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Category: TouchXPRT release cycle

It’s almost here

Sometime next week, we plan to release a sneak preview of TouchXPRT 2014, the TouchXPRT 2014 Community Preview 1 (CP1).

CP1, as its name makes clear, is not the final TouchXPRT 2014 release. There is still a lot of work to do on the user interface and the new results viewer.  However, it includes a number of improvements over the current TouchXPRT, making it an even more useful tool for measuring Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 device performance. It is also a great way for everyone in the community to see the current state of our thinking and to provide us with feedback. You can run this version of the tool and see what you think!

As we have done with previous community previews, we’re also taking two more steps:

  • We’re not putting any publication restrictions on this preview release. Test at will, and publish your findings.
  • We’re releasing the source code to all community members. If you’re curious about not just what we’re doing but how we’re doing it, you can find out.

We believe these steps make the tool easier to evaluate and more useful to all of us.

Releasing a preview version is a lot of work, because we have to do much of the work of a software release and on less-than-final code, but we believe the value to our community justifies the effort.

Next week, when we release CP1, I’ll go over more details, the known limitations, and how you can get us your feedback—feedback we very much want.

Between now and then, we’ll be readying CP1 for your use.


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Has it only been 2 weeks?

2014 has barely started, but things are already popping!

The new battery test has a name: BatteryXPRT for Android. We are busy at work on the latest member of the BenchmarkXPRT family. The comment period for BatteryXPRT for Android ended last Friday. We greatly appreciate the comments we received on the RFC. We used them to shape the RFC into a design document, which is available on the member forum now.

In other news, we’re testing  what we hope will be the TouchXPRT 2014 community preview (CP) now. Testing is going well and we will be releasing the TouchXPRT 2014 CP to the community soon. As I said in TouchXPRT 2014, we’ve revamped the tests. They are more visual and more demanding than the old tests, and they introduce new types of work. The tests look great!

Speaking of looking great, we announced a while back that we were doing a UI redesign across the XPRT benchmarks. Unfortunately, that effort was not quite in sync with the release of the TouchXPRT 2014 CP, so the CP will use the older style UI. We will update the UI for the final version, but doing so will not affect the results.

Remember that you have to belong to the community to get the community preview. If you’re still not a member, come join us.

A new member of the family and a new version of an old friend. 2014 is off to a great start.


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TouchXPRT in the fast lane

I titled last week’s blog “Putting the TouchXPRT pedal to the metal.” The metaphor still applies. On Monday, we released TouchXPRT 2013 Community Preview 1 (CP1).  Members can download it here.

CP1 contains five scenarios based on our research and community feedback. The scenarios are Beautify Photo Album, Prepare Photos for Sharing, Convert Videos for Sharing, Export Podcast to MP3, and Create Slideshow from Photos.

Each scenario gives two types of results. There’s a rate, which allows for simple “bigger is better” comparisons. CP1 also gives the elapsed time for each scenario, which is easier to grasp intuitively. Each approach has its advantages. We’d like to get your feedback on whether you’d like us to pick one of those metrics for the final version of TouchXPRT 2013 or whether it makes more sense to include both. You’ll find a fuller description of the scenarios and the results in the TouchXPRT 2013 Community Preview 1 Design overview.

While you’re looking at CP1, we’re getting the source ready to release.  To check out the source, you’ll need a system running Windows 8, with Visual Studio 2012 installed. We hope to release it on Friday. Keep your eye the TouchXPRT forums for more details.

Post your feedback to the TouchXPRT forum, or e-mail it to  Do you want more scenarios? Different metrics? A new UI feature? Let us know! Make TouchXPRT the benchmark you want it to be.

As I explained last week, we released CP1 without any restrictions on publishing results. It seems that AnandTech was the first to take advantage of that. Read AnandTech’s Microsoft Surface Review to see TouchXPRT in action.

We are hoping that other folks take advantage of CP1’s capability to act as a cross-platform benchmark on the new class of Windows 8 devices. Come join us in the fast lane!


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TouchXPRT update

We have been spending a lot of our energy (and blog space) on HDXPRT 2012 over the last few weeks. We have not, however, forgotten about TouchXPRT.

As we discussed in the past, TouchXPRT will be a new benchmark designed for touch-based devices like tablets and touch-capable Ultrabooks. It will incorporate apps and scenarios tailored to touch-based environments and devices. The initial version will run on the Windows 8 environment formerly known as Metro.

Our current plan is to release an informal design overview later this month. We then hope to have a preview version of TouchXPRT available to community members in October. Depending upon feedback, we will work on improvements and fixes through January with a release in February. We will have more details in the forums and in blog entries over the next few weeks.

As always, we need feedback and input from the community. If you are not currently a member, now is the time to join so you can participate in specifying and developing TouchXPRT. We are excited about both the benchmark and this emerging product space. We hope you are, too!

I do have one thing to mention about HDXPRT 2012. Please remember that we are going to do a Webinar next week (Tuesday, 9/18 at 2:00pm ET). We plan to discuss HDXPRT 2012 and have plenty of time for questions from attendees. We’d love for you to join, learn more about the benchmark, and give us your thoughts and feedback. We will send out more details to community members in an email later this week.


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Tentative TouchXPRT plan and schedule

Since the beginning of the year and especially in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been discussing in the blog our thoughts on what should be in TouchXPRT. Based on those thoughts and on feedback we’ve gotten, we are working on scenarios, apps, and workloads for two of the seven possible roles I mentioned in an earlier blog—consuming and manipulating media and browsing the Web. These seemed like two of the more important and common roles and ones where performance might have a noticeable impact.

For the consuming and manipulating media portion, we are working on building a limited app (or apps) that can do some of the functions in the scenario I described in last week’s blog. We’re also working on the necessary content (photos, videos, and sound clips) for TouchXPRT to manipulate and show using the app(s). For the Web browsing role, we are putting together Web pages and HTML5 that emulate sites and applications on the Web.

The goal is to release both of these roles as the first Community Build (CB1) of TouchXPRT by the end of April. As the name implies, CB1 will be available only to members of the Development Community. If you have not joined the Development Community, hopefully TouchXPRT CB1 will give you some additional incentive!

Once we have CB1 ready to release to the community, we will need your help with debugging, results gathering, and general critiquing. As always, thanks in advance for whatever help you are able to offer.


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