Microsoft launches crowdsourcing blog for Windows 8

Software giant Microsoft has launched a blog chronicling the build of its next OS, Windows 8. The blog, called “Building Windows 8” is designed as a means of crowdsourcing aspects of the OS’ design and development.

Windows president Steven Sinofsky, in a post detailing blog’s aims, says that, “Windows 8 reimagines Windows for a new generation of computing devices, and will be the very best operating system for hundreds of millions of PCs, new and old, used by well over a billion people globally.”

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In order to do this, Sinofsky explains, Microsoft has set up the blog to act as a point of dialogue between its developers and the general public “about design choices, real-world data and usage, and new opportunities that are part of Windows 8”.

The “Building Windows 8” blog follows on from the success of the “Engineering Windows 7” blog, which Sinofsky and Windows Senior Vice President Jon DeVaan were behind.

A large part of the “reimagining” around Windows 8 appears to centre on the fact that what defines a PC has changed tremendously since the last mass Windows overhaul, Windows 95.

As Sinfosky explains:

Today more than two out of three PCs are mobile (laptops, netbooks, notebooks, tablets, slates, convertibles, etc.). Nearly every PC is capable of wireless connectivity. Screen sizes range from under 10″ to wall-sized screens and multiple HD screens. Storage has jumped from megabytes to terabytes and has moved up to the cloud. The appearance of touch-screen mobile phones with the rich capabilities they bring, have together changed the way we all view computing. Most of all, computing is much more focused on applications and on people than on the operating system itself or the data. These changes in the landscape motivate the most significant changes to Windows, from the chips to the experience.

Speaking about the motivation behind “Engineering Windows 7”, Sinofsky says that Microsoft, “… started the Engineering Windows 7 blog in 2008 in recognition of the need to re-engage the community and rebuild trust relative to the engineering and design of Windows. While engineering Windows 7, we learned some great lessons and renewed our sense of responsibility to the community.”

Such language likely refers to the development failures Microsoft encountered with Windows Vista, the highly unpopular OS which Windows 7 replaced.

Notifications of posts to the blog, as well as new developments on Windows 8, will be announced on the Building Windows 8 Twitter stream @BuildWindows8.

Microsoft previewed the new OS, which is set to use a tile system similar to that found on the Windows Phone 7 OS, in June, along with the following video:

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