by July 11, 2012 0 comments










Microsoft has officially announced the
release of its next highly anticipated OS, Windows 8, to consumers
in
October this year. While it will be sent to manufacturers in
August
itself, it will only be shipped to consumers in late October.

Microsoft has given consumers a taste
of Windows 8 through its Release Preview, which has shown its
brand
new Metro-style UI that has shown that Microsoft is ready and
willing
to evolve its flagship product. Microsoft is offering a digital
upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 to the latest
Windows 8 for $39.99.

The company may be playing a wild card
by selling Windows 8 only in late October, as most of the
“back-to-school” computer shopping is done in August and
September. However, offering an upgrade at such a reasonable price
will convince many consumers to upgrade later in the year.

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The radical new look of Windows 8
Windows 8 features the brand new Metro
UI, which has a tile-based interface that is similar to the one
found
on the Windows Phone operating system. All of the applications are
in
the form of tiles on the screen, and they can be clicked to bring
the
app into full view. Tiles of apps such as Mail and Weather will
have
“preview” views, with the latest emails or weather updates etched
on them so that you can stay up to date on your work.

There are some cool Metro-style apps
that have already been engineered for the Windows 8 platform, such
as
Bing Sports and Bing News. These apps generally stick to the theme
of
“live tiles”, which broadcast the top stories as you open up the
app.

At this point, a lot of readers will
be
going “I miss the good old Windows Desktop”. Well, fret not
readers! You will still be able to switch to the regular Windows
desktop screen. There will be an option in the Metro UI of Windows
8
that will switch to a regular desktop, on which traditional
applications such as Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer can be
run.

However, Windows 8 was clearly
designed
with a touch interface in mind. The way in which the interface is
controlled with a mouse and keyboard does not feel very natural,
as
often you have to use your mouse to swipe or drag to scroll across
the tiled screen. While the regular desktop is still available, it
does not blend well into the whole “Metro” design, seeming like a
separate operating system being forced to sit side by side with
its
successor.

The prime frustration that the new OS
invokes is the difficulty in navigating it by mouse and keyboard,
as
a gesture that seems natural on a touch environment becomes
excruciatingly irritating using a mouse.

It was a very bold move by Microsoft
to
transition to this new look, and it will be extremely interesting
to
observe how they fix these problems before the official full
release
of the OS. Will users warm up to this new and bold interface? Only
time will tell how the Windows user base will react.



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