The release of Windows 8 looms ever closer and the operating system is already getting a mixed reception. Windows 7 has proven to be almost as popular for Microsoft as Windows XP, so a little hostility was expected, especially with such dramatic interface changes.
Microsoft let consumers try the latest build of Windows 8 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Many people have said that Windows 8 borrows many design cues from Windows Phone 7 software, which is certainly going to split opinion.
One of the biggest talking points is the start up time of the operating system, booting on many PC’s in only 8 seconds, which is a significant improvement on Windows 7. The latest best guess for release is October this year.
The new operating system doesn’t have the traditional Start Menu bottom left as the applications are spread across the screen within ’tiles’. Microsoft are calling this interface, ‘Metro’.
These tiles can be navigated by swiping the screen, or by using the mouse and keyboard. We can’t imagine many professionals will fancy getting dirty finger prints on their monitors, but perhaps it will prove popular. Would you even be interested in a touch screen panel for your main gaming system?
Microsoft are very keen to promote this functionality as they demonstrated the feature in Barcelona, swiping in and out of applications with various strokes, and they even tilted their PC screens to a ‘flat’ position to show how the operating system can be used as two person gaming boards, or even as drawing tablets.
Steven Sinofsky, the president of Microsoft Windows Division said “It’s beautiful, it’s modern, it’s fast, it’s fluid.” He added “Windows 8 is a generational change in the Windows operating system.”
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview can now be downloaded from the Microsoft website over here.
Microsoft are also developing a version that will run on non Intel powered computers, targeting the wider mobile phone market place. The success of this operating system is not just important for Microsoft, but for their partners who are currently experiencing flagging PC sales in the current climate. A new Windows operating system, if popular, can drive millions of sales worldwide as the mainstream audience upgrade their computer at home.
Kitguru says: Some analysts claim that Windows 8 might have problems with the enthusiast audience who have warmed to Windows 7 and who won’t want a new operating system which seems based around a mobile platform interface.