface 131%, Tiles and headings 336%

The most noticeable performance improvement can be seen when scrolling through a long document on a touch screen. The reduction in time required to render the characters frees up CPU cycles to handle other tasks like processing high-frequency touch input, or displaying more complex document layouts.

Improving geometry rendering performance

Along with text, we also made dramatic performance improvements for 2D geometry rendering. Geometry rendering is the core graphics technology that is used to create things like tables, charts, graphs, diagrams, and user interface elements, as shown in the example below. For Windows 8, our improvements in this area have primarily focused on delivering high-performance implementations of HTML5 Canvas and SVG technologies for use in Metro style apps, and webpages viewed with Internet Explorer 10.

  A bar graph of historical weather data   

The Weather app in Windows 8 uses geometry to display a graph of historical temperature and precipitation data

When Direct2D draws geometry, it takes instructions from the app about what to draw in the form of 2D figures (e.g. rectangles, ellipses, and paths), the size and location of the figures, and specifics about the style of rendering, including brush color and stroke style. Then it converts those instructions into a set of triangles and commands that it sends to Direct3D to generate the desired output. We call this conversion process tessellation.

To improve geometry rendering performance in Windows 8, we focused on reducing the CPU cost associated with tessellation in two ways.

First, we optimized our implementation of tessellation when rendering simple geometries like rectangles, lines, rounded rectangles, and ellipses. Below is a chart showing the impact of these improvements.

Framerate increase over Windows 7, Lines 184%, Ellipses 369%, Rounded rectangles 220%, Rectangles 438%

Second, to improve performance when rendering irregular geometry (e.g. geographical borders on a map), we use a new graphics hardware feature called Target Independent Rasterization, or TIR.

TIR enables Direct2D to spend fewer CPU cycles on tessellation, so it can give drawing instructions to the GPU more quickly and efficiently, without sacrificing visual quality. TIR is available in new GPU hardware designed for Windows 8 that supports DirectX 11.1.

Below is a chart showing the performance improvement for rendering anti-aliased geometry from a variety of SVG files on a DirectX 11.1 GPU supporting TIR:

15 files shown, with increases between 151% and 523%

We worked closely with our graphics hardware partners to design TIR. Dramatic improvements were made possible because of that partnership. DirectX 11.1 hardware is already on the market today and we’re working with our partners to make sure more TIR-capable products will be broadly available.

Rendering images

Images are widely used in a variety of scenarios including displaying user interfaces, webpages, and other app content. Websites commonly use JPEGs for pictures and PNG and GIF files to efficiently store user interface elements such as button graphics.

Working with digital photographs is also a very common activity on Windows. The number of digital photographs that Windows customers view and manipulate on their PCs continues to grow at an incredible rate.

We’ve made several performance improvements for working with images and photographs using the JPEG, GIF, and PNG formats.

For JPEG, improvements include:

  • Faster image decoding by expanding SIMD usage on all CPU architectures
  • Faster Huffman decoding and encoding

For PNG, improvements include:

  • Faster image decoding by expanding SIMD usage on all CPU architectures
  • Faster image encoding and decoding by optimizing our zlib implementation

In addition, we’ve improved pixel format conversion as well as image scaling. This results in faster decoding and rendering of images for all apps.

The video below uses a test app to measure the decoding and rendering time for a set of images. Windows 8 takes 40% less time than Windows 7 to render 64images (4.38 seconds vs. 7.28 seconds)

Rendering and displaying

As we evolve DirectX to support more mainstream scenarios, another area we we’ve invested in is optimizing how apps render and display their content. There are some big differences in how a 3D game draws its content and how a mainstream app such as Internet Explorer draws its content. For example, consider the video of the game below. In games like this, the entire scene changes rapidly. As the “camera” moves around the vehicle, the clouds move across the sky, and smoke billows up from the engine, the app must redraw the entire scene in each frame in order to achieve a life-like and engaging experience.


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

Now consider the webpage below. It has both a text article and a video. While the video plays, the browser must update the portion of the window containing the video but not the text. Additionally, if the user scrolls the page up, then we only need to render the new text at the bottom of the page. The rest of the text has already been rendered and simply needs to be moved.

Image of an msdn web page with video embedded and playing inline

To improve apps that don’t need to redraw the entire screen for each frame, we optimized how DirectX deals with redrawing just portions of the screen and how it scrolls. This work not only improves app efficiency and performance, but since it reduces redundant drawing and reduces the number of times graphics data needs to be copied in memory, it also reduces power consumption, thus increasing battery life.

Making the entire platform great

All of these changes help Windows render experiences very quickly and smoothly. While we’ve talked mostly about features in DirectX, the great thing is that all of this work contributes to making our entire platform hardware-accelerated by default. Since we built the Metro style platform on top of DirectX, all apps take full advantage of the graphics hardware on the system, regardless of the programming language and framework the developer chooses.

Creating stunning visual experiences with Direct2D and Direct3D

Direct2D Effects

Stylistic effects applied to images are becoming more common in modern user experiences. They can help highlight an area of an app, draw your attention to a specific part of the screen, or just make things look better. As we planned the graphics capabilities for Windows 8, we wanted to make it really easy for developers to apply these types of effects in their apps. We looked at two main areas where image processing would be useful:

  • User interface images
    The Metro style experience uses dynamic visuals. We wanted to enable Metro style apps to do image processing in real-time. This can range from 3D transition effects to perspective transforms, blurs, and highlights on user interface elements.
  • Photos
    Apps that deal with photographs often want a rich set of image processing features. Effects such as adjusting exposure, brightness, and contrast, applying vibrancy and clarity, working with advanced curves, and applying lens corrections all allow these apps to enhance your digital memories.

To enable these types of experiences, we added “Direct2D Effects,” a new set of APIs that enable high-quality, hardware-accelerated effects to be applied to any image. Direct2D Effects have the following benefits:

  • They provide optimal-quality renderings of image effects to suit the needs of wide variety of apps.
  • The effects are hardware-accelerated and work on a wide variety of graphics hardware.
  • A simple API enables great effects with minimal programming.
  • They provide many built-in effects.
  • They support large image sizes and up to 32 bits per channel.
  • Custom effects can be combined with built-in effects or other custom effects.

Direct2D Effects power some of the new user experiences in Windows 8. For example, when tapping on a tile on the Start screen, the tile uses the 3D perspective transform effect to “tilt” in the right direction. They also power the rest of our platform. For example, SVG filter effects and CSS 3D transforms are implemented using Direct2D Effects.

Direct3D 11.1 as a common foundation

While adding new features like Direct2D Effects is a great way to help developers deliver new experiences, we also looked at ways to make it easier to use existing DirectX features.

Over years of development, we’ve added various different features to DirectX. Hardware acceleration of video decoding came alongside programmable shaders in Direct3D 9. In Windows 7, we added Direct2D and built it on top of Direct3D 10. At that time, we also created DirectCompute, a new system for high-performance computation on the GPU that became part of Direct3D 11. One result of all these updates is that DirectX has a very comprehensive set of features around graphics and GPU computation, but as a side effect, it has also become increasingly difficult to create an app that uses video, 2D graphics, 3D graphics, text, and DirectCompute together.

In Windows 8, the new Direct3D 11.1 API is the foundation for hardware acceleration of 2D graphics and text, image processing, 3D graphics and computation, and video. The new API makes it much simpler to mix different types of content in a single scene because that single API now manages all of the GPU resources associated with rendering. This also reduces memory usage by eliminating the redundancy involved in creating multiple graphics device-management objects in app code. In addition, Direct3D 11.1 provides a uniform way for apps to access the various capabilities of different graphics hardware. It provides mechanisms for the app to determine what features are available, and then only uses those capabilities. This enables apps to make maximum use of the GPU’s capabilities, whether the GPU was designed for long battery life on a tablet, or high-end gaming on a desktop PC.

Diverse graphics hardware

Historically, the expectations for each successive release of Windows have been that both the graphics platform and the graphics hardware capabilities will become richer and higher in performance. This is still true, as the graphics hardware industry continues to develop faster, more powerful GPUs. But in Windows 7, we started to see an inflection point in these assumptions, as the diversity of the hardware broadened with the introduction of mobile, low-power devices.

With Windows 8, this trend towards diverse hardware types is continuing and accelerating, both with new, high-performance graphics cards, and with an increasingly wide range of low-power mobile devices. The diversity of the hardware for Windows 8 will span a broader range than ever before; from graphics hardware that consumes on the order of 1 watt in always-connected tablets all the way up to high-end systems with multiple graphics cards that use a total of 1,000 watts or more. This broadening diversity brings with it new design considerations.

Our goal remains to provide visually compelling, high-performance experiences. With highly mobile devices, the primary power source is a battery, so we also need to maximize battery life. To meet both the performance and power consumption requirements of these new form factors, many of our graphics hardware partners have employed new GPU architectures.

Low-power systems

One of the graphics architectures commonly used in low-power system designs to achieve performance along with great battery life is called “tile-based rendering.” The general concept of a tile-based rendering approach is to have a very high performance (but small) memory cache that the graphics engine uses for rendering. The GPU then renders the screen in sections (or tiles) by repeatedly processing the same set of commands on each tile, rather than the whole screen at once. The intent is to minimize operations that use memory off-chip, therefore keeping power consumption low and performance high. Repeatedly accessing memory off-chip is expensive both in terms of time and power consumption.

To increase the efficiency of these tile-based architectures, we added a number of flags, hints, and new APIs that can minimize the number of times the tiles are rendered. We have incorporated the use of these into the Metro style app development platform to ensure greater efficiency in apps running on graphics hardware that uses a tile-based rendering architecture.

Another way for graphics hardware to reduce power consumption while still achieving great performance is to perform graphics rendering calculations using fewer bits of precision. This allows the GPU to more efficiently structure its data so that it can process more data simultaneously, thus reducing the power needed. For Windows 8, we added new mechanisms for apps to specify the amount of precision needed in their graphical calculations. For example, when doing custom blending of multiple images where the image data is 8 bits per component, the blending computations could be done with 10 bits of precision rather than the default of 32 bits. The reduced precision doesn’t impact image quality, but does reduce power consumption.

Great performance, smoothly rendered


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

As you can see, we’ve done a lot of work to enable a very fast and smoothly animated user experience in Windows 8. From new ways to measure our progress, to optimizations for mainstream uses of our graphics platform, and new hardware features, we’ve created the best Windows graphics platform yet. And of course, we continue to push the envelope on immersive, three-dimensional gaming, with great performance and new features such as stereoscopic 3D.

From high-end gaming rigs to light-weight, always-connected tablets, Windows 8 supports the broadest range of graphics hardware ever in a single operating system. We hope this post has helped explain some ways in which this work enables a whole new set of rich experiences.

– Rob Copeland

P.S. Thanks to Sriram Subramanian, Dan McLachlan, Kam VedBrat, Steve Lim, and Jianye Lu, for their substantial contributions to this blog post.

Comments (155)

  1. ovi says:

    well I donno what windows 8 you are talking about but here's the results running a 3d game both in windows 7 and in windows 8 release preview: windows 8 – 20fps, windows 7 – 60fps. I'm running it on a i3 msi cr620 laptop and I tend to believe the fault is not having good graphic drivers even though windows 8 installed by default some drivers and aero works with them. can new drivers improve the situation or I just need another machine that can run all functions of directx 11.1?

  2. @ovi

    Using the correct drivers in Windows 8 will improve your FPS dramatically. For me, using default drivers in Windows 7 gives me around 60FPS, when using Windows 8 RP with default drivers, I get around 80FPS.

  3. Aleg says:

    Does that mean that games that I cant play today in my notebook will be playable with Windows 8?

  4. Using dx11 gpu and office 13 hardware acceleration makes everything blurry

  5. hadi says:

    for which pc hardware model compatibility?

  6. Quppa says:

    Will Windows 7 users receive any of these benefits through a 'Platform Update' as happened with Windows Vista at the time of Windows 7's release?

    Thanks for fixing the bug where the open and close window animations stuttered in Windows 7 (but not Vista): http://www.youtube.com/watch

  7. Thierry says:

    Please fix the Print Screen quality. In Windows 7 it is uncompressed while Windows 8 RP brings all these waves observed on plain colors.

  8. alvatrus says:

    Does that mean that Desktop application using the good old GDI(+) api will also be accelerated?

  9. Is it possible to make available to the Professionals and Enthusiasts alike the tools you use to measure these GPU performance? There are not many tools at the moment to measure consistently and accurately the GPU usage. I have used you own Sysinternals tool ProcExplorer to measure (mcakins.wordpress.com/…/capturing-gpu-usage-on-windows-8), and I only see just one GPU cell being used for acceleration, instead of the all the 8 cells available in the GPU hardware for me. I have discussed this at length with MarkRuss who informed this is mostly the case with GPU hardware. I cannot imagine Windows8 just using a tiny percentage of the Horsepower available in the GPU hardware. Therefore I need to know if I am measuring wrongly or Win8 is truly not efficiently using the GPU hardware.

    Another area I am missing in this post is the usage of the GPU hardware during Video Encoding. Windows have consistently failed in the past to use the GPU for encoding. Even if you have a multi-SLI device in your system, you still need to purchase a hardware video encoder if you really want to get any work done. Are the likes of Media center, Windows Live Video using GPU now during transformations and encoding. It will be nice to know the progress you've made in this are too.

    Please reply to this. Thanks already.

  10. AirO says:

    This is great, I'm really looking forward to seeing these performance improvements with the Aero Glass desktop!!!   🙂  

  11. Guy says:

    You guys have done so many amazing thing, but all destroyed by the suck metro.

  12. ovi says:

    where from can I get VGA drivers for Intel GMA HD on msi CR620 laptop x64 OS windows 8 RP?

  13. Simon v/d Pol says:

    It's good that Windows 8 supports this, but the drivers should be ready upon launch. On my laptop the hardware acceleration doesn't work very well. Videos will play as a black or green screen and only the video will work, until the acceleration is turned of in IE. It's a shame that I must do that and that I can't have an optimal experience out of the box.

  14. ovi says:

    @simon it's a beta after all. work in progress. can anyone tell me if those drivers I asked for exist?

  15. One of real-life problems with 2D performance is that some manufacturers put artificial restrictions on it for non-professional versions of GPUs. Please put pressure on them, Microsoft, and include your 2D benchmarks in Windows.

  16. rijndael says:

    Thanks for that interesting post about some performance fundamentals, these are pretty impressive numbers. Great to see it's the WIC codecs that have been optimized for image decoding, so thumbnails in Explorer should show up faster too.

  17. You are wrong about 60Hz.

    Setting upper limit to 120Hz in games makes a difference, even though monitor peaks at 60Hz.

    Animated boring rectangles should be able to fly at 1200Hz, not meager 60.

    This is another ugly compromise in a long series of nonsense compromises.

    Also, DirectX for C++ only??

  18. Trouble with Nvidia drivers!  I have been running Win8 on my dual monitor work desktop since Consumer Preview (now with Release Preview).  The out of the box drivers for my GeForce 8400 GS vid. card have the bad habit of disabling one of my monitors every time the computer restarts.  Getting the second monitor working involved removing the Display adaptor device using Device Manager and rebooting.  I've since upgrading to the latest Nvidia driver (302.82 or 9.18.13.282) from their web site.  The new driver still drops one monitor every time the system restarts or sits idle for a long period of time, but it is easier to get the second monitor working again.  With the new driver, the second monitor can be recovered by simply putting the computer to Sleep and then restarting the system.

    Windows team:  Please work the vendors to ensure this gets fixed before General Availability.

    P.S.  I have a new system showing up soon with a newer Nvidia Quadra card, it will be interesting to see what happens.

  19. My three Macs, MP, MBP and mini, are so much faster on Windows 7 than on Mac OS X 10.5/6/7.  Any increased speed that W8 can make is be much appreciated.

  20. Marcel says:

    Jeff, why not contact nVidia yourself?

  21. @Marcel, I have posted many times on Nvidia's forums (their only support for Win8 drivers) with no response.  I feel like no one wants my feedback 🙁

  22. Royi says:

    Great Post!!!

    I wish the default viewer would support the EXIF orientation flag and moreover support for lossless rotation for JPEG images.

    Thanks.

  23. Windows 8 is gonna rock!

  24. Insignificant says:

    Hi, this is all really really great, if it would work.

    My experience in this area in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and especially in the Windows 8 Release Preview are very negative. Especially in the Windows 8 Release Preview, there is something going on with the DWM which leads to a really high CPU usage when writing on my Q550 tablet with the N-Trig digitizer.

    What did you change between the CP and the RP that the performence would go so bad?

    On the top if it. Not even the Office OneNote MX does work with it. I know that current GMA 600 driver is not one of the best (or really bad), but if you guys change something like this, you should at least let it be compatible with the Windows 7 drivers.

    Or maybe provide some better 'basic' driver. So some of us could use our tablet also with Windows 7.

    Intel at least announced that it won't develop new drivers for the GMA 600 for Windows 8. And it really feels like déjà vu for me. Back with Windows Vista, it was the same thing. Intel didn't provide drivers for their driver back than although it would be powerfull enough.

    There are a whole lot of tablets out there right now: Fujitsu Q550, Motion Computing CL900, Kupa X11, Dell Latitude ST, Adax Slate 10TC1 , HP Slate 2, Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1051, Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1080

    and all of these tablets can't run Windows 8 properly. This is a real shame. These are tablets which could've run Windows 8 just well, if you hadn't forced DWM on us / develop better drivers for us.

    And you know, this is the difference between Windows and Android / iOS. There you don't need to worry about drivers and driver updates.

    I would really appreciate it, if you guys could give me a comment.

  25. Few questions:

    -What will happen with XNA?

    -Is GDI+ accelerated for old desktop apps (like vista was)?

    -Are we going to be able to use PixelShaders inside a (non C++) metro App?

  26. Michael Hansen says:

    looking foward to this ,, wating for a long time , the stuff you cood not deliver with windows phone 7 and 7.5 and 7.8

    THE COMPLEATE GAME PLATFORM AS YOU SPEEK OF

    looking forward to the hardware physics, managed directx, and all the stuff that we will not get

    it is allway the next version with you folks,, when are it comming all the stuff you talk about

  27. Arthur says:

    Why kill Aero?

    Now Windows not only looks 'cheaper' than OSX, but also Android and iOS (and even KDE and Unity)…

    If a toy OS from a ad company looks more stylish than your Flagship OS, you are doing something wrong…

    But good job at the technical side guys, well done!

  28. Tobsel says:

    Hi Rob, thanks for this interesting post. I have a question:

    -Will WPF 4.5 applications benefit from the DX performance improvements,too?

  29. Kevin says:

    Here's a whole set of great, hardware-accelerated realtime effects! But try not to use them, because they aren't "authentically digital."

    Really, maybe Microsoft needs to tone down its Metro styling and actually encourage developers to adopt whatever style they happen to like. I happen to like the austerity of Metro, but if the graphical style is truly worthwhile, it'll become popular on its own.

  30. SteveOZ says:

    Guy, I'm so bored of the desktop, sure we all use to get work tasks done using Office, Explorer, various dashboards for monitoring the Enterprise. Why can't we have some playtime in metro?

  31. Lance says:

    Now if this works with desktop apps it's a nice feature, if we can kill Metro I'd be interested in it.  Starting up in metro and loosing my screen every time I start a program means I won't be upgrading…. too bad.

  32. LD says:

    @SteveOZ

    Because Metro is a horrible UI and a complete productivity sink.

  33. pmbAustin says:

    This is all great work, and very useful for everyone.  Thanks for the in-depth explanation!  Improvements in speed of between 50% and 400% is pretty amazing, and you have every right to crow about this.

  34. pmbAustin says:

    @Lance, you don't "lose your screen" every time you start up a program.  You can pin applications to your task bar, and can put short-cuts on your desktop.  You can hit Windows-key, type the first few characters of the app to launch, hit enter, and the app will launch on the desktop, with your screen still perfectly intact.  Stop making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

  35. pmbAustin says:

    @Arthur, elminating all the gradients, glows, and translucencies/transparencies will ultimately save battery on portable devices.  It also makes the "look and feel" more consistent between metro and desktop.

  36. Step says:

    You should make these APIs available for web pages rendering graphics on html5 canvases now! Or at least no later than IE 11. Not wait for some future WHATWG proposals.

    I'm talking about HQ text rendering and image effects. Doing getImageData and some image processing in the scripts often does the job, but at snail speeds.

  37. SteveOZ says:

    LD, Metro is a rest/play/work productivity hub that works alongside the old desktop. It also has the potential to generate billions in revenue for Microsoft and third party developers. It's a win-win. I was a die-hard metro hater, but it's nice at the end of the day to play in a safe and ease of access to new apps environment.

  38. Adam says:

    @McAkins I totally agree with you. There should be a tab in the Task manager with GPU utilization.

    Having a Intel 4500MHD myself, I found out, there will be a driver included with Windows 8 (through Windows Update), which will support "legacy" graphics cards. So the Intel GMA600 may be supported in some way after all!

    For all those whining about Aero: Stop it, you are not going to change it now. I believe, it will make the desktop more consistent with Metro. The other problem is, while using touch, you can't easily resize windows in the desktop mode. (You can grab the edge or the corner easily!)

    The last thing: You should really use DirectCompute to transcode media when syncing videos/music, processing RAW pictures or those kind of things. I mean, Widows Live Movie Maker didn't obviosuly utilize this feature well… also Media Center doesn't utilize it when recording a live stream. (Well, I know how hard it can be to implement such thing in reality, but still, you have so many engineers…)

  39. When I scroll this page up and down while the video clip is playing, the video stutters terribly. Particularly noticeable when zoomed in so the video occupies more of the screen. This with IE9 on Windows 7. Shouldn't it be buttery smooth with all that hardware acceleration, even before Windows 8's changes?

  40. #Insignificant

    "Hi, this is all really really great, if it would work."

    +1 for that.  The Consumer Preview is such a weak piece of crap I don't see how the W8 team would even release such a thing.  I mean, really, the great Microsoft couldn't even make email fully operational.  What a joke.

    That suggests two things. First there is no Steve Job-type guy over there kicking ass to ensure that the things really work "right".  Second, it may be SP1 before Windows 8 is really usable because after months of throwing metrics and marketing babble around the concept of "truly workable" just couldn't take root.

  41. Nitz Walsh says:

    The Office 2013 preview shows that Metro styling can work with mouse and keyboard, and the animations are fantastic.

    However, from reading this is sounds like all this great acceleration – what we expected with Vista – is *still* not coming to the desktop.  This is where it is *really* needed, and not just IE.  Mac OS Lion has had superbly smooth scrolling & resizing in virtually all its desktop apps, nice double-buffered windows so they don't flicker when resizing, etc.

    So…are we *still* stuck with GDI+ with a compositor slapped on top to service all the desktop rendering?  So we'll have yet more disparity when navigating the desktop vs Office 2013, which shows it can be done?

    Very, very disappointing if that's the case.  Really, accelerating ugly, monochrome full-screen apps was really not a priority for me.

  42. NItz Walsh says:

    BTW, echoing the 60fps limitation (is there?) as an issue.  Heck, if anything the difference between 60 and 120fps is far more pronounced on the desktop, just try gliding a window around on a 120hz display, it's noticeably smoother whereas in an FPS I don't even notice it as much.

    There are millions of PC's with astronomical GPU power.  Let them take advantage of it if they want smoother animation.

  43. Nitz Walsh says:

    @Hok

    The reason for the "blurry" font rendering is that Clearype is no more as I understand it, as it didn't work well when rotated, which is an issue with tablets.

    And yes, I agree – I find the text rendering on 8 to be a significant step backwards from even XP.  So yet another downgrade because MS has to chase the tablet ghost.

  44. Steffo says:

    Lucky me i went back from Windows 8 and UPGRADED to XP again. I feel far more at home in XP. Windows 8 have some good stuff, but it is far too buggy and that MetroBS created by some 5 years old kids in kindergarten must be removed. Why bother to buy an expensive card for graphics with some superduper GPU when that MetroBS is looking far worse than Windows NT4 did ? Wasted money. Sorry that the dev-team still don't respond to ALL feedback, but only to the the people that SUCK their butts…. Wrong way to treat customers. You should care more about all the negative feedback than You care about the positive feedback. I will stay with my Windows 2000, XP, XP x64 and Vista. I will not waste any money on that DOWNGRADE to Windows 8. Out of the question !

  45. . says:

    All these improvements would make Windows 8 BETTER than Windows 7 if it wasn't hobbled by a primitive desktop UI like Metro.

  46. Gordon F. says:

    " Indeed, we showed what a typical application could achieve by using DirectX when Internet Explorer 9 brought hardware-accelerated graphics to the web."

    Yeah, that's one of the reasons I don't use it. It may well be a technological marvel, but I can't stand the blurry text.

  47. Benjamin says:

    Windows 8 is incredible.

  48. @Steffo: I was just wondering why you stopped upgrading to XP? Why not go the whole length and upgrade to DOS. Really that will be awesome. I heard you can still get Lotus123 somewhere for that beautiful and functional OS written by adults.

  49. 120Hz update vs 60Hz refresh says:

    If the video screen refresh is 60Hz, then how could you get any speed improvement running faster than that?  If you can, the game or app is increasing animation speeds to fool you, the system is not displaying the content any faster.

    Either that, or some other definition is missing in "frame rate" and "refresh rate".

    if everything works as it should, the update is running two identical frames, displaying one, and then the refresh happens, followed by the app running two more identical frames.  This happens at the vertical refresh rate and looks no different than if the update rate were 60Hz.

    The only difference is the extra GPU and CPU usage to duplicate the image, which saps battery and/or juice from the wall.

    BTW, all, I do think Microsoft is measuring things in the best possible light — with DirectX 11.1 hardware, the best performance is gained.  With DirectX 9 (as stated in the minimum requirements) less performance is very likely available.

    Great job, guys, keep up the good work.

    -e

  50. Sure, upgrade to XP says:

    And invite every hacker in the world onto your system.  While you're at it, drive an Edsel.

  51. Lance says:

    @pmbAustin

    I'm aware of that, I usually only have 4-5 programs on my taskbar but I use a lot of different applications when I'm dealing with video vs. editing an audio file.  Regardless of MS's "research" some of us actually use a lot off programs depending on what they're working on and I don't want 80 shortcuts cluttering up my taskbar.

    so if I go to the start menu…. wait, I can't I have to loose my whole screen to start any app not on the taskbar….This is monumentally stupid… almost as stupid as forcing me to boot up into Metro and addign a "poster screen" that only gets in my way.

    Poor design is poor design. If I can't fix it I'll forget it, and it's a shame there are a few things worth upgrading for… but the aggravation isn't worth the upgrade.  I've used the beta since the dev preview, and it's made me hate the PC it's on.  Intentionally annoying your customers = bad…. alllowing ad's on livetiles = bad…. Metro is just plain bad.

    I'll go to linux before I go to windows 8, and VM windows 7 when I have to.

  52. LD says:

    @pmbAustin

    To you it's a molehill, congrats, to a lot of us it is a mountain…. and it's a damn ugly one.

  53. LD says:

    If they let us disable Metro, and keep the extant UI as an option (hell, even if it's not the default) they would avoid ticking off a lot of people, and probably increase sales to those of us that have run it for a while.  I can't "upgrade" to this and my company won't either, I don't need the support calls from frustrated users, everyone I tested it with hates the bloody thing.  

    Frankly we don't have the training budget to re-educate everyone. I was allowed to have three guinea pigs use it exclusively… two asked me to revert it within 2 weeks. The third lasted 3 weeks before threatening to beat the hell out of me if I didn't, "Take this $!$@$#& POS off [his] PC".

    It would take very little to allow users and admins the option of rolling this out without Metro and the Start Screen while defaulting to the desktop. This is simply hubris; they know what's good for us. Just like Henry Ford did ("You can have any color as long as it's black.").

    Both are ignoring the customers wants and needs and they are both wrong.

  54. Ian says:

    Will DirectX 11.1 be available for my beloved Windows Vista?

  55. CSRedRat says:

    Cool, it's grate! What about support new format for image? JPEG2000, WebP, APNG, JPEG-LS and other.

    P.S. Not subject, but can you partition local and internet traffic in task manager and network connection properties?

  56. Microsoft is ran by two idiots.

    One of them posts here.

  57. Smity Smiter says:

    I still cannot (starting from the consumer preview, now on release preview) see video on my Win8. I can listen to the audio but no video. Be it an offline video played using media player, or a youtube video. No video at all, but audio. IE10 (desktop version) crashes on loading youtube videos, and I didn't install any plugins, so I believe flash is inbuilt.

  58. DKG says:

    Bring back the animation of network activity, as in Windows XP! It is very necessary!

  59. chentiangemalc says:

    Great job with gfx perf on win8, I certainly notice speedier perf here. Now I just hope by RTM audio stutter during media playback that many people have had issue with is fixed. Have to always restart Windows Audio Service to stop the stuttering audio in release preview.

  60. Santana says:

    Could we access this performance using .net wth c#?

  61. sreesiv says:

    Superb!!! Clear, Concise and Content rich post.

    Eagerly waiting for RTM!!!

  62. Darren says:

    Really it was beyond my imagination that Microsoft would be able to drive me away from their products so entirely.

    I just installed the Office 2013 preview. I cannot stop laughing. Microsoft, did you grow micro brains? What the h*ell is wrong with you guys? The new office is an insult. Starting with the menus all in capital letters. Is this the new Microsoft style? Yelling at users? And from within Outlook this useless weather widget that cannot turned off. The ribbon looks like vomitted onto the screen and all the white, destryoing all contrast. But it is all good. Open office will do the trick.

    I think I am completely done with you guys. Unfortunately there is some business software that is running on Windows only so I need to find a solution or substitution for that.

    Your new philosphy does not suit me anymore. I don´t need that and I don´t want that. Your metrofication is a sad joke and you are forcing your most loyal customer into something they don´t want and worse with zero benefit.

    I think I will quit. Switching to Linux no longer sounds like a threat it sounds like a big relief.

  63. Nigidi says:

    Need a good compatibility with older equipment! We have 50 machines in the office on Celeron 1.5Ghz, 512Mb RAM. Will they work?

  64. Gennaro Eduardo Tangari says:

    Dear Microsoft, with Windows 8 everything is better under the hood. I tried it on a Lenovo ThinkPad x121e, not a fast machine, and it runs a lot's better than Windows 7, the best operating system of Microsoft since Windows 2000. But believe me, Metro with a traditional computer is simply unusable. For people that have a lot's of desktop application the new Metro start menu became ugly due to the presence of the old icons (ok you can disable to showing them) and the lacks of the start menu in traditional desktop interface keep me to organize me apps.

    Microsoft watch out, with this new Windows you're hazarding too much: using a traditional PC is too different from using a tablet. If you are going on the road to loose market share into traditional desktop you are on the right road.

  65. We need support for older CPU! Put more in the distribution of drivers for older printers!

  66. Why removed the animation of network activity? It is very convenient to watch sending / receiving bytes with a single click. The menu items "Status" and "Disable" too close to each other. Want to see IP address and accidentally turns off the remote server. The main thing is the welcome screen should show the name of the computer! Thank you.

  67. I really like to but... says:

    Nice to see. Sadly I have to pass Windows 8, if you at Microsoft do not offer OPTION to disable Metro in desktop/laptop computers.

    Please, make option which user can choose (even if you set Metro default).

  68. Damien Guard says:

    @Nitz Walsh

    While metro apps don't use ClearType it is still supported in DirectWrite and even better you can have your text use ClearType on the X axis with grey-scale AA on the Y axis for better text than was possible with GDI+.

    [)amien

  69. Frenz says:

    It's nice that you're making all these "background" improvements.

    But as long as you're providing us a crippled "frontend", what's the point?

    Windows 8 is like having a Formula 1 car without a steering wheel.

  70. Until there are drivers for my 1985 Flux Capacitor, I am sticking with WfW3.11

  71. Just kidding!  Looking forward to Win8!!

  72. badescu alex says:

    @ovi Windows 8 RTM will be released in the first week of august so only then will the manufacturers begin working on drivers. Most likely, by launch, your drivers should work fine!

  73. Arpit Jain says:

    Talking about the graphics, I read that Microsoft was disabling mirror drivers used by screenreaders such as JAWS, windows-eyes etc. I have concerns that this move will handicap the functionality of accessibility softwares. So, if Microsoft could blog post on accessibility and what changes we will see in Windows 8 related to this, it would be deeply appreciated.

  74. Another blog post about something improved over previous Windows versions that leave me thinking "why not move to Windows 8?"

    Then I remember about Metro (Start Screen, Metro apps, Charms, etc)  and I say to myself: "Ah! Thats why!"

    You are doing an excellent job developing Windows 8 and all is lost with the lack of UI choice.

    And do note I am not saying to remove MEtro-stuff, I am saying to allow the user the choice of disabling Metro-stuff.

    The ones that want to keep running Metro-stuff could continue to do so.

  75. Really nice, in-depth post. Thanks.

    Like Tobsel, I'd like to know if WPF will be benefiting from the new performance features. Also: can applications call the TIR APIs to rasterize a geometry themselves?

    We use a lot of complex geometries in our app and it would be nice to get the perf improvements. I also need to rasterize user-drawn geometries so that I can send the pixel-list to electron-beam scanning electronics. I want the rasterization I do to match what WPF is drawing on the screen, so at the moment I just render the geometry in white to a B&W off-screen bitmap and then go looking for non-black pixels. This can actually be performance critical in places (I'd *like* to do it in a WPF command's CanExecute handler, but can't due to obvious perf issues).

    It would be much nicer to have a access to an actual rasterization API (especially if the performance is higher when a supported GPU is present).

  76. Darren says:

    So what do you other guys think? Is it worth waiting for Windows 9 or should I make a cut and dump Microsofts products?

  77. jcorreia12 says:

    Why do you compare text rendering, paragraph rendering etc with windows 7, when windows 7 applications ARE NOT designed like metro apps. You're comparing apples to oranges to make the point that windows 8 rendering is faster when Windows 7 applications and software are much more powerful than phone apps on windows 8. They provide much more information and functionality. You render faster on windows 8 because you leave so much wasted space everywhere.

  78. Tom says:

    If only those new DirectX capabilities were available for .NET / C#.

    XNA / Managed DirectX you hear us?

  79. "120Hz update vs 60Hz refresh"

    That is soo 2003'sh. You and your buddies softies have been living in a bunker all this time.

    READ FORUMS. Google for 120Hz monitors and TVs and HDMI v1.4 and DVI-D and 3D.

    Innovation is when Apple bumps screen resolution beyond your dreams.

    Retardation is when softies imbeciles kill off gaming and 3D by sticking to stone age computing. I can't believe this idiocity is getting worse. WTF…

  80. q129789 says:

    Many of those ideas are not really new. Tile based rendering was used since early 2d games to prevent unneccessary calls to driver api.

    The way, how tb rendiering is implemented is interesting, currenty there are gpu based approaches.

    What I really missed are new approaches like tripple buffering, to prevent gpu processing is waintng for v-sync, implemented in Andriod 4.1 or composite layering to balance drawing load over the gpu cells.

  81. @MS: You should make it clear that most of these features do no require DX11.1 and will work fine on older GPU's. It seems to be confusing some people, but DX11.1 is only needed for the TIR feature thats shown at the end of the video.

  82. Harsh Raj says:

    sorry for going off topic, but i couldnot find anyother better place to discuss the issue neither i found any correction over different versions of windows 7 and 8….

    The issue is-

    When i click on an bitlocked drive in explorer normally, then we get the password input field,while when we click the same drive from the side pane(on the left), it shows an error instead of any password input field. Please correct it in final version of win 8 as the problem persist upto release preview. Do comment anybody.

  83. Jason says:

    Azul and Tom have it right.

    Where is XNA?  It was a simple port (even supported in WP8).  But you killed it, there is now no C# Microsoft supported cross platform (xbox, winrt, win32, wp) game development strategy.

    Please post with real guidance on this topic (and wanting us to develop in C++ with DX is not legit, as it makes dev costs skyrocket).

  84. nice says:

    if i dont have a gpu with support for DX11.1 i will not gain anything from this?

  85. Steffo says:

    Lucky me i went back from Windows 8 and UPGRADED to XP again. I feel far more at home in XP. Windows 8 have some good stuff, but it is far too buggy and that MetroBS created by some 5 years old kids in kindergarten must be removed. Why bother to buy an expensive card for graphics with some superduper GPU when that MetroBS is looking far worse than Windows NT4 did ? Wasted money. Sorry that the dev-team still don't respond to ALL feedback, but only to the the people that SUCK their butts…. Wrong way to treat customers. You should care more about all the negative feedback than You care about the positive feedback. I will stay with my Windows 2000, XP, XP x64 and Vista. I will not waste any money on that DOWNGRADE to Windows 8. Out of the question !

  86. Clay Shannon says:

    Although I haven't done any scientific testing, Windows 8 seems noticeably faster than Windows 7 on my machine. Then again, I don't play games – I'm talking about opening apps, mainly.

  87. Did anyone observer /measure the actual battery life in windows 7 VS windows 8

    I have a feeling that running CPU , + GPU more frequently has heavy load on battery considerably and it drains the battery much faster.

    resulting in overall lower productive time..

    I am not sure if it is due to frequest switching between metro and desktop and the general .. digging around in win 8 . or the battery is actually getting taxed more, and more often.

  88. nickels says:

    Ughhh.  More stuff to turn off if we want OpenGL to work correctly…

  89. jader3rd says:

    @CeoYahoo

    Actually the flop per watt of a GPU is way lower than that of a CPU. If you're going to be doing the same amount of calculations, the more that can be pushed to the GPU (not all types of calculations can be done on the GPU) the better. So running the CPU + GPU will generally be better than just CPU.

  90. john says:

    This is all great, but unless you nix the whole corners idea or at least provide a "classic mode", windows 8 will be undeployable in the enterprise. We are all for better performance, faster boot time, higher stability, app store… The problem is that Windows 8 on normal laptops will drive people mad. Even if they get a button like in the dev preview it will be better then the corners thing. Better would be to let users decide. We would deploy in classic mode but give instructions on how to go metro and how to go back to classic if they don't like it.

  91. Windows 8 is not that great I think there needs to be alot of changes in the operating system as well as the new Microsoft Office 2013

  92. Why does it always feel like OpenGL is getting the cold shoulder on Windows?  OpenGL is the only cross-platform API.  For example, VTK is a common open source cross-platform graphics library that is commonly used for many professional applications – we use it.  Of course, it only has an OpenGL renderer – no DirectX.

    For all the talk about standards (HTML5, CSS, etc.), there's little support for a standard 3D graphics API – the standard OpenGL seems to be viewed as "legacy" by Microsoft.

    Please make OpenGL a first-class Windows citizen again, next to DirectX.  At least let us use it from Metro apps.  We might be very interested in porting our app to Metro someday if it supported OpenGL.  But that's not going to happen if you don't support OpenGL, because VTK requires OpenGL.  All of our code uses OpenGL.

    Oh, need I remind you that iOS and Android support OpenGL?  Why should we invest hundreds or thousands of hours into supporting proprietary DirectX for a Metro app, when the mobile market leaders support the OpenGL standard?

    You may be king of the desktop and getting away with proprietary DirectX API lock-in (for now), but you are NOT king of mobile, so don't expect that the usual proprietary lock-in tricks will work for you there.

  93. gd says:

    The silent majority is silent (but laughs at comment trolls on lunch break).  

    Great work bringing some real innovation back to the core platform. It's good to see that the core experience isn't going to stagnate for another decade.  🙂

  94. pmbAustin says:

    @Lance, the only thing "monumentally stupid" is the notion that you in any way "lose" your screen to start a new app.

    I have a dozen apps pinned to my task bar.  I don't use "notepad" enough to warrent a pinned position, but I do use it.

    When I need it, I hit Windows-key, type 'note' and press enter.  And it's running, just like on Windows 7.  Not a single change.  I'm right where I was on my desktop.  I didn't LOSE anything.  At all.

    Wanna go directly to your "All Apps" list?  There's a bunch of ways.  Mouse to lower-right corner, right-click, select "Search" from the pop up.  Or just hit Windows-F to find whatever file you want (the "all applications" list will be there by default).  Launch a desktop app, and you're right back where you were.  Configure your start-screen to remove anything you don't want, and put all the things you use most in the first group.

    This isn't rocket-science.  If you'd stop fighting against it so hard, you might actually find out it's not only not as bad as you seem to think it is, but that it's not bad at all.  It's merely different.

  95. There have been a couple questions asking if DX11.1 GPUs are required for all the performance improvements I mention in the post. The answer is "no." DX11.1 is required, however, for the "Target Independent Rasterization" feature I talk about.  

  96. farmington says:

    Speaking of hardware accelerating everything, there needs to be a way for C# developers to access the 3D stack. I don't really care if it is XNA, Silverlight 5 3D (or WPF 3D) or some fancy new WinRT service, but 3D has to be available to managed codebases. C++ does not have a monopoly on 3D. (Oh, and please don't rely on third-party or open source libraries for this. It needs to come from MS.)

  97. Jens says:

    give me the startmenu back… all this is useless with the metro crap instead of a usefull startmenu…..

  98. Adam says:

    @Rob Copeland [MSFT]:

    Are any of these performance changes to Direct2d going to be made available on Windows 7 as well? Many of these improvements would be welcome to those of us writing D2D applications outside of the metro ecosystem.

  99. small mountain says:

    What investments is Microsoft making on the desktop side to allow integration of immediate-mode D2D graphics with XAML-based UI?  (chirp, chirp)

  100. Need 3D for C# LOB & Social applications says:

    I have several WP7 apps that are NOT games, however, they take advantage of the 3D capabilities of XNA to display beautiful 3D visualizations. One of these apps is a very popular LOB data visualization app. Another is a social app that shows your social influence in a 3D representation. They are both butter smooth on all existing WP7 devices, indicating to me that C# and XNA are plenty performant. I cuold never port these over to C++ (and wouldn't want to) because they have tons of business logic written in C# and utilize several well known managed libraries. They also share code with my server side web service (running in Azure) that handles all the communications and syncing of data. To rewrite my server logic in C++ is a non-starter. Please provide some way for me to do powerful DirectX 3D from within my C# Xaml apps.

  101. ImpWolf says:

    This is all well and good Microsoft, but have you tested Windows 8 on Intel Cedar Trail hardware yet?, pretty sure you'll find that any kind of 2D/3D hardware acceleration is a very amusing joke. You can't even run a Metro app without crashing on a GMA 3600/3650!

  102. farmington says:

    Just curious, do these graphics improvements make remote desktop better/faster?

  103. Andruid says:

    WPF needs to take advantage of these accelerations. What is the status of this??!

  104. Jennifer Norberg says:

    @Arpit, thank you for your interest in assistive technologies (ATs). We do have a solution for ATs that previously used mirror drivers and provided a brief explanation in this accessibility blog: blogs.msdn.com/…/enabling-accessibility.aspx. It’s part of the last section.

  105. Are there any significant 3D improvements at all (apart from the note in the end about stereoscopic 3d) it seems everything is about IE/ js-metro and directwrite.

    What about .NET are there any improvements in that area?

    Does XAML (WPF/Silverlight/etc) applications benefith at all?

    What about .real NET DirectX support or any improvements to XNA?

  106. Nitz Walsh says:

    @Damien Guard: "While metro apps don't use ClearType it is still supported in DirectWrite and even better you can have your text use ClearType on the X axis with grey-scale AA on the Y axis for better text than was possible with GDI+."

    My mistake then, I shouldn't be spreading misinformation on something I've "heard".  Thanks for the clarification, that's good.

  107. Gartner analyst retracts "Windows 8 is bad" claim says:

    Gartner analyst retracts "Windows 8 is bad" claim

    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/…/gartner-analyst-retracts-windows-8-is-bad-claim

  108. Nitz Walsh says:

    Ironic that Gartner actually retracts probably the only prediction that has a change in hell of being correct for a change. 🙂

  109. Supermarket Retailer says:

    How is my company, with early 700 workstations, with simple workman that have years of normal desktop experience, adapt to a complete, no desktop experience system. I sincerely hope that you have in mind the possibility of installation without metro option. Or i'm seeing a new possibility to Ubuntu. Yearly i spend in Microsoft licences around 300.000€. Servers, Exchange, SharePoint, Cloud, Office, etc, etc, etc… Like myself are the Portuguese Industrial Association is preoccupied.

  110. R Potter says:

    @Need 3D for C# LOB & Social applications

    DirectX is COM-based so it can be used from any language supporting COM. You can also use SharpDX, which is a DirectX wrapper for C#. MonoGame is an open-source alternative to XNA (uses the same basic API) that is working on a Windows 8 port based on SharpDX.

  111. @pmbAustin: "I have a dozen apps pinned to my task bar. "

    Yes, you are correct, the taskbar is really useful. Let me know how you can pin a Metro app to it so you can continue working in the same productive way in Windows 8.

    That's right, you can't. Metro apps will become more popular, this is a good thing. But on the desktop, we will be forced into the corners and dragging along the edge… no more pinning to the taskbar for you!

  112. W8RPUser says:

    I wish Microsoft had kept the metro UI only for tablets / touch-based machines, and had instead added live tile as a features to desktop gadgets for the non-touch capable machines. But I guess their telemetry data showed hardly anyone uses the desktop gadgets – just like the win+tab feature so – probably so much that they're behaving like Apple, and giving us what they think is the best for us.

    But then again, they are not forcing us to upgrade to Win8 – at least till all OEMs remote Windows 7 as an option. I guess I'll stay away from Win8 till I've a choice to disable the metro UI.

  113. Xero says:

    @Steven Sinofsky – B8, @Stephen T. Tavavej – VCblog, @Ted Johnson – IE and other Tycoons/Pioneers/Hotshot of MSDN blog umbrella..

    About this blogging system: The blog system running on blogs.office.com, blogs.msdn.com, windowsteamblog.com etc. is a product of "Telligent" corp.

    I have reported this bug to Ted Johnson -> Microsoft IE blogger. He reffered me to the guys responsible at telligent team. I sent them the whole list of bugs including:

    For the anonymous users:

    – The session timeout (15 minutes for anonymous users and unlimited for signed-in users)

    – Lack of error & warning notifications

    – Lack of retaining the message in the <textarea> when the page is refreshed without posting your comment

    – If the message was moderated out due to inappropriate statement show notification while retaining the message in the textarea with "consider-reviewing" notification, so the user can edit

    …yada yada

    The bug reports on telligent issue tracker are still opened (T00020087 & T00020932  on 04/26 and 06/23 respectively). Never heard back from them. If you know someone personally in Telligent, please ask him to escalade these annoying bugs in their product.

    Talking about a decent blogging system, there are number of blog system example (with source code) on MSDN tutorials for ASP-MVC3 Entity Framework alone!! So why don't they just deploy one of their own example rather buying the product from crippled Telligent… Looks like someone at Microsoft has made a fishy deal with Telligent guys.. *mutual benefits*.. Microsoft needs to laywer up and sue his caboose… (pardon my French)…

  114. John says:

    I have to say that the font rendering in Metro apps is really bad. Why is there no Clear Type in Metro apps?

  115. Lance says:

    @pmbAustin

    Glad you like it but the screen transition is jarring as hell.  I have used it and there is absolutely no excuse for MS forcing us to use this UI. I'm glad you like it, somebody has to, and if it was optional I wouldn't have an issue. I don't need to loose my desktop – even temporarily.  If I'm working with a video on it's annoying as hell <B> to me </b>.

    Why would I pay anything to be annoyed by both that and the Ads that will stream to my desktop via live tiles. If I want to run an app that I don't feel the need to update, the last thing I want is it nagging me to upgrade on the start screen.   Every freeware program will become an ad platform.  

    I'm fine with metro on a tablet, but forcing it on me on a desktop is unnecessary and invasive. As I said, I'm glad you like it pmbAustin, but I'd really like a good reason why MS won't allow me to disable it?  it's not like it would be hard, it worked in the dev preview and MS killed it out of arrogance.

    If you like it leave it on…. a huge number of us hate it with a passion – LET US TURN IT OFF!!!

    P.S. – Windows gadgets didn't have to die. I use 2 of them, they aren't critical but they were nice to haves.  Cleartype shouldn't have been killed to appease the limitations of tablets.  Don't kill the good for the mediocre.

  116. Slim C. says:

    @AZJack, are you still trolling on behalf of Consumer Preview? Release Preview was released long time ago and RTM is on its way next month.. You trolls are bunch of nonsense and full of crap! If you have convinced your sealed minds not to give Windows 8 a try (probably because some penguin freak plagued and messed with your heads) and now you hate Metro UI (coz it takes no effort to call anything from Microsoft "sucks"…), then what are you doing here besides trolling on each blog post.. Why does your browser history even has the word Microsoft in it? Why don't you invest your time and effort on something "productive" and why not just stop looking what software giant is up to?

    My advise: Move your lousy asses to Mac (pay more and keep convincing yourself its better because you spent more money!), Linux or Solaris (any one which you find user friendly, extremely-n-significantly productive and real fun). Happy hunting.

    Otherwise remember this; no OS vendor to this day has delivered same OS for desktop/laptop/tablet/phone yet. And integration and collaboration in systems is a real innovation in Computer Science. Ask your penguin loving friend when he finish "resolving the dependencies" for a simple software installation…

  117. pmbAustin says:

    @Lance, you ARE aware you can turn off live-tile updating right?  You speak as if you don't understand this.  So no, everything you said in that paragraph is wrong.

    And I was annoyed by the start screen at first.  But you get used to it.  You seem to think nobody can ever get used to anything.  IT's really not a problem or a big deal.  It's just not.  If you think it is, then you haven't even slightly investigated how to configure your workstation to your liking.  You haven't taken any time.

    You really need to open your mind.  Beyond that, nobody is forcing you to upgrade, and there are utilities available like StarDock's "Start8".  So seriously, stop whining.  Nothing is going to change now.  It's unproductive, and far more annoying than the start screen could ever be.

  118. CapoxD says:

    Great article! I tried to comment in Google Chrome but it didnt show up so I'm doing it from IE. I found that the drivers used for my Intel gma 945 are not good enough (I have an old Compaq nx7400). I'm using CP version Windows 8 and the avi, mkv, mp4 video playback is a disaster on metro Video App and WMP, the video is out of sync, choppy, sometimes green… and the gaming doesnt worked. I tried to play Fruit Ninja and Doodle Jump, the only great games in the store so far (and Cut the rope), and the games didnt work, they just open and the close inmediately but once I uninstalled the video driver and got the vga default driver those games worked great but if I installed the WDDM 1.0 driver I cannot play. We need better drivers on Windows 8.

    Thanks

  119. Nitz Walsh says:

    @pbmAustin:  Please, lay off the standard boilerplate responses such as "You just have to open your mind" and "You'll get used to it".  There is *tons* of criticism on Win8 – and especially the Start Screen – from long-term Windows users who are anything but afraid of change, cripes even Paul Thurrott has questioned how well it will be received and commented that it doesn't really fit well with the desktop.  If you're more of a fanboy that Thurrott, you have a mental condition.

    I mean cripes, recommending that someone doesn't want a screenfull of flashing ads to "turn off Live Tiles" when that is promoted as one of THE defining features of Metro is absolutely ridiculous.  Not to mention the full-screen of ads when you go into the video and music Metro apps.

    As much as there are no-content trolls posting here at times, you are equally a ridiculous shill for MS on the other side.

  120. Windows 8 is gonna fail, no matter what says:

    It doesn't really matter, it's still not worth upgrading. Metro in Windows 8 is going to be the end of Windows 8. Good for competition

  121. Well done, Rob!  Whew…reading these comments, so many of them written by people tragically born without brains, I have nothing but an enormous amount of respect for you folks–regardless of how you try and simplify the information there are invariably those who wish to comment on it simply to mindlessly criticize.  I perversely enjoy (not really) the comments of those who hated Vista but love Win7 without knowing (or caring) that Win7 is essentially Vista 2.0…;)  Anyway, good luck with Win8–at its introductory price of $39.99, something Microsoft should have done years ago, imo, Win8 should be the hottest selling OS in Microsoft's history!  I'm certainly on board.

  122. Andrew says:

    I do wish microsoft would respond to at least some the questions. In some posts they do.  Otherwise what's the point of allowing comments at all?

    Anyways, I'm sure Windows 8 will be fine.  It's probably the first windows in a long time that actually cut on some features that used to be present, but it adds alot of others.

    Metro won't be the end of the world…  It's not perfect on the desktop and most power users probably won't use it much, at least when working, but I can see a lot of home users liking it.  Windows 7 is great, but it's still too hard for alot of people.  Metro is a decent step in that direction without totally compromising like ios.  I like my ipad, but it is also very limited.

  123. Nitz Walsh says:

    @WaltC3: Wow.  It's like you actually *aspire* to sound like a marketing droid.  "I'm certainly on board!" – who the hell says that unless they're being forced to at gunpoint?

  124. indie Dev says:

    Why on earth would you kill XNA?!??!???!!!

    We can't be expected to learn D3D just to display some 3D stuff or make a simple scroller game…

  125. Derf Skren says:

    So wait, even after 10 years, Windows can't reliably redraw the screen when it's telling each pixel what colour to be, and now you think it's gonna be really wonderful to accelerate the drawing functions via 3rd party code?

    Every single thing I hear about Windows 8 reassures me that MS is flushing itself down the toilet once and for all.

  126. Ex Customer says:

    @WaltC3

    Maybe it is You that is born without a brain ?

  127. MetroSucksInDesktop says:

    Developers, please (for godsake) make a disable button for metro, or make a 3rd party patch that disables Metro when Win8 releases. It is really hard to do things with Metro. I like metros in real life but it sucks in computers!!

    Tablets OK.

  128. Frenz says:

    WaltC3: We critize because we actually love these products and want to prevent Microsoft from making one of the biggest mistakes in the history of Windows (although I guess it's rather too late now).

    Putting consumers > professionals is a big step away from their former "Developers, Developers, Developers" mantra.

    Win 8 is a claustrophobic desktop experience at best, a tablet OS at worst. Neither is a productive environment.

  129. Lol trolls xD

    The non-existent God save the idiots who hate metro

    Power User, 3 displays, 20" 24" 42"

    at least 200 tabs open in 4-5 browsers.

    at least 5 power applications and 5 basic applications open at a time

    Enthusiast pc on 24-7/365 except for reboots.

    I sextuple boot windows XP (for bob's track builder :D), windows 7, windows 8 RP, OSX Mountain Lion Preview, mint and Ubuntu.

    Also a normal user of a laptop that I run occasionally (only win 8 RP) .

    In both cases, the best productivity and UX I get is on Windows 8.

    Case Closed.

    Developer, Photographer, Designer.

  130. Frenz says:

    Great that it works for you, it simply just doesn't work for me and a lot of other people – we all have different requirements, routines/habits and ways in which we work most optimal and I find that the desktop experience in Win 8 has been crippled and that Microsoft is being stubborn about it…

    And I'm not one of those who whine about every release, I have been using Microsoft Operating Systems since MS-DOS and every Windows version since 3.11 and I've always been one of the first movers, wanting to stay in touch with the latest and greatest. I was even one of those who liked Vista (alright it had some initial glitches, but SP1 took care of those).

    But this time I'm complaining. Because they're seriously hurting productivity and the desktop version is like a stripped down version with frustrating artifacts popping up every corner … And the fact that with Metro everything has to be fullscreen makes it completely pointless for anything but "Cut-the-rope" and such entertainment – which is really frustrating because WinRT looks really great! At least they could allow us to launch Metro applications in windowed mode so they would actually be able to do something useful combined with my other productivity applications. Also you cannot stay in Desktop mode .. all kind of setting dialogs have been made Metro only .. popping into fullscreen when you least expect it.

    Honestly, it's really frustrating to see the company that invented "Windows" turn to fullscreen mode (with some silly splitter) and telling us that this is the future and that the Desktop is more or less considered a legacy mode. If this is the future for Windows, then sorry, then I'm getting off the train (Which does not mean I would switch to Linux or something silly like that, but that I would probably be stuck on Win 7 until Microsoft finally realise what they're doing sometime around Windows 9/10…)

    I will probably enjoy my Win 8 tablet though, because that's really what this OS was made for.

  131. Nitz Walsh says:

    Looks like Gabe Newell – you know, the guy singlehandedly responsible for saving PC gaming and making what is is today (far more than MS, which seems determined to kill it), is a "troll" too:

    http://www.eurogamer.net/…/2012-07-26-gabe-newell-calls-windows-8-a-catastrophe

    "Gabe Newell: Windows 8 a Catastrophe"

    Keep believing everyone who is not impressed by Win8 is a "troll", which developers and professional users & reviewers continue to look at it critically and come away bewildered.

  132. _ALEX_ says:

    @C-Dan

    disappointing words from you….

    ofc u are too young to understand and know why really Windows 8 is a crap designed OS…

    Under the hood there are some special and very useful improvements, but it is not enough to cover the bad Metro usability!!!

    Listen, in My 300 emplyes company we still use Xp, which in terms of productivity and usability is 1000 times better than Metro 8, we slowly upgrade to 7 which is the best Os as ever….

    Here internet access is blocked, so Metro app are useless….(coz covers tasbar too when running, which is the biggest mistake done in W8)

    Start screen covers the taskbar, where we usually have 20 tasks opened, all at a glance, without loosing nothing when launching start menu….

    Your "case closed" young dude, is:

    Windows 8 is just as latest smartphone, beautiful and for chitchatting, basically web surfing and watch and share latest photo taken ONLY(with the phone is better, you take the photo and share immediatly)

    Windows 8 in our or other well big companies on DESKTOPS???

    NEVER if company will maintain productivity and not employees chitchatting over the web instead of working(yes some companies still do not block web accesses)

    Develop and design more Metro apps, this will be your future…….

  133. Jean says:

    @_ALEX_, in "MY" 14000+ employees multinational company, we are already planning the "new age" in Feb 2013. Here is how it transpires: Windows Server 8 OS for all servers in data-center, Windows 8 Enterprise edition on laptops, WinRT tablets for warehouses/sales personnels and smartphone choice is left on user discretion.

    Remember; "UI is not ART. Its a SCIENCE which is defined as: Art of solving problems.. "   In this case problem being; you have heterogeneous clientele with scattered knowledge base, then physically impaired people, business/enterprise people, school teachers, students, and IT pro etcetera.. and then you have different form factors; desktop, laptops, touch screens, TVs, notebooks, netbooks, tablets, phone—-  and you need to provide a "working" and unified interface for them. Make it "working" is the requirement of the domain (Computing -> AI -> HCI), make it "unified"/same looking is their decision (which apparently you don't appreciate but its too subjective to generalize over masses).

  134. Andrew says:

    I think metro is decent and will be good on tablets.  I think the limitations are too big for desktop/productivity.

    I look at what I have open right now.

    Chrome, Firefox, hyper-v manager, putty, eclipse, remote desktop, visual studio 2010, sql server management studio, ms lync, outlook, an internal java app, excel, tortoisehg, ms security essentails, iis express, pg admin 3, and a vpn connection.

    How much of that is going to go metro?  And when?  And I need to be able to switch easily between them, copy paste, side by side, on multiple monitors, with multiple instances of many of them running concurrently and also useable side by side.  

    I've used windows 8 a little bit, and I'm going to install it as my main os.  But I strongly feel, as many others do, that the windows 8 version of metro is for home users, tablets, and casual use.  It's not nearly capable of replacing the desktop.  It needs changes.  I know microsoft knows this.  They have almost 100k employees, using at least half of the same apps and tools I do.  I would just be nice to see microsoft acknowlege that metro is not a desktop replacement and see a roadmap for where this is going.  I'm all in favor of an improved metro.  There's many things about the desktop that are fundamentally bad, dated, insecure, inefficient, power hungry, etc.  And I actually think metro has addressed most of them, so I'd love to see metro improved.

    I'd like to see better scaling for large monitors, more screen split options (and the ability to put more than 2 apps on the screen at once), more options for controlling when an app is suspended etc.  It's kind of ridiculous to assume that audio and file downloads are the only reason an app would need to do background processing.  Maybe on a mobile device that's a reasonable 'default', but it's bs on a desktop or laptop.

  135. Stephen Kellett says:

    @pmbAustin

    "And I was annoyed by the start screen at first.  But you get used to it.  "

    No I don't. Good for you that you did. But it annoys the living daylights out of me.

    "You seem to think nobody can ever get used to anything.  IT's really not a problem or a big deal.  It's just not.  "

    *FOR YOU*. Not for me, or the other people here. You have your opinion and that is fine, but please don't tell me I don't know my own opinion.

    "If you think it is, then you haven't even slightly investigated how to configure your workstation to your liking.  You haven't taken any time."

    Your band aids to replace the start menu are just that band aids. Inferior in every way to the start menu.

    Microsoft is going to get a bloody nose over this, despite our protestations. None of us want that to happen.

  136. DarkUltra says:

    Hi!

    Will File Explorer be hardware accelerated in release Version of Windows 8? I find that scrolling c:windowssystem32 in icon mode with a fullscreen window is very jerky, like it is in this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch

    Otherwise, I see that regular window compositioning is much better in Windows 8 on my system 🙂

    http://www.youtube.com/watch

    Also, please consider 120hz and 120fps, I am convinced this is a considerable upgrade for most people.

    – Wonder in amazement as the 120Hz display produces an easily observable higher fluidity in the animation.

    techreport.com/articles.x/21516

    – The ASUS VG236H was my first exposure to 120Hz refresh displays that aren’t CRTs, and the difference is about as subtle as a dump truck driving through your living room.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3842/asus-vg236h-review-our-first-look-at-120hz

    – Doing precise image editing, as another example, is an area where faster display processing times are desirable.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2787

    – I saw a 120hz monitor at my local MicroCenter and was totally amazed by how smooth the mouse moved on the desktop, makes my 60hz monitor looks absolutely dated.

    hardforum.com:80/showthread.php?t=1466381&page=3

    – You’ll also dig the smoothness of running at 120Hz in 2D mode. It’s remarkable how much slicker everything looks and feels compared to conventional 60Hz panels. The future is definitely 120Hz.

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/monitors-and-projectors/monitors/acer-gd245hq-908747/review/page:2

  137. @Stephen Kellett:

    It really does no good to try and discuss the issue with the pmbAustin types. I have watched his type for years on the various MMO forums tell anyone who objects to a single change out of hundreds being applied with a patch/expansion that they 'just do not like change' and that they are just part of a 'vocal minority' who's opinion means little.

    I personally believe that the main reason that Microsoft chose, in a rather sad and pathetic way, to force the Metro UI on the desktop OS is that the early internal feedback was so negative that they knew nobody would ever use it unless they were made to. Then, once they get a critical mass of cunsumer PC's shipped with Windows 8, they can claim that it is a success no matter the actual feedback.

    It is actually kind of amusing that they think they will get any real sales from the Facebook generation who have already made their choice of tablet OS, iPad or Android, and are constantly fed a continous cycle of Miscrosoft evil {insert OS of choice here} good. All you have to do is look at Windows Phone 7 market share, running a version of Metro that actually is stable and easy to use, to see that stability and features matter less than running with the crowd.

    I love my Windows Phone 7 device. Metro on it works well and the limitations on background tasks and full screen only apps make sense. But to take the limitations of a portable device, reminiscent of DOS task switching, and drop it on my i7 6 core/12GB ram/dual 23" monitor desktop and expect me to applaud… not gonna happen.

    The sad part is Microsoft could have had businesses drooling to get their hands on a Windows 8 tablet if they had focused on less on gimping the desktop experience and more on integrating the tablet into the existing business domain model so that existing apps could be ported to the tablet using the Windows 7 UI and new applications could be developed to take advantage of the tablet UI where it made sense. They could take a large step in that direction now if they just left the Windows 7 desktop intact and gave the option to run the entire Metro environment in a window, possibly even allow multiple instances of Metro, and give everyone what they want while introducing the new UI in a way that generated constructive feedback for future updates.

    Since, as a developer, I need to keep informed about Windows 8, I will be accomplishing this by using the free VMPlayer software from VMWare to create a virtual Windows 8 machine to run on my Windows 7 box in a window so I can move it anywhere and not have it take over an entire monitor.

    In the mean time I will be doing my level best to keep Windows 8 as far from my business environment as possible.

  138. Why bother? The only Windows 8 is going to be usable is full-on alternate shell.

  139. Ed says:

    Nice!

    But still look ugly IMHO…

    Hope that changes for RTM.

  140. Guest says:

    My poor old AMD 3200 still has no Win8 drivers, nor it will get some. It worked fine with Vista+7, but can't work with Win8. I'm really disappointed about this, one of the main reasons why I'll skip Win8.

  141. pmbAustin says:

    @Stephen, what 'bandaids'?  Name something you do with the start menu that you can't do in Windows 8.

    I can think of only two:  the recent documents lists for pinned apps, and the inability to search for settings directly (defaulting to only apps).  I still hope they fix that last one, as the fix is easy:  just default searches to the first category that has results.

    Everything else is present and just as easy to use.  I still think you haven't made any effort to get used to the new way of doing things.  At least you've given no evidence of it, nor have you specified anything specific… other than "it bugs me".  Which isn't specific at all.  There's no lost functionality, and lots of new functionality.

  142. Pol says:

    I'm just waiting for the massive disaster of Windows 8.

  143. I was try to install Windows 8 in my VGN-FFZ4000 I was successful in everything including the hard part which is the Nvidia GeForce 8400M GT.

    This is what happen, first I install windows 8 then in device manager appear video card as general video display. In properties driver I click update and then search automatically for updated driver software and then windows find update and proceed to install it, after successfully installed work fine until I play HD video or any program that require high graphic use (a simple program like photo viewer) and then crash and windows disable the display adapter (best scenario) or I get a blue screen or make windows restart or halted system screen (worst scenario). If I leave with the general display driver overheat the GPU, CPU and the fan make a loud sound and get really hot. I tried different setup but and the end I get the same result. I send the report a lot times to windows but it fail and the end to send it. I have to downgrade to windows 7 and the laptop is working smooth and no overheat and run all the application and play HD 1080p videos.

    I also try after installing the drivers disable all the 3D and the luxury and eye candy use interface and only leave priority to performance and work for a while but the video card driver that is for windows 8 download it from Microsoft software update make the GPU and the CPU overheat only using IE or Office 15 Preview and finally crash again.

    I am really disappointed for bought this laptop from Sony this is my first and last computer I am going to buy from them. They stop giving support just after windows vista and I don’t know why. So the Video card Sony say windows automatic install it but with a driver that is 4 years old and for Windows 7 only for 32 bit system and windows 8 just crash. Nvidia say “The manufacturer of this system requires that you download the driver for your GPU from their support site.” This is really frustrating.

    The hardware still working well, the laptop is just fine for everyday tasks, I am just try to squeeze the last penny I spend it until I finish collage and get a decent job so I can buy a laptop with a company that give a better support or at least let the hardware manufacturer keep support it, like Dell, I have a 7 years old Dell PC with Windows XP and when windows 7 came out just install out the box not need of downloading or changing manually drivers to work and still working up to day even faster that with Windows XP and planning to install windows 8.

    Anyone have this kind of problem with video card from Sony laptops?

  144. XBLIG Developer says:

    XNA! XNA! XNA! If WinRT doesn't support XNA then I won't be porting over my XBLIG games. (I have 12 games, three are top sellers. All are written in XNA and I refuse to rewrite thousands of lines of code in C++ D3D.)

  145. CapneoCrowley says:

    I Does Do…Wants It.

  146. Sebastian Gonzalez says:

    Windows 8 sucks, I'm moving to Linux.

  147. Sebastian Gonzalez says:

    Steam and games are coming to Linux, bye M$, I'm done with Windows, I'm switching to Linux now.

  148. Remllab Evets says:

    @Sebastian Gonzalez

    Linux is broken as an user OS, I know because I run Linux on my servers.

    Have fun playing 3-4 games on steam.

    OSX had steam years ago, and that didn't kill Windows.

  149. Sebastian Gonzalez says:

    @Remllab Evets: I also run Linux on my servers and the fact that you don't know how to administer Linux doesn't mean it's broken, moron.

  150. Sebastian Gonzalez says:

    @Remllab Evets: Linux is not broken as desktop OS or anything like that, Windows is broken with all its spyware/malware.

    3-4 games? haha, did you heard Gabe wanting to port all the 2500 games to Linux?

  151. There are many comments here posted by people concerned about the productivity of Windows 8 desktops, but most are aimed to be constructive. Microsoft has made some fantastic changes addressing aesthetics, touch, cloud and overall product strategy. Big changes to significant stuff. We want this to be a success.

    So it is quite sad to see so many negative comments but they are virtually all about one issue: the design integrating Metro into the desktop. I really hope management is listening to the loud feedback from previews before this thing gets adopted by the masses … or not as the case may be.

    I look forward to Windows 8 phones and tablets… they look great.

  152. Ex customer says:

    Why are 'The Cloud' so incredible fantastic to a lot of people ? I myself wouldn't trust any of the companies in USA that have cloud services. Why You may ask ? The thing is that since the end of 2011 have there been many new laws in USA that give american authorities the right to take any users account or files. It is not a better situation that most companies in USA even support these laws today. First they did protest about SOPA, as many might remember ? Today SOPA is dead, but reborn as CISPA. All giants, more than 800 companies, in USA support CISPA; Google, Apple, Microsoft and so on…. Why on Earth should i trust them when they first reject such a law as SOPA and then support it when it is reborn as CISPA that is worse than SOPA ? Now they even seem to support a law that takes CISPA even further, now named as IPAA. The Cloud is not to trust, especially not the services in USA. I rather have my files stored local in some external drive that can be turned off when i don't use the files. Why share my company secrets with the american authorities ? No way !

  153. Martin Gifford says:

    Ex customer,

    Yeah, I'm amazed that people worry about security regarding viruses and internet banking, but are willing to put their files on the cloud. The US government is getting more power now that Obama has gone to the dark side by cementing Bush extremism into place for "security". Now we have bipartisan agreement on these issues. Obama is now killing US citizens abroad just on his personal say so. People have been conditioned by the media to trust the government because of over-hyped 9/11 fears. People have become so comfortable because the security regime hasn't reached them (yet), that they just blithely go with whatever computer companies want. Make no mistake, we are one nuclear explosion away from a totalitarian world. Everything is in place for that. It's such a tragedy because globalisation has set the world up for creating a utopia if only people had good will and were constructive instead of being obsessed with security on one side, and power on the other.

    Regarding Windows 8, I actually love everything about it except the UI (I especially hate the Charms bar and the hotspot corners). I definitely want huge changes and improvements to the old UI. For example, I hated the pokey start button, and I think the metro Start screen has great potential as a replacement, but, for many, it isn't quite there yet. So I think MS has a moral obligation to give people the option of a Windows 95/98/XP/7 desktop experience since MS basically has a monopoly in many ways, and the new UI is nowhere near ready for the desktop. Ideally, I would like to keep the metro start screen but remove the hotspots and move the charms functions into a taskbar on the metro Start screen. That would be best of both worlds for the desktop IMO.

    😉