105. New Ultrabooks, Old Office, and the Big Consumer Preview
But one thing is knowable now: With Windows 8, Microsoft has sweated the details, embraced beauty and simplicity, and created something new and delightful. Get psyched. –David Pogue, NYT, Feb 2012
The previous section detailed the release of the Windows 8 platform, WinRT, for building Metro-style apps. In the reimagining of Windows from the chipset to the experience, we’ve covered all the major efforts. In this section, we will describe the latest in PCs that will contribute to Windows 8, which Intel called Ultrabook™ PCs We will also introduce the Windows Store where developers could distribute apps. The really big news will be the Consumer Preview or beta test for Windows 8 where millions will experience the product for the first time. It might surprise readers, just as with the Developer Preview, that the reaction to the product across many audiences was quite positive. Just how positive? And what in the world could the professional press and reviewers actually liked? And what did Apple’s Tim Cook have to say about all this?
Following the //build conference we were feeling quite good. Not to belabor the point, but I recognize how challenging it is to take such feelings at face value given where the product ended up. In writing this and helping people experience the steps we went through at the time in sequence, my hope is that what comes to light is that we were not bonkers and in fact much of the industry was excited by Windows 8 as it emerged. Of course, there were skeptics and doubters, even haters, but as veterans of dozens of major products we’d seen this before and the volume for Windows 8 was not disproportionate. If anything, the excitement and optimism were higher. So where did things take a decidedly different direction? It was when after product emerged from the Developer Preview and a series of events including the widely distributed Consumer Preview, or beta, when millions of people would experience the product. The leadup to the Consumer Preview in March 2012 included some important steps in the process as well.