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Windows 8 tablet, will you really want one?

Windows 7 has been a huge success for Microsoft, after the lukewarm reception of Vista. Next year, the focus for Microsoft will be on Windows 8, but is this an operating system you will really need?

The industry has been buzzing now for months regarding the upcoming Microsoft operating system. Windows 7 has not proven a success when running on tablet computers, with many users complaining that the operating system was never really designed from the ground up to handle a touch screen.

Windows 8 is set to rectify this, and for the first time it may give Microsoft a viable platform to launch an attack on industry leaders. Apple.

Forrester have released a study however which show that consumer interest in a Windows tablet has dropped significantly in the latter part of 2011. According to their report, at the start of 2011, 46 percent of potential tablet owners wanted a Windows device, by Q3 this number had dropped to a rather frightening 25 percent.

Forrester claim that Microsoft just aren’t associated with tablet computers, with people seeing them more as an operating system based organisation. What many people still don’t get, is that Windows 8 is primarily meant for tablet, and touch screen based systems.

The operating system is being designed from the ground up to support both X86 and ARM processors. British chip maker ARM has a strong foothold in the mobile sector and it is imperative that Microsoft ensure maximum compatibility with the mobile range of designs currently leading this sector. It isn’t all smooth sailing however as the x86 desktop apps won’t run on ARM based mobile devices, regardless of the operating system code.

Very few people have yet to play with a Windows 8 tablet beta tablet, but Wired say they are excited, as they played with one for a while this year. They said “(we have seen a) Windows 8 tablet in action, and the experience opened our eyes to just how useful — and, yes, even fun — a Windows 8 tablet might be. Sure, Microsoft was demoing a mere reference design, but what we saw was so intriguing, we’re legitimately excited to see final, shipping products.”

Wired add “Windows 8 tablets will run an updated version of the Metro UI found on Windows Phones, and the UI appears to transfer remarkably well to larger touch screens. You’ll get that same fun, friendly and animated “Live Tile” home screen found on Windows Phones, but with (theoretically) much more processing power to drive more powerful apps.

Windows 8 will go beta in February, which would peg a full software release around June 2012. Everything we’ve seen thus far suggests that Microsoft has really taken the time to develop a platform that will succeed on tablets, without abandoning the company’s PC roots.”

It is difficult to know if Microsoft will be successful in this sector, but it will certainly be refreshing to see a serious iPad challenger running outside of Google Android’s operating system. Microsoft won’t also be limiting their hardware partnerships to a single, or even two machines. Christopher Flores, a Microsoft representative spoke to Wired and said “Windows 8 tablets will come in different sizes and different orientations, and have different battery lives depending on their capabilities.”

While they seem to be targeting the tablet market well, what about traditional desktop users? Is Windows 8 going to be a huge step up from Windows 7? The enthusiast favourite operating system which has proven successful with gaming?

According to internal documentation we received from AMD, it looks as if it is going to be a very strong gaming platform, as internal benchmark results can show anything up to 10% performance improvements when paired up with a high end AMD discrete solution. That is not to be sniffed at, but we wonder if people will warm to the dramatic new interface implementation…

Kitguru says: Windows 8 on your wishlist for 2012?

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