Microsoft is still the largest software company in the world, yet when it comes to the mobile operating systems it lags far behind the market leaders such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
Microsoft hopes to reverse its position with the new Windows 8 which will be able to run everything right from phones to servers.
Microsoft is seeing a peculiar situation off late. While personal computers have been witnessing a downward trend, sales of tablet PCs and smartphones are going up. But most of the Windows 7 sales reported by Microsoft are replacements and not new sales. At the end of 2010, Windows Phone 7 from Microsoft just had 4.7 per cent market share, says a report from Gartner.
But Windows 8 also poses a risk for Microsoft as it has to embrace the mobile platform while retaining the existing desktop and laptop users. The company hasn’t attempted a similar feat with one product before.
The Windows 8 version given to hardware manufacturers for testing looks similar to Snow Leopard OS. Windows 8 will likely have the ability to synchronise data between a mobile device and cloud apart from the push notifications feature. The PDF reader may come inbuilt with it, and some user interface elements perhaps have been taken from Windows Phone 7 also.
The Task Manager is likely to be reconfigured and renamed as Modern Windows Task Manager. The Task Manager and Resource Monitor have been combined to create this new task manager. The kill buttons are likely to be tap friendly so users can easily kill tasks using this task manager on the tablets also.
The browser is simple and full screen, just like the Metro browser used in Windows Phone 7. Any USB drive of 16 GB and more will be able to store a portable image of the operating system in it so the users can carry their work space along with them.
If these features make it to the end product, it appears Windows 8 will end up to be a significant upgrade over the current operating system.