Thursday, October 25 – Windows 8 was officially launched at the Esplanade Rooftop, Singapore for consumers and businesses in Asia Pacific and around the world. The event was hosted by Oli Pettigrew and announced by key note speaker and President of Microsoft Asia Pacific, Tracey Fellows.
According to Tracey, “œWindows 8 delivers a no-compromise computer experience. You no longer need to choose between the fun and convenience of a tablet and the power and productivity of a PC.”
True to their word, Microsoft showcased the Windows 8 operating system using a number of impressive PCs and tablets running the said OS ““ these include Asus, Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba. Those showcased were just a number out of more than 1000 Windows 8 certified PCs and tablets with a beautiful new user interface and a wide range of apps that can be downloaded from the Windows Store in 17 markets across Asia Pacific.
What about the Surface Tablet?
It looks like we won’t be having the Surface tablet here in the country. According to Tracey, the Microsoft Surface tablet will only be available in Australia and mentioned no plans about having it available for the rest of Asia Pacific.
So what are some of the new features you can get from Windows 8?
Picture Password ““ Instead of typing in your password, you can use a picture of your choice with accompanying gestures. This makes it easier to unlock touch-enabled devices.
Fast and Fluid Start screen ““ Turn on your device and you’re immediately at the Start screen. It’s not the usual Windows Start screen that we have all grown so familiar with. The new Start screen allows you to navigate through all the apps with one swipe of a finger.
Apps ““ There are built-in apps that are perfect for managing people, photos and your music. You can link your email accounts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. and you can see all updates and photos from your contacts. You can browse through your music and access them at anytime (and our very own Christian Bautista can attest to that).
Windows Store ““ You can download safe, Microsoft-certified apps here. Not a lot of choices at the moment but developers are ready for Windows 8.
SkyDrive ““ This is a built-in cloud capability that gives a user 6GB of free cloud space. You will just need to log in with your Live ID and you can access your SkyDrive anytime from your Windows 8 device.
Windows 8 will be available in two versions ““ Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Microsoft will also be launching the Windows RT along with these, which caters to ARM-based tablets. This will be used in the new thin and lightweight hardware designs that comes with impressive battery life.
Until the end of January, those who currently run PCs with Windows XP, Vista or 7 are qualified to download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $39.99 (US). Eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 in more than 140 countries can download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $14.99 (US) with the Windows Upgrade Offer, available at www.windowsupgradeoffer.com
Windows 8 will be launched in the Philippines this Tuesday, October 30.