Microsoft has revealed its new tablet-optimised operating system, Windows 8, the Wall Street Journal’s tech website has reported.
The new version of Windows, showcased during conferences in both Taipei and California, is refreshed with new chipsets and user interface but the company has not come out with a release date yet.
Windows 8 will run on system-on-a-chip (SOC) designs which will include ARM processors to help devices perform faster online. These devices will be optimised for touch but will be slightly different from those running Windows 7, which was made primarily for desktops but supported touch as well.
Windows 8 will work with a keyboard or mouse, but will still remain primarily a touch operating system. Besides, it will have a tile-based user interface, which seems to have been inspired by the user interface of Windows Phone 7. It will also have a newly designed start screen, but won’t feature a start menu.
Windows 8 will also offer a completely new app development and distribution model. The apps being denoted in the live tiles will be updated all the time according to user activity. At the same time, Microsoft has not cleared the air as to how it will integrate Kinect, Xbox Live and Skype in Windows 8.
All that has come out of the announcement is that it is a post PC era product, and that users can expect a lot more mobile devices than were earlier possible on Windows 7.
Tablet users who are Windows users as well will find it comforting to be able to work with the new devices using a keyboard and mouse. The only problem is that we don’t know whether Windows 8 will have a dual operating system set up or not.
Curiously, the earlier Windows applications are designed to work on Intel processors; whereas Windows 8 has been designed for ARM processors. How Microsoft handles the transition still remains to be seen.
So far Microsoft did not speak much about its tablet strategy though it had earlier included touch features in the Windows 7 operating system, which were used by some manufacturers in tablets as well, but these tablets didn’t do well in the market.