Windows 8 Preview Reveals Major UI Metamorphosis
It has a tile interface similar to that of Windows Phone 7, it will run on PCs and tablets, and it will support both touchscreen and mouse-and-keyboard interactions.
The upcoming version of Windows represents a fundamental change in the OS's design that Redmond hasn't attempted since the launch of Windows 95, said Mike Angiulo, a Microsoft corporate vice president, during a Windows 8 presentation at the Computex conference in Taipei.
The new UI has apparently been well received.
"It looks like the user interface is a winner, building on the differentiated and well-received Windows Phone 7 UI, except with bigger and richer tiles," Al Hilwa, a program director at IDC, told TechNewsWorld.
"Feedback from everybody I've talked to is very good, and the only downside is folks would like to see Windows 8 this year instead of in 2012," Rob Enderle, principal analyst at theEnderle Group, told TechNewsWorld.
Microsoft declined to provide further comment on Windows 8, with spokesperson Jackie Lawrence pointing TechNewsWorld to the company's website for published information relating to the new OS.
What We Know About Windows 8To publicize Windows 8, Microsoft held a briefing on the OS at the D9 Conference and hosted an unveiling at Computex on Wednesday.
Like Sun's Solaris OS, Windows 8 is aimed at scaling from touch-only small screens through to large screens, Microsoft said. Unlike Solaris, however, Windows 8 can be accessed either through touchscreens or through a keyboard and mouse.
"The big UI change is to make it work seamlessly between tablets and PCs, and it seems to anticipate that most PCs will be touch," Enderle remarked. "Clearly Microsoft is trying to get ahead of whereApple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is going," he added.
Internet Explorer 10 will be bundled with Windows 8. It will be hardware-accelerated and fully touch-optimized.
Windows 8 will offer fast launching of apps from a tile-based "Start" screen. It will replace the familiar Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps.