Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

Windows 8 shown on video–the iPad killer?

, posted: 2-Jun-2011 12:26

At the D9 Conference in NYC today Microsoft's Stephen Sinofsky demonstrated the next generation of Windows (currently code-named "Windows 8") for the first time in public.

It appears that Windows 8 take a fresh approach to Windows - incorporating the best of Tablets, Phones and full blown PCs today - and merging those elements into a new experience. The concept is that Windows 8 systems can be anything from a small touch only device through to devices with large screen and a keyboard and mouse.

The demo highlighted some of the new ways Microsoft are reinventing the user interface - with a very strong focus on touch-centric devices - such as tablets (aka slates). It's a an approach that appears a few leaps ahead of what other vendors are delivering - and certainly technology that will put it in direct competition to the iPad - but also relevant to millions of users who are not interested in the iPad.

Highlights of the new interface showed include:

- Fast launching of apps from a tile-based Start screen, which replaces the Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps
- Live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps (think Windows Phone 7)
- Fluid, natural switching between running apps
- Convenient ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so you can really multitask using the capabilities of Windows
- Web-connected and Web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC
- Fully touch-optimized browsing, with all the power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10

Microsoft also showed the seamless movement between traditional Windows applications and the new Windows 8 apps. It has been communicated that the full capabilities of Windows 7 will continue to be available to users, including the Windows Explorer and Desktop - and compatibility with all Windows 7 compatible PCs, software and peripherals.

If you like that sound of Windows 8 - check out the video.

To keep up to date on Windows 8 be sure to follow @PaulSpain on Twitter.

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