ORLANDO — With the second-quarter preview release of its RadControls for Metro software development tools today at Microsoft’s TechEd conference, Telerik takes its first steps into the world of Windows 8, with revisions to its controls for the Metro-style interface the new operating system introduces to the desktop.

“Windows 8 represents a big step forward for Microsoft,” said Chris Sells, who joined Telerik in January as vice president of its tools division after an eight-year run at Microsoft. “But the biggest holes left by Microsoft were in data-visualization controls, charts and gauges.”

Sells went on to say that Windows 8, where Telerik’s controls focus, has a clean, touch-centric UI that’s good for interacting with data and “is perfect for a classic-style dashboard. That’s something all levels of an organization need.”

Telerik’s second-quarter release brings charts, gauges and data visualization on XAML, and improves the experience on the HTML side, said Sells. “Over time, we’ll be filling out that set of controls. We’re contributing members to the Windows 8 community, writing books and applications for the marketplace so we can understand what’s really happening.” A beta release will open in the summer, according to the company.

Another area into which Telerik is pushing hard is data access. “Client-side data access is pretty limited in Windows 8,” Sells said, noting that Telerik is working to offer offline support, caching support and high performance while running on limited-resource tablets.

Along with the moves to support Windows 8, Telerik also has enhanced its “Just” family of products. JustCode now allows you to save your settings in the cloud, so if you make a change in one place, JustCode will replicate that change to all other instances, Sells said. The tool also now has what he called “a great deal more” support for XAML. And for RAD developers, refactoring gives them the ability to check in code they have changed by creating new namespaces in new folders.

The JustTrace memory and performance profiler now can make suggestions for improving performance hotspots, with links that lead right to the trouble and the ability for developers to look at the source code right in the trace tool, Sells said.