Windows 8: A quick peep

Microsoft seems to have struck back at the competition with a vengeance with Windows 8. The preview of the product showed a sleek and cool UI. In fact the UI is as “cool”, if not “cooler”, than anything out there including Apple iOS (I own an iPad with iOS 4.3.1 and a MacBook Pro running MAC OS X 10.6.7). This article is a quick peep into the exciting features of the new OS:

1. Touch screen capability: The touch screen capability is as sleek as anything out there. The OS will also allow for the use of the mouse and the keyboard. Has anyone tried using the external (physical) keyboard with the iPad? Yes. it is  nightmare. I bought one for the iPad but abandoned it.

2. Tiles: This is the same as the UI in the Windows Phone 7.  With Tiles, each application is displayed on your home page (Start Page) showing the application “personality” i.e. basic information about the application.

3. Same OS, different form factors: The OS is capable of being deployed to different form factors i.e. tablets or slates, desktops, laptops and netbooks (if still alive in 2012). This is a bit worrying because previous desktop OS never seem to work well on low spec. machines. Anyway. Windows 8 seems to have been designed from the ground up, so Microsoft must be working hard on this to ensure the necessary support and compatibility.

4. Support for HTML 5 / JavaScript applications: This looks like the scripting language of choice for the Microsoft “Application Store”.

5. Application Store: Similar to the  commercially successful Apple “App Store”which is now also available on MacBook Pro.

6. Ergonomic Virtual Keyboard: In touch screen mode, the keyboard can be split into left hand and right hand views to make typing more enjoyable.

7. SNAP: You can use this to choose the size of or move  an application window.

8. IE10 (with a touch first user interface):IE10 is designed for a touch first interface but will also work with your mouse and keyboard.

9. Compatibility with existing applications e.g. Office 2010: Your existing Windows 7 applications will continue to function.

10. Inbuilt PDF reader (why did it take so long! Apple MAC has always had this feature):  Now system administrators do not have to include the Adobe Reader in their standard operating environment!

I can’t wait for the CTP release.

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