Posts Tagged ‘microsoft OS’

Windows 8: What to Expect

“Reimagined” is the buzzword surrounding Microsoft’s latest update to their operating system, Windows 8. With a brand new user interface and design, Microsoft is displaying Metro-style apps on the PC to create a seamless, integrated experience across tablets, laptops, and traditional desktop PCs.

Main Features

The most reimagined feature in this major update is the touch-based design. Gone is the familiar start menu and taskbar that has been part of the Windows OS since Windows 95. Large tiled app buttons linking to various applications like music, email, social network activity, Microsoft Word, and Internet Explorer replace the traditional Windows layout.

Metro-app start Screen for Windows 8

The design closely follows the Windows Phone app layout.

Microsoft has essentially developed two versions of Windows 8 to facilitate identical experiences on touch screen tablets and desktops. The new operating system will support traditional x86 CPUs found in most PCs in addition to the low-power ARM processors found in most tablets. This could have major implications for mobile application development.

The new “Windows to Go” feature augments even further consistency across multiple devices. Users can create a secure image of Windows 8 and place it on a typical USB flash drive. Users can then boot their own operating system from other Windows 7- and 8-enabled PC’s and laptops. This allows for an easy transfer of important applications and data to other machines. These updates, along with native 3G and 4G support will make mobile workforces more productive than ever.

Will it be worth the upgrade?

At this point, it is impossible to say whether most users will make the jump to the reimagined Windows 8 or not. While the new design is receiving high praise, there are some concerns Microsoft may alienate long-time Windows users by obscuring the traditional start menu interface they are used to (as seen below).

 

 

Additional concerns call to question the likelihood that businesses will adopt the new operating system. Though the secure Windows to Go and mobile productivity additions are appealing to business owners and IT managers looking to expand their mobile workforce, the expense of training employees on the new interface could create a high barrier to entry.

So will Windows 8 be a success for Microsoft? We’ll find out this Fall when it is released commercially. For now, you can try it yourself with the recently released Windows 8 consumer preview. Let us know what you think by sounding off in the comments!

Full disclosure: Unidev is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.