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Looking Into Windows 8


According to the Oxford dictionary, a revolution is “a forcible overthrow of a government or social order for a new system”. And Microsoft has done justice to Oxford by following their definition of a “revolution” to the tee by creating an amazing new Operating System- Windows 8.

Clearly, Microsoft wants to continue with its worldwide computer domination and wipe out ‘Mac’ism with their next version of Windows.

What is quite evident from the picture attached above is the fact that Microsoft has taken a leaf out of their Windows Phone 7 Metro UI. The similarities between the Windows 8 interface and the Windows Phone 7 Metro UI are quite striking. The user doesn’t have to click on the Start menu to get to different applications. Instead, the user has to click or touch on one of the windows/tiles to launch the application. Also, this is the first time Microsoft is incorporating an actual ‘windows’ experience into its OS! 😀

The next version of Windows has quite a different approach to interaction when compared to the previous iterations. While Microsoft was criticized for having a Mac OS X type approach in Windows 7, they now have a  new approach.

Windows 8’s new interface has quite a few advantages like-

  • Fast launching of apps from a tile-based Start screen, which replaces the Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps.
  • Live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps.
  • Fluid, natural switching between running apps.
  • Convenient ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so you can really multitask using the capabilities of Windows.
  • Web-connected and Web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC.
  • Fully touch-optimized browsing, with all the power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10

Developers were excited by the fact that Windows 8 will support two types of applications- one that is reminiscent of the old Windows and one that is relatively new, HTML5 (Javascript will also be supported, obviously). Microsoft also said that the new Windows was designed for touchscreen usage right from its conception. But, keyboard and mouse support will also be supported for both types of applications. To multitask on a Windows 8 tablet, you just have to swipe across the applications to switch. You can also mix two applications into one. For example, Facebook and MS Word. Also, a new version of Internet Explorer is set to be introduced with Windows 8. It goes without saying that it will support both HTML5 and Javascript for a better web browsing experience.

But, it is going to quite a grotesque transformation for developers. Most of the application fabricators will have to choose between an ‘old school’ approach to applications or the brand new touch-centric approach. This is going to be quite a problem for the future as most apps won’t be compatible on both platforms. This is going to lead to a lot of frustration in the dev community and not to forget, among the consumers.

Before I forget, Mr. Steven Sinofsky said that Windows 8 is going to be compatible with touchscreen PCs, laptops and desktops. Also, Windows 8 will have full support for Windows 7 applications and ‘legacy’ applications, from preceding versions of Windows.

If Windows 8 works like Mr. Sinofsky has told us it will, it is going to be legen-wait for it-dary! It’s going to solve all the problems that people have when using a tablet when away from their PC, since most of the applications will run on the PC and the tablet. Consumers won’t have to give up their favourite business applications like Excel and Word and will have cool apps as well! It’s a win-win situation!

Windows 8 advantages information courtesyMicrosoft

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