As promised, Microsoft on Wednesday launched a public preview of Windows 8.1. Speaking to a developer-heavy audience of 5,000, CEO Steve Ballmer introduced the update during the opening keynote at the company's Build conference in San Francisco. The venue demanded attention not only to Win8, whose Modern UI has been the subject of much criticism and debate, but also to the wider Microsoft ecosystem to which developers now have access. Ballmer and other execs largely met this dual mandate by making Win8.1 one of only several major topics discussed throughout the keynote.
Other focuses included opening Bing as a development platform, empowering developers with new tools and creating a cohesive experience across the Windows ecosystem, from smartphones to desktops.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.