Newsletter Issue #615: The Promise (Or Threat) of Windows 8

September 12th, 2011

While Apple doles out information about future operating systems in carefully crafted media events (including the annual WWDC) and press releases, news about the next great OS from Microsoft seems to leak like a sieve. So even though you’ll actually learn how Windows 8 will run on tablets at Microsoft’s Build conference on September 13th, there’s already a pretty decent amount of information available as to what it’s all about.

So, for example, Windows 8 will work not just on traditional PCs, using x86 chips from Intel, but on the ARM-based processors that power tablets. Basically, it’s all going to be the same operating system, running the same software when it arrives in 2012. This means those tablets should, once software is made compatible with the lower power chips, run Microsoft Office and all the rest of your favorite Windows apps, assuming you have any favorites.

The basic interface elements appear to have already been mapped out. You’ll boot to a tiled screen, rather than the traditional Windows desktop and Start menu. This is reminiscent of Windows Phone 7 which, by the way, has “borrowed” the concept from traditional app launching docks, such as the Launcher in the Classic Mac OS.

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