Microsoft gives first official look at Windows 8

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Microsoft is letting the world see the beginning of what Windows 8 will bring to the table.

Confirming reports last week that Microsoft was prepared to lift the veil on its upcoming operating system, the company posted a video on its blog as well as Youtube to give developers, consumers, and onlookers a glimpse at what's in store for what could be one of the most cataclysmic jumps in Windows history.

 

Unlike the storied past of incremental upgrades and requisite new interfaces, Windows 8 will put the world of computer operating systems on its head, as it will function as both a traditional PC OS as well as a tablet-optimized platform. Windows 8 is not a stale product but rather a dynamic piece of software that can be tailored to different devices with all manner of hardware specifications.

In the video, we can see that Windows 8 draws significantly from the newly launched Windows Phone 7 mobile OS, with "tiles" playing a key part in the presentation.

Microsoft announced earlier this year that some versions of Windows 8 will use standard Intel chips, while others - those optimized for tablets and mobile gadgets - will work on ARM technology.

And it's not just going to be one ARM-based Windows operating system. There will be four different versions of the OS running on ARM.

Tablets, specialized electronics, and other gadgets will all get their own version of Windows 8. To date, the idea of a Windows 7 tablet has made some rumblings, but because it is so strictly built for a standard computer, it's been difficult for Microsoft to introduce it as a solid tablet platform.

Windows 8 is targeted for a 2012 release, making the gap between Win 7 and Win 8 shorter than that of Vista and Win 7. If not for the explosion of the tablet market, there probably wouldn't have been such a rush to introduce the new OS.