Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky offers look at Windows 8 (live blog)

Microsoft's Windows chief gives a demonstration of the next generation of Windows to the D9 audience of tech movers and shakers.

Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky
Steven Sinofsky Microsoft

Editor's note: We used Cover It Live for this event, so if you missed the live blog, you can still replay it in the embedded component below. Replaying the event will give you all the live updates along with commentary from our readers and CNET reporters. To get the key points from today's announcement, you can check out a summary of what got announced, in our story here.

Update: Steven Sinofsky is now scheduled to speak at 3:50 p.m. PT today.

Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's president of the Windows division, is scheduled to take the stage at the D9 conference on June 1 at 3:15 p.m. He's expected to show Windows 8 to the audience of tech movers and shakers. We'll be there, live-blogging his talk. Note that, unlike Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's talk, video of this session will not be live-streamed by the D9 conference organizers.

The D9 session start times don't always stick to the posted schedule. To get live updates on what's happening at D9, and in particular when Sinofsky starts his demo, follow my Twitter feed, @Rafe.

Transcript begins here

3:55 p.m. PT: Hi everyone. Walt Mossberg introducing Steven Sinofsky, president of Windows and Windows Live Team. He used to run Office.

Steven Sinofsky (right), president of Windows and Windows Live for Microsoft, talks with D9 conference organizer Walt Mossberg. Rafe Needleman/CNET

3:57 p.m.: Walt: How do you feel not being part of Eric Schmidt's "gang of four"?
Steven: Well...Nothing called "gang of four" ends well.

4:00 p.m.: Walt: Microsoft is years late on smartphones. Your tablets aren't there. What's going on? Why? I know you have smart people.
Steven: You picked two things we didn't do well on. Don't write us off too early. We do other things well. There's more opportunity for us to do a better job.

4:02-4:05 p.m.: Walt: Let's talk about touch interfaces. How are you going to get to the multitouch tablet. Down from Windows, or up from phone?
Steven: One of the things that struck me is the flexibility of the Windows code base... Windows has gotten richer. It runs Media Center, and Servers.
Walt: To name two products that have failed...

4:08-4:09 p.m.: Walt: There's a sense that Windows is a big, bulky thing. You turn on your iPad, and it feels light and responsive. Why would you turn to this big, heavy Windows thing?
Steven: Everyone said the same thing about servers...
Walt: Not everyone cares about servers.

4:10 p.m.: Steven: What's fascinating about Windows is that it grew up with hardware, but we reached a plateau... We were doubling system requirements with every release.
In Windows 7, for the first time, we went down in system requirements.

Screenshot of Windows 8
Screenshot of Windows 8 via AllThingsD

4:12 p.m. (from Josh Lowensohn): Not surprisingly, Microsoft gave AllThingsD an interview with Sinofsky ahead of time, along with that screenshot.

4:13 p.m.: Steven: But what's interesting is what's happening in phones. Phones now have the power to run Windows.
Walt: So this new Windows is called...?
Steven: We're just calling it Windows 8 for now.
Walt: Your code names are always better than your product names.

4:13 p.m.: Steven keeps bringing up "Firestorm" as a potential codename

Steven: "Windows 8" and give us some time for the final name.

4:15-4:16 p.m.: Steven: Using Windows for tablets is better for all the stuff Windows can bring to users.
Walt: Like viruses and crapware?
Steven: We tried with Windows 8 to reimagine how you work with a PC. Not just get a slate or tablet made. It's a different approach. But it builds on the value of 400 million PCs...

4:17 p.m.: Steven's saying that everything that runs on Win 7, every device you can plug in. It all just runs.

4:18 p.m.: Julie from Microsoft is showing a development rig, a tablet in a clear case. The desktop is under the desk.

4:20-4:21 p.m.: To log in now, you swipe up from the bottom. Windows now looks like Win Phone: lots of tiles with messages and apps.

They're called "live tiles," just like they are on Windows Phone.

The new development platform is based on HTML5 and JavaScript.

4:23 p.m.: Internet Explorer has been redesigned for touch.

You swipe up from bottom for the user interface.

4:24 p.m. (from Donald Bell): Let's not forget that UI started with the Zune HD before migrating to Windows Phone.

4:24 p.m.: You can switch to a split keyboard for thumb typing on a big slate.

4:25 p.m.: The start screen has "all the things you love about Windows," like Office.

4:26 p.m.: When Julie switched to desktop apps, the UI and desktop changed to traditional Windows, with tiny close boxes and menus, etc.

4:27 p.m. (comment from Guest): Let's not forget that UI started with Media Center before migrating to Zune HD and then all the rest.

4:29 p.m.: You can go between tablet UI and standard desktop apps pretty easily, and switch back and forth.

4:30 p.m. (comment from Jigar): video demo :

4:30 p.m.: Apps devs can write for touch, but apps will work with mouse and keyboard just fine.

Julie is showing how that works on a Thinkpad tablet (with a keyboard)

4:31 p.m.: The point here is that it's one OS for tablets, laptops, convertibles.

4:32 p.m.: Kara Swisher: Why not redesign Office for the new look?
Julie: There's a lot of utility in Office.

I think she means sunk costs in corporate training.

4:33 p.m. (from Josh Lowensohn): The video is in YouTube form here. Microsoft's not letting people embed it, otherwise I'd drop it in here.

4:34 p.m.: Walt: This is a a huge UI change.

4:34 p.m.: And it is, but it will be weird to use the two UIs side by side on the same OS.

4:35 p.m.: When will it be out?
Steven: Every two to three years is good.

Walt: So, fall?
Steven: It won't be fall

4:37 p.m.: Walt: this is radical...
Julie: It's not that radical, the compatibility is still there.
Steven: There's a whole new set of developer APIs for building touch-centric apps and still connect to Windows apps. And connect apps to each other.

4:39 p.m. (comment from Guy): Whoa, I've been using Apple products for as far back as I can remember, but I honestly think I might consider switching over to Microsoft products (both mobile and desktop) unless Apple releases something more impressive than this at WWDC...really impressed by Windows 8 so far.

4:39 p.m. (comment from Mike): windows 7 was released on october 22, 2009, so two to three years could be awhile.

4:40-4:42 p.m.: Walt: Isn't there a philosophical and major design difference between touch apps and mouse apps?
Julie: Design for touch. The OS will know if you have a mouse and make it work.
Steven: It's important to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. A mouse has precision your finger can't approach. Look at Visio. You need higher levels of precision in some apps.

4:45 p.m.: Now Walt is going to flog the antivirus issue. Will we need AV software on these nice, clean machines?
Steven: It's always a good idea.

Walt: Do you security software on your Mac?
steven: On my Mac!?


4:46 p.m.: Walt: When can we be done with this?
Steven: I use MSE, I never get any pop-ups. It's possible to do it right.

4:48 p.m.: Walt: Will these new machines start as fast as a MacBook Air?
Steven: We can do it today for standby/resume. We can continue to do a lot of work with OEMs.

4:49 p.m.: And now we're moving to questions from the audience....

4:51 p.m.: Q: what should I do with my old Silverlight apps? (from Loic LeMeur)
Steven: We run Silverlight on all our platforms.

4:52 p.m.: Stewart Alsop: How do you fit in the enterprise with regards to virtualization?
Steven: It's an area of significant investment in Windows 8. More news coming.

4:54 p.m.: Tim O'Reilly: I like your new UI... But the gang of four has these apps where the data drives things. MS has such services, but you didn't feature them. Why are you not pushing the integration of MS data assets into the OS?
Steven: We didn't show Hotmail, Azure, Sharepoint, Office365...

4:57 p.m. (from Josh Lowensohn): Microsoft posted a job opening for someone to work on a touch-friendly version of Outlook for Web earlier this year, which could be tied to the look of that Hotmail app.

4:58 p.m.: Josh Topolsky: How is this two-OS strategy going to work?
Julie: It's more seamless than it sounds, it's not two shells.

4:59 p.m. (from Donald Bell): If Windows Phone is a "phone to save us from our phone," then does that make this a Windows to save us from Windows? Do Windows fans want to be saved from their OS?

5:00 p.m.: OK guys, that's it for the Sinofsky Microsoft session.

5:02 p.m. (from Josh Lowensohn): Thanks for joining us and hanging in there for the late start. For more, keep an eye on CNET News. In case you're just joining us, we've got a roundup of what went down here.

Editors' note: The original, bare-bones version of this story was posted at 7:32 a.m. PT.

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