Microsoft revealed its new operating system yesterday. Attendees of its annual BUILD developer conference received shiny new tablets loaded with a preview versions of Windows 8, which will be available for both tablets and desktops about a year from now. The post below from Alex Willhelm provides an in-depth (3,00 word!) first-look and from Mary Jo Foley we get the condensed version. And if you'd like to view today's keynote address, go to the BUILD conference site.
In my post from earlier today I mentioned that Windows 8 will be available for both tablets and desktop when it is released next year. In a rather quick and forward looking post, Zach Epstein suggests today's move by Microsoft "ushers in the post-post-PC era": ... The PC was the future, and it let people perform functions they never thought possible. Then the tablet was the future, and it let people interact with content in ways they never thought possible. Now, the future means all things to all people.
I’ve mentioned it before on several occasions, but the point is much easier to make now that Microsoft has given the world a better look at its vision of the near-term future of computing. PCs are not going away. They will continue to be the primary means of computing for business and consumers alike. Tablets are not going away, either. They will continue to provide a much more intuitive way to interact with a consumer electronics device. Microsoft’s vision, however, unifies these devices.
One platform to rule them all.
Epstein makes a compelling argument when he writes: When Windows 8 is finally bestowed upon the masses, each and every user will have Apple to thank. Windows 8 as we’re seeing it today would never have existed if competition from the iPad — and the iPhone before it — had not illuminated a giant light bulb over all of our heads: platforms can be both capable and intuitive. Apple’s iOS is the most fluid, logical, user friendly mass-market platform in the world, and it has forced the competition to look at products in a new light. Companies have been incredibly slow to adapt, however, and that is why Apple is currently the biggest tech company in the world.
But the iPad was only the beginning.
Apple paved the way but Microsoft will get there first with Windows 8...
Here's a video from a few months ago to give you a sense of what the buzz is all about.
Windows 8 has the potential to be really cool, and to be a real headache for users. When the familiar desktop becomes just an app (shades of Windows 3.1), and the method of interacting with the OS changes completely, it will inevitably rattle a few cages.
Fortunately, though the look is different, keyboard and mouse still work as expected. There are just additional ways to interact with the computer, especially one with a touch screen.
The OS is not fully baked yet, and things will change between now and shipping date, but it looks promising.