While it’s no secret that Microsoft is working hard on getting Windows 8 ready for a beta launch and while the company has shown a few snippets of the new user interface here and there, exact details about its internals and what the full experience will look like remain rare. Today, however, Microsoft’s president of the Windows and Windows Live division Steven Sinofsky announced the launch of a new company blog that will keep consumers and customers updated about the state of Windows 8.

Sinofksy: “Windows 8 reimagines Windows for a new generation of computing devices”

As Sinofsky notes, Microsoft wants to use this blog to have an “open dialog with those […] who will be trying out the pre-release version over the coming months.” It’s widely expected that Microsoft will make an early beta version of Windows 8 available to its developers at its Windows-centric BUILD conference next month.

There isn’t too much that is new in Sinofsky’s blog post. He mostly reiterates what Microsoft has already publicly stated about Windows 8. Here are some of the highlights: [list]

  • Microsoft is “100% committed to running the software and supporting the hardware that is compatible with over 400 million Windows 7 licenses already sold and all the Windows 7 yet to be sold.”
  • “Computing is much more focused on applications and on people than on the operating system itself or the data. These changes in the landscape motivate the most significant changes to Windows, from the chips to the experience”
  • “In the next weeks we will just start talking specifics of features, since there is no obvious place to start given the varying perspectives. From fundamentals, to user interface, to hardware support, and more, if something is important to you, we promise we’ll get to it in some form or another.”
  • “Our focus on performance, reliability, compatibility, security, and quality is now baked into our engineering process even as we change Windows for a new generation. With these changes come new ways of doing work on Windows PCs as well as continual investments in hardware, software, and peripherals.” [/list]

Still, it’s good to see that Microsoft is ready to talk more openly about Windows 8 now. This will help it to keep rumors in check and potentially build some excitement around Windows 8. The early glimpse at the UI we got earlier this year was promising, but also still felt more like a skin on top of Windows 7 than a new operating system. This early demo also focused strongly on the touch screen experience and barely touched upon what the regular interface would look like on a mainstream desktop.

After the launch of Windows 7, Microsoft was widely criticized for soliciting feedback from users during the beta phase without taking a lot of it into account. Hopefully, things will be a bit different this time around.