The Buzz on Windows 8
By Will Claney
Microsoft has just announced it will release Windows 8 in October of 2012, slightly ahead of schedule, and with much fanfare the tech giant will introduce its latest, and best operating system ever.
Microsoft officially announced Monday that it will launch its next operating system, Windows 8, in late October. The release to manufacturing (RTM) edition of Windows 8 will be available in the first week of August, Microsoft’s CFO Tami Reller said.
The October launch date coincides with the period when Microsoft’s hardware partners will begin shipping their PCs, tablets and hybrid devices that will run the new operating system. The release schedule also falls in line with predictions from critics and analysts, such as ComputerWorld, which has said the software will be available Oct. 25.
Windows 8 Features
Windows 8 offers a number of new Windows 8 features from its all new UI (User Interface – what you see on the screen) to Windows App Store and improvised security features. Here’s a list of new features and improvements which will arrive with Windows 8: First, Windows 8 will support new ARM (tablet) CPU’s along with the standard Intel and AMD processors. ARM CPU’s are smaller and less power consuming and are usually offered in tablets and smartphones.
“Support for ARM-based chipsets, touch, and sensors makes Windows 8 work beautifully on your choice of a full spectrum of devices, such as 10-inch slates with all-day battery life, ultra-lightweight laptops, and powerful all-in-ones with 27-inch high-definition screens,” Microsoft contends, in a Windows 8 Guide distributed with Windows Developer Preview.
Speaking about the UI, Windows 8 certainly has got a mind blowing interactive UI, which has been extensively redesigned to a “Metro-style” design, which shows the most important information to you, embodies simplicity, and gives you full control over it. The UI is designed to provide a fluid and intuitive interaction and navigation with touch, or a mouse and keyboard.
First and foremost is the extensively redesigned user interface which has been optimized for touchscreens and tablets. Similar to the Windows Phone 7.5 Metro, Windows 8 will feature a new “Start screen” and include live application tiles. The new start screen will also display the user’s name and avatar.
Additionally, the new interface is primarily designed for 16:9 screen resolutions with larger screens capable of displaying two Windows 8 applications. Moreover, with such a large focus on apps in today’s user marketplace, the new Windows 8 will be much more app focused and allow users to sync their apps and content across devices as well as access the Window Store on any supporting device.
Live tiles populate the Windows landscape through a mosaic of tiles and traditional desktop icons designed to provide feedback to the user in the form of quick information. For example, let’s say you have Google mail. The tile will display how many new messages you have in your inbox without the need to log into your mail client.
Windows 8 also introduces the ability to perform all current copy operations into a single dialog box, instead of requiring you to perform file copying in separate dialog boxes for each app. The new dialog box for file copying lets you pause, resume, and stop each copy operation currently under way. It will also warn you if you’re beginning to copy one version of a file on top of another.
Microsoft has also added a real time throughput graph. “Now each copy job shows the speed of data transfer, the transfer rate trend, and how much data is left to transfer. While this is not designed for benchmarking, in many cases it can provide a quick and easy way to assess what is going on for a particular [copy] job,” noted Alex Simons, director of program management with the Windows 8 management team.
Windows 8 also brings increased support for multiple monitors; The Developers Preview of the new OS includes first-time capabilities for extending the taskbar across two PCs, without any need for third-party apps. You can also stretch wallpaper across two monitors, or display the Start screen on one PC and the desktop on the other, for instance.
It’s also easy to switch between multiple monitors. The primary monitor has a start button, and the secondary monitor has a switcher button. Clicking or tapping on the switcher button will swap it out for the start button, allowing you to turn the secondary monitor into the primary one.
In summation, this is an awesome operating system that spans from smart phone to computer and every device in between and it will be here in a blink of an eye. I get my fully operational Windows 8 computer tonight from my local computer expert. How about you? Are you ready for Windows 8?
How much would you pay for this operating system? A million dollars, half million, a thousand, how about three hundred, no? How about $69.95 and we throw in native USB 3.0 support? But, wait, there’s more… Later.