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I hope that you had a chance to download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.  One of the things that you will absolutely want to do is watch Jensen’s video as a video walk-through of Windows 8 features, focusing on working with the operating system as a user, introducing the gestures and things you want to know about.  It is a great, short video and you should definitely watch it:

As an avid keyboard user (and one without a touch device currently) I rely on the ‘desktop’ use of my Windows installation.  In addition to those things that Jensen mentions in his video, here’s a list of some helpful keyboard shortcuts…

Windows key + spacebarToggles between input languages and keyboard layout
Windows key + ,Peeks at the desktop
Windows key + EnterStarts Narrator
Windows Key + PgUpMoves full screen window (i.e., the new Metro UI) to the monitor on the left in multi-mon situations.
Windows Key + PgDnMoves full screen to the right
Windows Key + Shift + .
Windows Key + .
Snaps application and/or moves the snapped app to left/right
Windows Key + cOpens charms bar
Windows Key + iOpens Settings
Windows Key + kOpens Devices charm
Windows Key + hOpens Share charm
Windows Key + qOpens Search charm
Windows Key + wOpens Settings search
Windows Key + fOpens Files search
Windows Key + zToggle AppBar

These have been helpful for me to work through these new experiences quickly.  Hope this helps!

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Today, Microsoft will reveal the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for download to everyone.  This builds on the momentum and feedback from the Developer Preview released in September.  I’m very excited to get the developer platform in front of you so you can see the changes and new features we’ve made available as well as fixes based on your feedback.

Along with the release of the actual bits, we’ve updated many resources for you to take advantage of as a developer, so allow me to iterate my top resources for you now…

I’m very excited to see the progress of applications that are coming in the Windows Store and even more interested to see what you are going to be building!  Please feel free to subscribe to this blog as well for XAML-related tips and tricks on the platform!

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Today there was an event in San Francisco which introduced the Windows Store for Windows apps as well as some details on revenue sharing and policies.  As a part of that Antoine LeBland, Vice President for Windows Web Services, also opened up a new dialog about the store specifically in a new blog Windows Store for developers.  This blog will help developers learn about aspects of the store as well as serve as a place for dialog between the store teams and you, the app developer.  I think it is great that the store team is following in the footsteps of the Building Windows 8 blog and reaching out to share some of the high-level and, hopefully, behind-the-scenes aspect that makes up the store.  I look forward to future posts on the blog.

The inaugural post reviews the events that transpired today sharing some information for those who were not there, as well a a video clip of some of the highlights from Antoine and Ted:

The key store highlights discussed in the post are:

  • Designed for discovery – store will be searchable and permalink-able (is that a word?)
  • Flexible business models – including in-app trial upgrades, etc. as well as flexible payment options
  • Transparent terms – clear understanding of the terms as a developer/business
  • Best economics – you’ll have to read the post about the revenue split and advantages after certain milestones

In addition to this news, Microsoft announced a First Apps Contest.  The basics of this contest are that you have the opportunity to show your awesomeness to the world first.  The contest will select eight (8) winning apps to be the very first app in the Windows Store when it opens.  You’ll also get some goodies as a winner such as a Samsung Windows Developer PC and 2-years worth of subscription to the store as a developer.

The contest starts now, so be sure to read the rules and register and learn about what is required of you.  This is a great opportunity to be a first-mover in the Windows Store which will have some incredible reach opportunities for you as a developer.

I can’t wait to see the types and compelling experiences that developers will create with our platform…get started!

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In case you haven’t paid attention today, Microsoft announced the upcoming developer conference in September:

BUILD with Windows 8 logo

Registration is now open so get registered…and save $500 now.  For a preview of what is coming in Windows, be sure to check out all the details at the company release “Previewing ‘Windows 8’” which includes a video walk through of some of the features.

Then go register for BUILD!