At a recent developers’ conference, Microsoft handed out 5,000 sleek Samsung tablet computers running a test version of Windows 8. The early sneak peak at Microsoft’s next OS caused a stir among developers and analysts. Windows 8 incorporates the “Metro” user interface with a start screen that displays live application tiles like Windows Phone 7. Apps can run in full screen mode, and can be downloaded from Microsoft’s App Store. Windows 8 features a redesigned Windows Explorer which includes a ribbon style interface. It has a significantly smaller footprint than previous versions, and includes a version that can be installed on a USB Flash drive, so users can boot their own Windows environment from any computer.
Like Apple OS X and Google’s Android operating system, Windows 8 seeks to unify operating systems across PCs, tablets, and smart phones for a common user experience across all three. Some analysts wonder if Windows 8 doesn’t cater too strongly to tablets, sacrificing PC usability. However, the sneak peak of Windows 8 provided last week has found favor with the vast majority of users who have explored Microsoft’s new vision. Microsoft hopes that when Windows 8 launches sometime next Summer it will improve Microsoft’s street cred. Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer stated that he is “rethinking, rebuilding, and reimagining Microsoft.”
More adventurous listeners can try Windows 8 themselves, provided they have a compliant computer, by following the instructions in the show notes.
- Download and Install Windows 8 into a Virtual Machine [Computerworld]
- Windows 8 snags an early thumbs-up [Computerworld]
- Visual tour: Windows 8 goes Metro [Computerworld]
- Developers get early taste of Windows 8 [Reuters]
- Microsoft Shows Off Windows 8 to Developers [NewsFactor]
- Microsoft Looking To Reimagine Itself [NewsFactor]