Windows 8 Hardware recommendations for OEMs

Microsoft discussed the new hardware recommendations for the upcoming Windows 8 tablets and slates today during the OS’s unveiling at the Computex trade-show in Taiwan. According to Microsoft Corporate Vice President Mike Angiulo Windows 8 devices manufacturers will have to follow strict hardware guidelines when building products similar to Windows Phone 7 OEMs right now. Three ARM chipset manufacturers are currently certified to for Windows 8: Qualcomm (Press Release here), Texas Intrusments (Press Release here) and NVIDIA. ODMs and OEMs will apparently (according to Acer) only be allowed to deal with one of the three SoC makers for their whole line of Win8 products.

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HTC launches HTCDev developer program and opens up the Sense UI with the OpenSense SDK

HTC’s CEO Perter Chou has just announced, during his Qualcomm Upling Keynote, that the company is opening up the Sense UI to modders with the OpenSense SDK and launching a new developer program named HTCDev. So what is this all about? Here’s the official description:

HTCdev will be a comprehensive resource for developers that will provide the core tools you need to develop your ideas specifically on HTC devices, including access to HTC OpenSense SDK, support, education, and enhanced services that will enable you to build, publish and promote your ideas. HTCdev will be a constantly evolving platform and we intend to use your feedback to add new features and tools in the future. This is the start of a conversation and of a collaboration. Where it goes from here is only limited by your imagination.

As you can see HTC is going to provide a free OpenSense SDK that will allow anybody to play around and modify the famous and critically acclaimed Sense UI.

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Texas Instruments announces Windows 8 support with new OMAP4470 SoC

Texas Instrument like Qualcomm earlier is also announcing its first Windows 8 compatible SoC today at the Computex tradeshow. The Dual-Core OMAP4470 will be the company’s first SoC to also include the latest PowerVR SGX544 GPU (probably clocked at 400Mhz) coupled with two Cortex A9 cores clocked at 1.8Ghz , two ARM Cortex-M3 cores clocked at 266Mhz and dual-channel LPDDR2 memory running at 466Mhz. Full press release after the break:

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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon support for Windows 8

Qualcomm has officially announced that its Dual-Core MSM8960 with integrated 3G/LTE modem will be the company’s first Windows 8 compatible Snapdragon SoC. It will be followed in the first half of 2012 by the Quad-Core APQ8064. Texas instrument and NVIDIA are the two other ARM manufacturers certified to run Windows 8 and both have also shown working silicon today. NVIDIA’s first Windows 8 compatible SoC will apparently be Kal-EL and TI’s will be the OMAP4470 (with a PowerVR SGX544 GPU). Press release after the break:
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Windows 8 UI unveiled: Windows Phone 7 Metro inspired (Video)

After months of leaks and rumors the Windows 8 UI has finally been unveiled by Microsoft’s Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky today at the D9 conference.

As you can see in the picture below the UI is heavily influenced by Windows Phone 7‘s Metro UI where Application can be pinned directly on the home screen. The Metro like UX is actually a shell running in windows this means that you will also have access to the “regular”desktop UI for legacy apps and other tasks as seen in the video after the break. Both regular and Metro UI will always be on and apparently can’t be switched of.

According to has been said Windows 8′s software ecosystem will essentially be composed of to types of applications: regular ones (C++,C# etc) that will run exactly like the ones we have right now on Windows and lightweight HTML5 / Javascript applications that will use internet Explorer’s rendering engine. Surprisingly Silverlight isn’t mentioned at all. This will surely fuel the “Silverlight is dying” talk in the days to come and makes me wonder if it will now only be relevant for Windows Phone 7.X development. Microsoft has also tweaked the touch interface to to make the regular application useable with finger touch. Video and pictures after the break:

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