Windows 8 global launch kicked off with event in Shanghai, China

Windows 8, the much anticipated PC OS, was just launched in China a few hours ago, although many are still waiting for October 26 - the fateful day. As we understand, the global launch of Windows 8 will be marked by not one single event, but a whole series of them. The launch will start in China (October 23rd 10:00am local time), and end with the US party on October 26.

Today's Shanghai event isn't exactly exciting, mostly because we have already known pretty much everything about Windows 8 through the two preview versions and the RTM version. Nonetheless, the presence of Microsoft Surface tablets can somewhat compensate the lack of surprise. Chinese site WPDang was invited to the party, and live blogged the whole thing. To conclude it, highlights of the events are:

  • Steven Sinofsky was there. Yeah Sinofsky the man. Not on a Surface skate board though.
  • Over 50 Windows 8 devices in the hands-on zone, varing from tiny tablets all the way up to all-in-ones.
  • Surface RT, of course, with all 5 colors of Touch Covers. Monkeying around allowed. WPDang had some fun with it, apparently.
  • Availability of Windows 8 OS won't happen today. Will have to wait till the end of the US event.
  • Apparently Xbox Live has been ripped off from the Chinese version of Surface, most likely because video gaming consoles are forbidden by Chinese laws, therefore Xbox 360s are not allowed, consequently Xbox Live and the Xbox brand fall into a grey zone. Curiously Xbox Music seems to be there.
  • They danced Gangnam Style on the stage. Seriously.

WP Central

Side to side comparison: Surface RT (left) is a bit thinner than the New iPad (right).

As WPDang's brief comment put it: "[When surfing the web] The scrolling animation is as smooth as that on Windows Phones, more fluid than iPads. All Flash videos we tested play perfectly." Great to know.

Some more pictures below. For even more nice pics of the event and Surfaces, click the source link to find them on WPDang.

Surface RT, red cover. Looks great.

Big happy family.

Surface hands-on: web browsing

Surface hands-on: overview

Sources: WPDang, WPDang (video), lead picture credit: Microsoft China.

Kane Gao
  • Why the hell do they ban consoles?
  • because china doesnt have age classification system. Thus all consoles and even some PC games are banned. They even modified WoW and LoL. (basically non-skeleton and bones or bloody scenes/parts)
  • Basically they are fucked up.... im an Chinese guy by the way!
  • and yeah I had lived in Shanghai for more than 15 years
  • OMG Not Gangnam Style, LOL!
    Didn't know that China banned gaming consoles. Interesting. I guess in Communist China, the government Xboxes YOU!
  • Videos do not work on my lumia800
  • Because it's embedded Flash video. Sorry man...
  • It's Flash
  • First real hands-on... Awesome
  • FINALLY some hands on with the Surface... Touch cover and everything. Too bad I can't understand a thing :)
  • well basically he said the overall experience was fluent...even with 4 tabs open in IE. The flash player was working and doesnt show any sign of lag. Well he also mentioned the internet connection that why he could not open a webpage in the second video. Well he tried Office..and he said there wasnt a big difference when we compare it to the desktop version. Oh about the screen, he said though it had low PPI but the viewing experience was better than satisfied. Anyway he suggest u to try it before u buy it. And he did think Surface could do more than iPad.(and it's even thinner than the new iPad)
  • Thanks for the synopsis/translation!
  • oh this is good, so we should have a fully pirated version of Windows RT by the 26th LOL.
  • hey, aero is back in the desktop
  • Yes. Complete with file manager, task manager, and control panel. Grateful to have these intact. If they have to be kept in Aero shape, let it be. ;)
  • The task maanger has gotten a major overhaul.
    Somehow the point to the corner to call up the charm bar is not very intuitive.
  • Didn't realise this was a big deal. I have been running Windows 8 RTM. If you have any queries let me know.
  • I read that there are 15 cities that have a launch event. So obviously Shanghai was one of them, I am going to the one in Singapore on Thursday and clearly there's one in New York. So where are the other 12? coudln't find it on the internet :S
  • there's one in india, or so i've heard,. on oct 25 it looks like. don't think such tight time frame could host 15 events...
  • Yes, there is one in India on 25th. I got the invite a few hours ago.
  • well, t says here 15 cities :)
  • well, at least here it says 15 ;-)
  • Exciting! If you can't view the videos, I found the Youtube versions. Thanks to Danish319 who uploaded it: (part 1) and (part2)
  • thx.  good vids.  dude has a pretty thick beijing accent.
    btw, guy mentions that flash performance is on par with pc's. Opened up random video site with four other tabs already open and after initial load (wifi was under heavy use), the flash movie played without a hiccup.
    Good sign.
  • Is the Nintendo not China game?
  • GBA & DS released under Chines partner brand "iQue", as "mobile multimedia-aided learnig plaform". Nothing from there on. No 3DS, no Wii, no Wii, not even DS XL. Miracle Nintendo got the two handhelds through the system. No one else managed it.
  • I am going to the event in Delhi on Thursday. Let me know if there is anything specific you want me to check hands on.
  • A Lumia 920 would have helped with the video *shake*
  • Finally, we get to see more of Surface in action.
    I hope they're not going to demo these units at launch with those ugly Start screen backgrounds. It kills the beauty of the product.
  • Is there an event in Toronto?