Microsoft will roll out the Windows 8 operating system in just a few minutes and this is the place to be if you wish to find out the hottest info on the product that’s going to change the world (Steve Ballmer’s very own words).While press journalists are now gearing up for the official unveiling of the new OS, people are getting in line in front of Microsoft Stores all over the world, just to make sure they will be among the first on the planet to get a Surface tablet.
That’s right, Microsoft will also unveil the Surface tablet today, even though the device is already sold out in most countries around the world.
Microsoft’s preorder program for the Surface enjoyed a terrific success, so chances are that you won’t get a device today if you don’t get in line at your local Microsoft Store.
With all that being said, let’s just hope Steve Ballmer will give us a show to remember and no, we’re not talking about a new dance to surprise the audience.
It’s Windows 8 after all, the newest, the most advanced, the most secure, the fastest and the best-looking Windows version ever.
Just make sure you hit the “Refresh” button every once in a while, as we’ll post updates as the event unveils. Feel free to use the comment box below to ask questions or to reply to the other readers.
Update #1: Times Square already seems ready to party. Here's what it looked like a few minutes ago. More info is available here.
Update #2: the show is about to begin. We've heard that people are continuously clapping their hands, so offering everybody free coffee finally pays off for Microsoft.
Update #3: the room is almost full. It appears that Windows President Steven Sinofsky is the first one to step on the stage and say a few words about the new Windows 8.
Update #4: there we go! The event has just started with a video that emphasizes "the path to Windows 8."
Update #5: Steven Sinofsky is on the stage talking about Windows 7 and cloud services.
Windows 8 reimagines Windows, Sinofsky said. It is different, users are connected all the time. Windows 8 is computing for the next billion people, he explained.
"Starting at 12:01 a.m. local time, the new era of Windows computing begins," Sinofsky added.
Update #6: there will be three different launches today: Windows 8, Windows Store and PCs running Windows 8.
Update #7: Windows 8-compatible PCs will come for less than $300, Sinofsky said. More than 1,000 computers are now Windows 8-certified.
The Windows Store will be available in no less than 231 markets and every Windows PC is running Store apps. It's a huge opportunity for developers, Sinofsky said.
The Windows president is now talking about Windows RT. It's like Windows 8, he said, but it doesn't run legacy Windows programs.
Windows RT apparently supports more than 420 million existing hardware devices, including displays, printers, mice and many others.
Update #8: Sinofsky's keynote comes to an end. Julie Larson Green and Mike Angiulo step on the stage for live demos.
A Windows 7 PC with Windows 8 boots 30 percent faster. Everybody's cheering, so the two Microsoft execs have to pause their speech for a few seconds.
The two are now talking about SkyDrive. It's easily accessible from the Start Screen, they said, but also from any browser out there.
Windows 8 reconnects to a Wi-Fi network in just 1 second, Mike said. That's really impressive! Windows 8 works smoothly on any size and screen, it doesn't really matter, Julie said.
The two execs are now showing how to install and uninstall apps from the Windows Store. Everything is impressively simple, says Mike. It gives you confidence to go and try an app, he added.
“Games” is the biggest app category, Mike revealed. This happens because Windows 8 is a great gaming platform. Most of the games will also run on Windows RT, he added.
The Surface is now in the spotlight. It's a great product, they said. More to come soon.
Update #9: Steve Ballmer takes to the stage. "Windows 8? Yeah, I'm excited!"
Windows 8 are the best PCs, he says. The experience is magical and Windows 8 connects you to your stuff in the cloud.
Windows 8 will make it a lot of fun to do... nothing. It has the best of all worlds, Ballmer explained. You can do anything on a WIndows 8 PC.
Microsoft built a first-class search experience for Windows 8 because it needed one. For people who want just to browse, we've included apps to keep you up to date on everything that's happening on the web.
Internet Explorer 10 is fast and fluid, Ballmer said. It's built for touch.
“Did you see Skype for Windows 8? It's fast, it's easy, it's fun, it's beautiful, it's designed to be always on,” Ballmer said.
People are going to love Windows 8 devices, Ballmer believes. It's something they can rely on from Microsoft, he added.
We have reinvented the smartphone for you, Ballmer revealed. More info will be provided on Monday when Microsoft will hold a new event on the Windows Phone.The phrase “Windows reimagined" really captures what the Microsoft team managed to do with the new OS. All PCs are personal, they're all alive with their activity. Windows 8 brings together the best of all worlds,” Ballmer emphasized.
Welcome to the world of Windows 8, he said before leaving the stage.
The Windows 8 launch event comes to an end. Microsoft execs are now talking to partners about the company's new products. Sadly for Microsoft fanboys, Steve Ballmer didn't dance today. The Surface event will begin at 10:30 AM PT.