Microsoft has taken over New York’s historic Pier 57 in celebration of the launch of Windows 8. Stay tuned to this post for the low down on all of the festivities as they happen! T-minus 20 minutes until the keynote.

11:05am – We’re being led past the Microtropolis display (photos to follow later) to a stage area. Several Windows 8 and RT devices setup on stage.

11:10am – Unsurprisingly, the WiFi is buckling under the load. Please stand by.

11:15am – The music just went silent. Keynote beginning in 3… 2… 1…

A brief “welcome to windows 8” video. Steven Sinofsky has taken the stage. Starting off with building on Windows 7. Funfact: 670 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold to date!

Sinofsky: “Windows 8 re-imagines Windows, is the best Windows ever”

* 16 million pre-release downloads.

* Available at retail at 12:01am 10/26 (local time)

* 1000 new Win8 certified PCs, wide variety of form factors

Moving on to the Grand Opening of the Windows Store, thousands of new apps, hundreds more each day. 231 markets, 109 languages.

11:35amNew experience of Windows RT
Only runs Win RT apps, compatible with all Windows 8 compatible hardware. New engineering collaboration, designed from the ground up. Demo time! Mike Angiulo and Julie Larson-Green just took the stage. Currently demoing start screen customization. Brief mention of Xbox Video. Faster boot times on upgraded Windows 7 hardware.

Next (brief) demo; navigating between desktop and start screen.

Angiulo: “A whole new wave of innovative hardware is coming next month.”

Acer Aspire S7-191 and Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 are now being demoed. (photos to come later)

App demos – Wikipedia, Urban Spoon, Bing Travel. Games, at present, are the largest category in the windows store.
Shifting gears now, from apps to devices. Dell XPS 10, Samsung Ativ, Lenovo Yoga, Microsoft Surface, Asus tab RT. A brief Windows 8 spot closed out the segment.

11:58am – Steve Ballmer has taken the stage, to discuss how Windows 8 is ‘alive with activity’ First rate tablets, in addition to laptops and tablets. Thinnest, lightest, and fastest PCs created. Windows 8 brings together the best of the tablet and pc worlds.

Microsoft: All In – MSN, Bing apps, Office 2013, Skype. Fast, easy, beautiful. Xbox music, video, and games briefly touched upon.

Shout out to Windows Phone 8, more details to come Monday.

Re-iterating Windows Re-Imagined tagline. Looks like that’s it for the keynote, folks! We’re off to the hands-on demo area.