A major player on the third day at Computex was Microsoft. They dropped some major news by previewing the next generation of the Windows operating system code-named Windows 8. Mike Angiulo, Corporate Vice President of Windows Planning, Hardware and PC Ecosystem at Microsoft demonstrated how the new operating system is optimized for newer touch-centric hardware, including tablets in a technical preview.

Windows 8 new Start menu (Image credit: All Things D)

Windows 8 new Start menu (Image credit: All Things D)

This demonstration highlighted the ability of the new OS to work across both x86 and ARM-based architectures, with a variety of early prototypes shown running the new operating system. Speaking about the new OS, Angiulo said that their aim with Windows 8 is to make the user experience a natural extension of the device, from the time you turn on your PC through how you interact with the applications you know and love. He goes on to say that this represents a fundamental shift in Windows design that they haven’t attempted since the days of Windows 95, presenting huge opportunities for their hardware partners to innovate with new PC designs.

In January, it was announced that Microsoft and silicon chip makers AMD, Intel Corporation, NVIDIA Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. would work together on the next Windows OS.

The announcement also says that the new user experience extends to how applications will run on “Windows 8,” with controls naturally fitting into the device experience. It said that developers would also be able to use common Web technologies, such as HTML5 and JavaScript, to create applications for the PC, further easing integration and adoption. In order to aid developers in building applications for the new operating system, Microsoft formally opened registration for its new developer conference, BUILD, which will take place Sept. 13–16, 2011, in Anaheim, California.

A brief view on the features of Windows 8 –

  • Apps can be launched faster from a tile-based Start screen; thus replacing the Start menu with a customizable full screen view of apps
  • Apps can be switched between in a fluid manner
  • Snap and resize an app to the side of a screen; thus enabling multitasking capabilities
  • Developers can use common Web technologies such as HTML5 and JavaScript to create apps for PCs

For more information on the happenings at Computex, click here.

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