Future of Windows Phone aka Windows Phone 8 to be unveiled on June 20th

Microsoft is finally set to unveil the “future of Windows Phone” which will surely be the first sneak peak at Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo on June 20th during special developer event in San Fransisco. Not much else is known for now but Microsoft will for the most part probably talk about developing for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 via WinRT and finally spill the beans about the future of Silverlight as a development platform for Windows Phone applications.

Let’s just hope that Redmond will also give us some concrete information regarding the upgrade path to Apollo of the current Windows Phone 7 handsets (hint don’t get your hopes up..but everything is still possible).

Windows 8 to come in only three editions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT

Pigs are flying in Redmond today following the announcement that Windows 8 will only have three SKUS: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT (known as Windows on ARM). That’s right, Microsoft has finally decided to streamline it’s previously stupid offering and go straight to the point after many years of complains from users, OEMs and various other actors in the tech industry.
Windows 8 will be the basic version will include most of the essential features that 90% of the users will need while Windows 8 Pro will include all the features in Windows 8 plus features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Surprisingly Windows Media Center will apparently only be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro.

Windows RT formerly known as Windows On ARM will only be come per-installed on devices/tablets equipped with ARM based SoC but will be the only Windows 8 SKU to have the Office suite included. This version will only be able to run applications build using the recently introduced WinRT runtime. Hit the break for the full list of features supported by each versions:

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Windows 8 Developer Preview launching today

Microsoft has just announced that the first developer preview of Windows 8 will be made available later today at 8PM PT:

You probably want to try out the preview release—and you can. Starting at 8PM today, Seattle time, you can download all of the code that attendees at BUILD received. This includes 32 or 64 bit x86 builds, with or without development tools. The releases also include a suite of sample/SDK applications and the SDK (please note these are merely illustrations of potential apps, not apps that we intend to ship with Windows 8). The ISOs are linked to from http://dev.windows.com. You download with a Windows Live ID (which you might want to use to test out some of the new roaming features).

Remember that this can be installed on virtually any PC released in the last 5/6 years. But if you really wish to start developing for Windows 8 and want to experience it the right way then it’s time to pre-order the Samsung Slate PC Series 7 today (see it running Windows 8 here). Microsoft has also release to PDF documents describing the current state of the OS and the Developer preview build:

UPDATE: You can now download the Windows 8 Developer Preview directly from here.

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