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Category: Windows 8

An HDXPRT 2014 update

After the HDXPRT 2014 release last week, we discovered a new issue. During installation, if network connections were active, Windows SmartScreen would pop up with a message that said, “Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting…” If network connections were disabled, a popup would say, “Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached right now.”

Even after turning off SmartScreen entirely, we continued to receive Windows publisher verification warnings. It turns out that the problem relates to testing on a system where Windows 8/8.1 is reinstalled over an existing copy of the OS. Residual information in the C:\Windows.old files apparently trigger the warning. It may also occur if you upgraded from Windows 8 or 8.1 Preview to Windows 8.1.

You may not encounter this problem at all during testing. If you do, there are at least three options for dealing with this. The first option is to turn off SmartScreen in the Windows Action center and disable Windows prompts about publisher verification. Then, open Internet Explorer – Internet Options, click the Security tab, click the Custom level button, and scroll down to select Enable Launching applications and unsafe files.

Screenshot (2)

The second option is to delete any Windows.old files. You can find instructions for that here.

The third is to test on a completely fresh OS install on a reformatted drive.

Also, today we’re posting an updated build that fixes a few UI issues. Scores from the original build are still valid and comparable.

If you have any feedback or questions regarding HDXPRT 2014, feel free to send us a message at


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TouchXPRT 2014 is here!

Today we formally released TouchXPRT 2014. The BenchmarkXPRT Development Community has been using a community preview for several weeks now. Now that we’ve released the benchmark, anyone may freely use it.

Also, the TouchXPRT 2014 source will soon be available to the community. Remember that community members have access to the source, but it is not available to the general public.

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TouchXPRT 2014 arrives Friday!

Friday is the big day for TouchXPRT 2014. It will be available for download at and through the Windows App Store no later than 5:00 PM EDT on Friday May 16.

As we mentioned last week, in addition to the new look and more-demanding component tests, TouchXPRT has a number of new features. One feature we are especially excited about is that users will be able to automate their TouchXPRT tests, something they could not do in TouchXPRT 2013.

You can run TouchXPRT 2014 from a command prompt or using scripting mechanisms such as batch files or PowerShell. The scripting interface allows you to set several parameters, including:

  • Start running the test automatically on launch. You can choose to run all of the scenarios to generate an overall score, or run any single scenario for a component test score.
  • Change the number of iterations the test should run.
  • Change the delay before the test starts running after launch.
  • Change the output filename.

You can read the automation details and find specific commands in the Exploring TouchXPRT 2014 white paper.

Also, we’re in the last steps of preparing the HDXPRT 2014 Community Preview. It’s coming in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for more information.


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TouchXPRT 2014 is almost here

We’re excited to say that TouchXPRT 2014 will launch within the next few days. TouchXPRT 2014 includes a completely new UI, updated component tests, improved disclosure information, improved automation, and the ability to submit results directly from the app.

TouchXPRT 2014 also addresses the number-one request we got about TouchXPRT 2013—to make it more obvious how to run all the tests. In TouchXPRT 2013, users had to choose the Run All button from the hidden Charms menu to run all of the tests and produce an overall score. In TouchXPRT 2014, the Start Test button on the benchmark’s main page makes it obvious how to run all five tests at once.

After the launch, TouchXPRT will be available for download at and through the Windows App Store.

TouchXPRT 2013 will continue to be available for a while, as we understand that labs may have tests in progress. Likewise, the TouchXPRT 2013 results database will continue to be available, but separate from the TouchXPRT 2014 results. You should never compare results for the two versions of TouchXPRT.

For a more in-depth discussion of the new benchmark, please read the Exploring TouchXPRT 2014 white paper.

We’ve been busy with the BatteryXPRT and TouchXPRT launches, but more is on the way. HDXPRT 2014 is next in line!


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This week we released the TouchXPRT 2014 Community Preview 1 (CP1). As with past community previews, the tests are stable and you may publish your results.

CP1 has a number of improvements over TouchXPRT 2013. We’ve updated the tests and used new and more demanding kinds of data. The Run All button is now prominent on the main screen, and the benchmark includes a results viewer.

However, as I said last week, the new UI design did not make it into CP1. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working to give TouchXPRT an exciting new look. The results viewer will also change a lot. The current version captures the date, time, and test results, but the sandbox environment of Windows 8 applications makes getting the system information challenging. We’re working to solve that problem.  We’ll also be improving the results submission to make it more streamlined.

Rest assured that, while the appearance will change, the results will not. The test results you generate with CP1 will be good for the life of the benchmark.

Community previews are only available to community members. If you are not a member, this a great time to join.

After you’ve downloaded CP1, let us know what you think by posting to the forum or e-mailing us at


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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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