On Wednesday, it was the start of another era of operation system when Microsoft offered the first glimpse of Windows 8, a sneak peek that reveals much about both the influences and the strategic goals of the major overhaul of Microsoft’s 25-year-old operating system.
So what’s the prime objective for Microsoft from the latest Windows 8: To provide a system which can work seamlessly on Desktops as well as Tablets. At D9 conference, company has provided first ever demo of Windows 8, currently known by its code-name, which has showcased many new exciting features bundled with new operating system.
From the flashy look, it seems to be a good combination of Windows Phone 7 and few ‘other’ operating systems. Like WP7, the new interface contains multiple tiles to jump to various programs directly from the home screen just by click on a finger. Designer seems to be quite impressed with the new touch technology and the whole Windows 8 stands excellent if used on any touch device.
The upcoming version of Internet Explorer (IE 10), which is part of Windows 8, has already been configured to run in this mode, as have several widget-like apps for checking stock prices and weather.
Interestingly, Microsoft seems to follow Apple when it comes to distribution of Windows programs. Although Microsoft didn’t offer any details, the start screen includes a prominent link to a store, apparently confirming that Microsoft plans to get in the business of directly distributing Windows programs.
“We really did take a step back after Windows 7,” Sinofsky said. “We were clearly influenced ourselves by phones.”
With the latest version of Windows 8, Microsoft is much more emphasized with touch technology. Company has worked with the classic Windows desktop to make it more touch friendly, including using a new kind of “fuzzy hit targeting” to adjust for the fact that fingers are far less precise than a mouse. The goal, says chief designer Julie Larson-Green, is that classic apps, though designed for a keyboard and mouse, work well with touch. Apps taking advantage of the new programming layer, she said, are designed for touch first, but also work well with a keyboard and mouse.
Parallel, Windows is also growing with other aspects of OS. Company has plans to roll out Windows 8 that would support ARM-based chips from Nvidia, Texas Instrument and Qualcomm, in addition to the traditional Windows processors from Intel and AMD.
Microsoft is going to basics of OS and looking further developments which will consume less resource and have high performance, especially since the roll out of Windows 7.
However, the big question is how well this new Windows will gel with next generation devices like Tablets and Micro-devices. Also, it would be interesting to see the ‘real’ performance of Windows 8 when users will stack additional programs to make it work able as only OS don’t have anything thing to do besides providing a core platform.
Besides, Microsoft has not made it clear by when Windows 8 will be available and with such scenarios it will be difficult to predict the status of competition till then.
When asked Sinofsky declined to say, but Microsoft will have a lot more to say about Windows 8 at a developer conference in mid-September in Anaheim, Calif.
Images & Video Credit: AllThingD