Microsoft showed a bit of their latest operating system at Computex 2011 in Taipei. Windows 8, which is just a codename and not really what the final version will be called, will remind of you the Zune UI which later became the Metro UI on Windows Phone 7 translated on a bigger screen.
Icons are now replaced by Live Tiles which displays app info without launching the app themselves. Looks really pretty but it’s a bold move by Windows which might not bode well for the oldies who are used to their Windows desktop. But it’s a step into the right direction for a company wanting to be successful across all devices.
The main reason why Windows 7 tablets aren’t selling really well is that the OS is just too unwieldy and hard to use on a touchscreen device. With Windows 8, PCs, laptops and tablets can all enjoy the same user experience whether you’re using it with your fingers, a stylus or the conventional keyboard and mouse.
Another thing about Windows 8 is that it runs even on ARM powered-devices so tablets won’t require the typical Intel Core processor just to perform smoothly. Again, across all sorts of devices.
Don’t think of it as a touch-based only OS though even if it looks like that at first. Think of it as a Windows 7 OS with a Windows Phone UI layer on top of it. Launching applications such as MS Word will be the same. You’d get the familiar ribbons, the taskbar, system tray, Start button when you’re doing some heavy lifting on your machine. The Live Tiles screen will replace your desktop and I won’t be surprised if you can view the new OS in Classic Mode for the purists out there who doesn’t want the change.
Check out this Windows 8 demo to further appreciate what Microsoft has done.
I’m still seeing it as a desktop theme for Windows 7 for touch-based devices. What do you think?