Overnight Australia became one of the first countries in the world to start selling Windows 8 to consumers. While most developers and enthusiasts have been running previews of the OS for more than a year, it’s now time for retail availability.
This means some of that new Windows 8 hardware we’ve seen over the past couple of days from Dell, Sony, Asus, Samsung, Toshiba and others will hit store shelves. While select Harvey Norman stores across the country had midnight launches, don’t forget about online sales or those who will upgrade existing machines.
This morning in Sydney Microsoft Australia held a press briefing for the launch of Windows 8 where around 100 journalists from across the country were walked through the Windows 8 features. While most of us have been using these for months, there was a demo of a new app we hadn’t seen.
Microsoft has been working with Westpac to develop a Windows 8 app that allows you to manage your money. You can do all the standard functions of the web app, but done in the clean metro design. One neat piece of functionality offered by the app is to notify a friend that you have transferred a payment to them. This works by taking advantage of the Share contract.
There’s a price war on right now amongst retail and online sellers for Windows 8 upgrades. So far this morning’s best price is $48.72 at Office Works. If you’ve seen cheaper, then let us know in the comments. As someone who banks with NAB, I look to them now to also offer a Windows 8 app, given Windows support for NFC, there’s a lot of potential for banking apps on the desktop, just as there is on the phone.
Now it’s time for a shameless plug, the techAU Windows 8 app is available in the Store for free and is actually featured right now. The app has seen more than 3,000 downloads since it’s release a couple of months ago. There’s more updates in development right now to make it even better, stay tuned on that, but if you don’t already have it, make sure it’s one of the first apps you download when you move to Windows 8.