Microsoft’s Radically Different Windows 8
As reported by GeekWire, Microsoft’s latest operating system is unlike anything from Windows we’ve ever seen before. It’s hip. It’s sleek. It’s…new.
Here’s a video of the operating system in action:
GeekWire’s Todd Bishop writes, “Microsoft’s new approach will be controversial among some Windows traditionalists, and jarring for some everyday users. But if people can get over the initial shock – and adapt to a completely new way of using their PCs – they’ll find a lot to like in what the company has done.”
While Bishop agrees that Windows 8 is the company’s response to the iPad, he is quick to point out that the changes aren’t reserved solely for tablets; the operating system is intended for all Windows machines, including laptops and desktop computers.
The differences begin with the logon screen, which resembles the lock screen on mobile phones.
The screen is largely customizable and shows how many messages are waiting to be read, wireless connection status, and app notifications.
From there, the Start screen becomes the hub of Windows 8. It features customizable tiles instead of program icons, as well as any apps you’ve downloaded. Microsoft’s Jensen Harris says, “You can create this mashup of all the things you love, alive in this one screen that brings it all together. That’s the magic of the Start screen.”
Everything in Windows is fast, fluid, and slightly reminiscent of a tablet or smartphone. For instance, in order to toggle through app windows, the user simply places a finger or mouse on the right edge of the screen and swipes inward. This brings up a sidebar of common commands, which Microsoft calls “charms.” Similarly, swiping in from the top or bottom edge brings up customized commands related to an open app, and dragging a finger in from the left of the screen scrolls through open windows.
What’s interesting is that these newfangled changes aren’t going to completely replace the old Windows desktop; it’ll still be accessible from the Start menu, and the system will default to the old desktop when it runs any programs based on traditional Windows code.
Windows 8 is expected to drop sometime in 2012. What are your thoughts about the new operating system?