SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 445 - Windows 8.1 Preview

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Windows 8.1 Preview: 

Microsoft has released a preview version of their next generation operating system, Windows 8.1 and in now available for download through their Windows Store. Topics covered:

- How to get Windows 8.1 Installed

- Preview Checklist and FAQ

- Other options for preview

- What exactly has changed? 

- Impressions so far

For the past year reports have been coming out of Redmond that "Windows Blue" (codename) was going to be the next major release of Windows and the possibilities of a return of the Start button and maybe an option to boot directly to desktop would make the cut.  Microsoft had been quite cagy about any specific details and had not really mentioned the upcoming product publicly. 

At their BUILD conference in June, Microsoft release for public Preview Windows 8.1. Despite what the name might suggest, this release is not a minor update but a major release in this new release schedule of updated operating systems from Microsoft.  8.1 will bring refinement to Windows 8 similar to what Windows 7 brought to Windows Vista.

I have had some time to get this installed and use it regularly to get a taste of what to expect.  I ran into a few issues with some old hardware and resorted to doing some testing in VirtualBox.   In preliminary testing all the SolidWorks seem to work thus far. ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 401 - Windows 8 RTMs...

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Windows 8 RTMs...:

This podcast covers the final feature set of WIndows 8 RTM (release to manufacturing), the upgrade process and a variety of findings in my year long testing of this next release of Windows.  Topics covered:

- A brief history of release builds

- Understanding the new verbiage of Windows 8

- Upgrade options from various legacy platforms

- Start button -> Start screen tips and workflow

- What the Microsoft Store may mean to CAD

- Unofficial SolidWorks product support (my findings thus far)

- Considerations prior to taking the plunge

It was nearly a year ago when Microsoft stood on stage at the BUILD conference and announced the first downloadable build of Windows 8 (Developer Preview) was available to the world.  For many, this was the first hands-on experience with their next major release of Windows.  I was one who downloaded it and did some preliminary testing to experience the new Start Screen (formally known as "Metro").  Since this release, there have been two other milestone releases, the Customer Preview and the Release Preview, each showing slight progression in feature completeness and stability.

For the past year I have been running Windows 8, in its various builds , and testing how well many of the applications that I use, including SolidWorks products, in order to be ready when this version hits the shelves in October.  On August 15th, the feature complete build (aka RTM) was made available to manufacturers as well as MSDN and TechNet subscribers, of which I am one.  Since the RTM bits are exactly what will ship in October, we finally have an understanding of what Windows 8 is with all its official shiny features.

Windows 8 has many traditional environments that will be extremely familiar to long time users of Windows but it does pack a decent list of major changes including the removal and redesign of the Start button, the Windows Store, online services integration and the RT version, coming in the Microsoft Surface in a couple of months.  Since we are all Windows users in the SolidWorks Community, it makes sense to hash out what to expect if Windows 8 is going to be in your future. ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 378 - SolidWorks on Windows 8

SolidWorks on Windows 8:

This podcast covers the new release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, what is really different, what is the same, and how SolidWorks current lineup installed on the OS.  Topics covered:

- Downloading, installing and testing 

- More Windows8 resources

- Building Windows 8 (Steven Sinofsky's blog)

- WinSuperSite (Paul Thurrott's blog)

- AllAboutMicrosoft (Mary Jo Foley's blog)

- Windows Weekly (TWiT podcast)

- Major differences with Windows 8 vs. Windows 7

- What has stayed the same

- Installation experience of SolidWorks current product line

- Thoughts about how SolidWorks could use the new Metro UI

Last week Microsoft launched the consumer preview of their next operating system, Windows 8.  Since the launch of XP, I have installed early builds of these operating systems, testing the install of the current line up from SolidWorks for compatibility.  Back in October I installed the Developer preview of Windows 8 but the product was not as far along and much could still be tweaked so I opted to wait to test out SolidWorks.

With Windows 8 bringing the "touch first" approach to the user with the new Metro UI, this changes the experience and removes something many users have gotten used to since 1996, the Start button.  With the start menu being removed and replaced with a Metro Start Menu, there is a lot of potential to positively change the way we think about finding, launching and using applications in the new operating system.

The SolidWorks product line faired well, especially since it is considered a "classic" application and would run in the desktop mode, essentially feeling right at home as though it was Windows 7.  I talk about the install and the little differences as it installed into Windows 8. ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 349 - Windows 8, An Engineer's Perspective

Windows 8, An Engineer's Perspective:

This podcast covers the Windows 8 Developer Preview that was released during Microsoft's BUILD conference in Anaheim, California this past week. Topics covered:

- Installation Experience

- A first look (Login, Start streen, Search)

- Where's my Start menu?...Now THAT's a Start menu!!!

- Classic Desktop: What is the same?

- Metro Style UI: What is different?

- Possibilities for CAD apps in the Metro UI, Maybe SolidWorks V6 ?

- Skydrive integration - Sync service baked in

This week I was going to start the What's New series on SolidWorks 2012 but due to my schedule over the past month, I have not yet gotten sufficient time in the new build, except for EPDM, to really add more than what is in the PDF.  I will be digging in this week to get a hold on some of the really new features and what exactly has been improved so we can begin the journey on EP 350!

This pas week Microsft released a developer preview of the next OS succeed Windows 7 code named Windows8, go figure, right? Well, this release is the first attempt to bring together all the device operating systems (phone, tablet, desktop) and have one that is tied by the message "Touch First".  Although many of you are not running touch screens on your day-to-day workstation/laptop, the revamp of the start menu, now known as the Metro User Interface, will definitely turn your head.

Not to worry though, the core of Windows 8 still has access to the Desktop, Windows Explorer (now with a Ribbon Toolbar), Registry, Command Prompt and all the other goodies you are used to in Windows 7.  This should allow many CAD vendors to stick to their core while venturing into the Metro UI for other ancillary products. Oh, did I mention that it boots in 10 seconds too? ~Lou

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