Microsoft Launches Windows 8 OS Preview

Microsoft has launched the preview edition of its next consumer operating system (OS), Windows 8.

From today users of Windows 7 will be able totry out the “reimagined” software ahead of its full release. The company calls it the most significant redesign of the Windows interface since its groundbreaking Windows 95 OS. The system’s design draws heavily on the “Metro” interface utilised on the current Windows Phone platform. The Windows 8 developer preview launched late last year and has been downloaded more than three million times.

Windows president Steven Sinofsky said more than 100,000 changes had been made since the developer version went public. For the first time since its inception, the trademark Windows “Start” button will no longer appear – instead being replaced by a sliding panel-based menu.

The OS is Microsoft’s attempt at combining a shared look and feel for smartphones, tablets and desktop computers – mirroring similar approaches from key competitors Apple and Google. The slide interface is paired with a more traditional-looking Windows layout to allow familiar use of programs such as Excel and Word.

“Windows 8 is a generational change in the Windows operating system,” said Mr Sinofsky at the launch event, held at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. “Apps bring to life the operating system. The more apps you have, the better your experience.” A release date for the finished version of Windows 8 has not yet been announced.

Source: Digg

Image: Venture Beat

Why Windows Phone is a Buzz at CES

Microsoft may have finally accomplished something it has failed to do at the last six Consumer Electronics Show events I’ve attended: It has people talking about its phones. Even before Steve Ballmer’s Monday night keynote address, I’m hearing “Windows Phone” in various conversations everywhere I travel.

AT&T will launch the first 4G LTE Windows Phone in the HTC Titan II, while Nokia has debuted the Lumia 900 on the same carrier. And SlashGear reports Nokia Lumia 800 has a February launch date in the U.S. as an unlocked, full-price phone. So why the buzz?

First is Nokia’s involvement; in February of last year, the company ditched its aging Symbian platform in favor of Microsoft’s capable platform. Nokia smartphone sales have sagged and people wondered if this was another exercise in futility. But with its Windows Phone devices, Nokia has picked up not one, but two U.S. carriers for its Lumia handsets: T-Mobile for the 710 and AT&T for the 900. Then there’s Windows 8, where a reference design tablet ran Microsoft’s OS on Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 chip.

Do Microsoft-powered phones have all of the latest and greatest features found on Android or iOS devices? Not yet, but they’re getting there and the functions most users do use are in there. In other words, Microsoft’s recipe for Windows Phone success has all of the ingredients in place. Now that they’ve all been cooking the past 18 months, some of the early treats are coming out of the oven. And people here at CES seem hungry for more.


Source: Digg

Image: Computer World