Microsoft unveils Windows 8
Code named Windows 8, Microsoft’s next operating system will come with a more immersive user interface for everyone.
No release date for the next version of Windows has been made public yet, but Microsoft has revealed a little more of their operating system code named Windows 8. Microsoft has taken advantage of the D9 show in the United States and Computex show in Taiwan to conduct demonstrations of Windows 8.
During these demonstrations, Microsoft insisted on the OS’ optimisation for tactile tablets. Windows 8 will work with the x86 architecture in addition to ARM. Microsoft therefore won’t be cutting off their traditional provider Intel (and AMD), although they will now also be working with NVidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. To work on the new architecture though, existing x86 applications will need to be re-written to work with the ARM architecture.
Windows 8 will bring with it a more immersive user interface which has taken inspiration from Windows Phone 7. This appears to be a current market tendency as Apple’s Mac OS X Lion will also bring with it idea’s taken from iOS. With Windows 8, Microsoft has announced that the user experience will see its biggest change since Windows 95.
At start up, a new screen with the Windows Phone squares will appear, replacing the traditional Start button. This screen can be customised to display applications in full screen mode, notifications (received emails, weather, etc.) and news streams. You can change from one screen to another by navigating between the squares and applications.
The user can fortunately call on a virtual keyboard, as the use of a physical keyboard and mouse is only for older computers. At this time, the user can also change back to the classic Windows interface to find their habitual taskbar.
In the demonstration video below, we find the classic interface when launching the Office applications on a tablet. It should be noted that the screen resolution can go no higher than 1024 x 600, with the classic interface imposing this rule.
Microsoft has declared that "Although the new user interface is designed and optimized for touch, it works equally well with a mouse and keyboard. Our approach means no compromises - you get to use whatever kind of device you prefer, with peripherals you choose, to run the apps you love. This is sure to inspire a new generation of hardware and software development, improving the experience for PC users around the world".
The operating system will require the same minimum hardware configuration as that of Windows 7 to be able to run. Microsoft has also added that in September more will be unveiled about Widows 8 during their developer’s conference with a beta version to be presented.
Even more so than with Apple and their Mac OS X 10.7, Microsoft has decided that Windows 8 will abolish the boundaries between the various devices on the market so as to provide a similar user experience no matter the device you are using.
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