Windows 8 – First public showing

Yesterday was an exciting day for more than just hockey fans (Go Canucks!). Wednesday was Microsoft’s first public showing of the new Windows 8 user interface.

Windows 8 Start Screen

Microsoft isn’t kidding when they admit to having some strong influences from the mobile phone market!

Moving towards web technologies and taking a page from the ‘Google Gears’ handbook, Microsoft is saying that Windows 8 is geared towards 2 unique application types. The first being the traditional compiled windows application including games and software you currently run on windows. The second would be more of a full screen HTML5 + Javascript full screen application.

Google made great success out of exploring what a browser can do without an internet connection when they built the Chromebook and Microsoft clearly wasn’t ignoring this development. Beyond the usual stock tracking widgets and weather displays that could be running from an internet connected browser, this will extend to innovative applications like the customizable touch Piano application that was demonstrated.

Hardware in general seems to be an interesting focus of Windows8

  • Internet Explorer 10 is built into Window 8 and it will be very touch friendly, allowing the OS to run on a tablet or make full use of a PC with a touch screen.
  • Microsoft has stated the OS will be compatible with ARM processors and NVidia hardware. There should be a showing of that later today.
  • Windows 8 continues the tradition of Windows 7 where dependance on improved hardware is not a given. Indeed the way forward seems to be extracting more from the current hardware vs. demanding more under the hood for each new feature.

Our next public blurb from Microsoft on the Windows 8 front is due in September during a developer conference in California.


Dave’s Footnote:

While this post focuses on Windows 8, Dave believes that the author may have glossed over the truly important point (tsk tsk Ryan) which is captured in the following video:

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