Windows 8 Launch Event Live Blog: Everything You Need To Know

Windows 8 has arrived and Aussies are among the first to get their hands on it thanks to the way this Earth of ours rotates around the Sun. We've just sat front-and-centre at the Windows 8 Launch Event in Sydney, and have all the Windows 8 info you need to know.

The official Windows 8 launch event kicks off at 9:30am AEDT on 26 October, 2012. Bookmark this for all the pricing and launch information as it happens tomorrow morning.


Windows 8 ReviewMicrosoft Surface RT ReviewGerry Harvey To Sell The First Copy Of Windows 8Windows 8 Launches In AustraliaWhy Windows 8 Is Make Or Break For Harvey NormanWindows 8: Lifehacker's Complete Guide

As It Happened...

[9:10] We have arrived, and Microsoft has gone all out to make the Hordern Pavillion its new new home. Indie pop music is blaring, the atmosphere is hot and journos are steadily arriving.

[9:31 Luke]: We're in our seats and as each song finishes, we're wondering if we'll hear someone speak. This copy of Death Cab For Cutie's new album sure is getting a work out. We're getting underway soon.

[9:32 Angus] I'm told around 130 journalists were invited. The room seems quite full. Dan Ilic is also here somewhere, minor celeb hunters.

[9:33 Angus] I think the ideal way for this to start would be with Gerry Harvey streaking.

[9:34 Luke] For all you minor celeb spotters: I hear The Project's Angus Kidman is in the building too...

[9:35 Angus] Lights go down, the inevitable video with Metro-style graphics begins. Sorry, I mean Modern.

Meet The New Windows

[9:36 Angus] "Meet the new Windows." Actually, we've been shacked up together for quite a while now. I won't tell if you don't.

[0:36 Angus] Rick Kelly, Jessica Watson. The minor celeb theme continues.

[9:36 Luke] Obligatory Jessica Watson appearance in the Microsoft video. Is she a Microsoft employee yet?

[9:37 Angus] A dancing dude is on stage, pretending to control Metro.

[9:38 Luke] It's Metro-nority Report up in here!

[9:38 Angus] And the dancing is done. Here comes Pip Marlow, Microsoft Australia's MD.

[9:39 Angus] Pip Marlow discussing the challenges of life as a working mum. She probably gets on planes more than your mum though. "Windows 8 helps me personally manage a pretty wild and crazy life."

[9:40 Angus] Pip was up at midnight at the Harvey Norman launch, then the 3am New York event. Mind you, Luke's night was a bit like that too.

[9:40 Angus] Now she's talking through Harvey Norman. Read Luke's two excellent stories on this if you haven't already.

[9:40 Angus] Now Pip is talking through at-a-glance notifications on the Windows 8 lockscreen.

[9:42 Angus] Now demonstrating Picture Password.

[9:43 Angus] Repeating the claim that Windows 8 is designed for every input, but that it makes touch a "first class citizen". I don't dispute the second claim.

[9:43 Luke] Needless to say, this live blog is brought to you by caffeine, and the letter zzzzzzz.

[9:44 Angus] Now Tile Personalisation 101. I hope Dan Ilic is learning something here.

9:45 The Windows 8 dancer. He's got the moves.

[9:45 Angus] Showing off news sites in IE. Let's pretend we didn't see the headline with the words "incest dad".

[9:46 Angus] Still more hot live tiles action. And now we're talking gaming.

[9:46 Angus] Game of choice for the demo? Fruit Ninja with full multi-touch.

[9:49 Luke] Pip Marlow, Microsoft Australia's managing director.

[9:47 Angus] Showing off a Westpac Windows 8 app. The last Westpac app demo I saw was a total debacle, let's hope this goes better.

[9:48 Luke] Pip is showing off a dummy account with over $8 million on it. DO WANT.

[9:48 Angus] Must include the value of her options.

[9:48 Angus] Westpac app has a nice option where you can have a customisable gauge for your account on the start screen -- means you can see Empty to Full without everyone seeing the exact amount you have.

[9:50 Angus] While I'm watching Pip move fake money around, Luke is taking photos. I trust no-one will try and use the fake credit card numbers.

[9:51 Angus] Pip leaves the stage for more product demos. I like the Start screen, but it would be good to see some other stuff.

[9:53 Luke] The new, Modern UI-ified Westpac Personal Banking app for Windows 8. We chose not to upload the photo that had Pip's credit card number on it. Secure!

[9:52 Angus] Deeps De Silva is showing off live tiles. Again.

[9:54 Angus] Gotta say, this demo isn't going to help with the perception that Windows 8 doesn't make much sense if you don't have a touch screen.

[9:55 Angus] Now we're seeing the Arsenal app and more Charms integration. I must remember this is shockingly new to all the non-geeks in the room.

[9:56 Angus] Key Aussie Windows 8 apps being shown: Westpac, SBS On Demand, MetroTwit, AllTheDeals, DodoGoGo, Take4U, and techAU (run by friend of Giz and Lifehacker contributor Jason Cartwright).

[9:57 Angus] Dragging groups on the start screen. As we told you some months ago, you can only do this in zoomed-out mode.

[10:00 Luke] Here's Microsoft Australia's head of Windows. This is a photo of his niece. Everyone seems to be very family-proud at Microsoft. I'm waiting for someone to get up with something NSFW on there.

[9:58 Angus] Working through the People app. And we're seeing more photos of Gerry Harvey. I think I have Gerry overload.

[10:00 Luke] I still want to see Gerry Harvey streak across the stage. Maybe that's the coffee talking.

[10:01 Angus] Let's just call it lack of sleep and move on.

[10:02 Angus] "What I really like about the Windows Store is that it remembers all the apps I've downloaded." It would be shocking if it didn't!

[10:02 Angus] Guy Sebastian name drop. This may be a hint that he will be singing at us shortly. (I've seen Rogue Traders and Bardot at previous Windows launches.)

[10:03 Luke] Bring back Bardot, I say.


[10:03 Angus] Xbox Music demo. More Guy Sebastian. Friend of Lifehacker Anthony Caruana observes: "Given the taste in music, the album name Armageddon seems appropriate."

[10:04 Angus] Windows 8 is a "no compromise" experience. I should have had that one on a buzzword bingo card.

[10:05 Angus] We have just seen the desktop for the first time this demo. "This is a familiar interface." No mention of the missing Start button of course.

[10:06 Angus] Followed promptly by a Snap demo, so we can have even more Guy Sebastian. I hope he's busy installing Windows 8 right now.

[10:06 Luke] We're hearing about Pip Marlow's love of Guy Sebastian. Currently shopping on eBay to see if we can buy a Guy Sebastian of our own.

[10:07 Angus] Now we're back on gaming, looking at Jetpack Joyride. "What's great about Xbox games on Windows 8 is that it tracks your achievement points." I think Kotaku readers may need a stronger sell than that.

[10:07 Angus] Demonstrating movies by watching Battleship. The idea anyone would watch that strains credulity, does it not?

[10:08 Angus] This is more like it: a proper SmartGlass demo. We're going to see content resumed from a Windows 8 device onto the Xbox 360.

[10:09 Angus] But that's it! I'd have showed off SmartGlass a lot more. Pip Marlow has returned.

[10:09 Angus] "Where to from here?" Time for buzzwords.

[10:08 Angus] Connectedness. Fast. Fluid. Vegemite. Fun. (OK, I made one of those up.)

[10:98 Angus] Tina Flemmer, head of the Windows division, will take questions. Actual information may now emerge.

[10:15 Luke] Demonstration of Xbox SmartGlass working... Here we see Battleship go from the Marketplace, to the Windows 8 device, up to the Xbox 360 via SmartGlass.


[10:10 Angus] First question: Why no start button?

[10:11 Angus] "Windows 8 was designed to be intuitive. With a swipe or a click, I'm going from my desktop to my Start screen. It is intuitive." Bit of a non-answer. "It is different. Every time we buy a new device, there is a point of familiarity we go through."

[10:10 Angus] Next question: an early criticism is the lack of Metro apps. Can we expect more in the next few days?

[10:11 Angus] Pip: "There are millions of Windows applications . . . We've got an incredible developer ecosystem" including 30,000 in Asia-Pacific. But no specific app numbers.

[10:11 Angus] How will you eliminate confusion between RT and Windows 8?

[10:11 Angus] So Tina talks through the versions. "RT is designed for thin and lights and for impressive battery life."

[10:12 Angus] Next question: how are you explaining this to retailers?

[10:12 Angus] Which leads to more talk about RT.

[10:13 Angus] Alex (the other Kidman) asks what Microsoft is doing to explain these differences.

[10:14 Angus] Pip doesn't answer the question, again.

[10:15 Luke] This is a masterclass in ducking and weaving. Microsoft won't answer the question about full version pricing.

[10:15 Angus] I've asked for prices outside what we already know.

[10:16 Angus] And I'm being told the prices we already have are all we get. Microsoft will not quote a price for a fresh Windows 8 install. Which seems massively stupid.

[10:16 Luke] That's really poor. Full version pricing is a question that needs to be answered. Needless to say, we'll be harassing Microsoft to no end to get it for you.

[10:18 Angus] And now we're wrapping up. Time for a video of the Windows 8 ambassadors.

[10:19 Luke] Those "ambassadors" include jewelry designers, V8 supercar drivers and Jessica Watson. I'd like to hear from them the prices.

[10:19 Angus] And now the event pretty much ends, as we're led into the "Experience Zone".

[10:20 Luke] CONFIRMED: There is a Surface RT here.

[10:27 Angus] So we're done. Most of the demo was predictable; I'm still stunned by the "upgrades only" pricing policy. Still can't make sense of that.

[10:30 Angus] We're going to head out now and check out the devices on the show floor...

New Hardware

[10:35 Luke] We're now looking around Microsoft's Windows 8 Experience Zone. All the brand ambassadors are here, including Jessica Watson who is using a Dell XPS Duo 12. The Surface RT is around here somewhere, we'll find it and bring you our hands on impressions later on in the day.

[10:34 Luke] That's all she wrote from this stage, folks. We're heading into the Experience Zone right now. Check out the photos of all the shiny Microsoft hid from us that whole presentation. I still think it's disappointing that Microsoft won't let people buy a full version of the software off the shelf today. That's sucks especially for people like me who want to upgrade from the Consumer Preview in a virtual machine. Alas, we'll have to wait.

[10:34 Luke] In the meantime, we're about to go hands-on with a Surface RT. We'll bring you our first Australian impressions as soon as we have them.

[10:40 Luke] Until then, thanks for joining us! Make sure to check out all the photos from this event and let us know what you think of Microsoft's new offerings in the comments...



    Can I play yahoo games that use Java(yahoo Spades) on new Windows 8 tablet?

    What tablets lets you play Yahoo games that uses Java?

    Has that Windows 8 review been updated in anyway? Because it's the one that was posted 2 months ago. There have been quite a few updates to the core apps since then. Also, there's no mention of Xbox Music, because I don't think it had even been announced back then.

    Last edited 26/10/12 9:22 am

    some questions,
    Is there still different windows versions? i,e, Pro, Home, ultimate?
    If so will the upgrade from my WIN7 ultimate take me straight to win8 Ultimate? or will i lose something intranslation?

    Can you Dual Boot Win7 and then 8 using the upgrade DVD? (yes im aware that they are "the same" but i'd rather be 100% sure all my software works first)

    And anyone know if the $15 upgrade is still available?

    And can someone point me to a link that show's how to turn off that "metro" interface?

    Last edited 26/10/12 9:24 am

      You know, you'll find all those answers in a few previous posts on this very same site.

        If that’s the case why bother having this one centralized liveblog for "everything you need to know about win8"?
        by that logic why ask questions at all? why get up in the morning? why bother with life?

        Unfortunately after looking through a few of the articles this morning these questions weren't answered that i could find, so now im here in what should be the main forum for questions... so be helpful or GTFO

          This is the live blog for the LAUNCH EVENT, not for the entirety of Windows 8. Learn to read.

          Can't help you if you don't help yourself...

          I've seen answers to all your questions right here on Lifehacker, and some of them on Gizmodo. Try the search feature on this blog. Try Google.

          I know you're used to being spoon fed, but I'm all outta spoons.

          I ain't gonna search for ya.

          You know what - I just realised this is Gizmodo, and the answers were on Lifehacker...

          Shame on me for reading a breadth of different blogs (albeit essentially the same)

            The main issue with that is that at my workplace, lifehacker is blocked by the firewall (seen as a blog) but Giz isn't, and most of teh other sites i need to get this info from are as well, hence my issue, and why im asking on one of the primary sites i actually have access too.

            @motormouth: so its against the rules to ask relevent questions in a relevent post now is it?

              it's amazing isn't it? ask a question and get a dumb answer... it never changes! Rather than give the actual answer, it seems the norm to point out why its wrong to ask and use the search feature instead...

              it actually takes more effort to negate someone's comment than it does to provide an adequate response...

              i thought this was a friendly community! it just smacks of 'my dong is bigger than yours' syndrome, and the moderators and staff here promote garbage talk and swiping remarks!

              bunch o' c***'s

      Here you go mate:

      Seems W8Pro is the way to go for all the bells and whistles. Good price at AU $60 too.

        Thanks Bud, looks like they rolled pro and ulimate into 1 this time, probably a good way to go.

      Relax peeps, we can all help each other out with the knowledge we've picked up along the way. Treat others as you...and all that.

        I don't think people would appreciate it if I went around jacking them off.

          Don't be so sure. Depending on your technique, of course.

    [9:33 Angus] I think the ideal way for this to start would be with Gerry Harvey streaking.
    Lol, i would have taken the day off work just to laugh at that!

    It's not because of the 'way the earth rotates around the sun'. It's because the arbitrary meridian of longitude chosen as the international date line is just east of us, combined with the direction that the earth rotates on its axis.
    Obviously a basic science education isn't a prerequisite to technology writing.

    Just bought three copies at OfficeWorks for $48.00

    Last edited 26/10/12 10:35 am

    Sorry to be mean here but at [10:07 Angus] Demonstrating movies by watching Battleship. The idea anyone would watch that strains credulity, does it not?

    Are you referring to the movie being bad and how would anyone watch it in the first place or are you referring to watching movies on a MS Win8 tablet?

      Almost certain he means Battleship. Which makes sense if you've seen it.

    i want to know prices for a full install, i don't have any windows systems to uprade from and i might want to try on a few of my machines

      If you have access to a umart or something equivalent then you can get a full blown oem for win 8 for around $85/$120 (standard/pro)

    You know what I love about a Windows launch...?

    No Apple/Android fanboy rants!

      True, but where are all the OSX fanboy's when you need a good laugh?

    If your a desktop user first thing you do is install RetroUI and then uninstall all metro crapps. That way you have essentially windows seven with the useful bits of win 8 under the hood. Fancy making it so metro crapps can't talk to the desktop and vice versa.

      Desktop user here, actually enjoy the new start menu and have adapted to it quite well.

      Been using it all day with a mouse that has no gesture support. Barely strayed from metro, works fine.

    Thought I would chime in as I did the install few hours ago....really like the whole thing feel like it's a bit of a steeper curve than ever before but likening it all so far.
    Ok couldn't find shut down until I googled but I had a laugh.
    Happy camper here.

      happy you should say that, yesterday I went to Dick Smith and looked at one of their laptops running windows 8, after a brief look myself I asked one of the staff how you shut the device down, she had no idea. She went and ask someone else and was told that there is apparently a red button on the start bar, such a button did not appear on the device, she went to another one which did have it, where I noted to her that it was a shut down button made by acer for their own laptops, Acer had to make a goddamn button to shut down the computer because how you actually do it is too confusing. . .

      After she asked for help from about 3 other people, she finally found someone who, after a bit of searching finally found the actual shut down option. . .

        I have used computers and gadgets since I was young and this change seems bone be similar to any completely new direction and while people will bemoan the lack of a start button or something else is missing or changed or it doesn't feel intuitive (I can tell you an iphone is not intuitive to an 80 year old) I think I can see what they are going for which is what Android and Apple (with their i devices) have been doing for a few years now.
        Windows at least has some legacy support which the others don't in there rush to advance their os (anecdotal evidence and opinion only).
        As regards to the off button I can see why the first option is to suspend not power down as with most things thats what we do now and Windows key + i is not hard and now on day 2 seems normal but might as well enjoy the ride its better than a walled garden.

      I too was having this trouble, then found it so cumbersome, I did the shut down in one click setup:

      Makes it a lot quicker. Also did a restart button. Wish MS could have made it easier!

    Help please;

    I’m about to throw my laptop at the wall. I installed it, I hate it, it’s totally unusable. Worst of all I now discovered somehow, somewhere my HDD has shrunk.

    I need help here please. I have a 375gb HDD. In windows 8 it’s all of a sudden showing max capacity of 100gb with 80gb free. There is no other drive or partition showing in the system (including the admin tool disk manager) just showing one 100gb partition and the usual 100mb free partition (hidden). WTF is going on here. There is no reported issue searching google. Please help. Drivers are up to date and nil errors in device manager.

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