We recently covered the news that the Windows Phone 7 OS was getting an update currently named Mango that addressed many of the problems with the current mobile OS. Well Microsoft have announced their new OS, code named Windows 8, at the D9 conference.
Borrowing heavily from the Windows Phone 7 OS, Windows 8 is a touchscreen interface that looks specifically designed with tablet use in mind, despite clearly stating that it will be compatible with tablets, laptops and conventional desktop PCs. The biggest change from current Windows interfaces is the decision to replace the classis ‘Start’ homescreen that has been a live and kicking since Windows 95, with a tile based interface, as seen on the Windows Phone 7.
This is clearly designed to help aid navigation via a touchscreen device, in the same way the home tiles work very well on the Windows Phone 7 OS for simple navigation. However Microsoft are keen to point out that whilst it is designed for a touchscreen device first and foremost, it will still be compatible with a mouse and a keyboard, and users can even revert to the traditional ‘Start’ menu layout if live tiles are not to everyone’s liking.
Naturally in developing a touchscreen interface, Microsoft is aware they have some tough competition in the form of Apple’s iOS and Google’s various incarnations of the Android OS. Thankfully Microsoft have stepped up and included a few features that will be new to people familiar with the aforementioned 2 formats, including the ability to run two programs side-by-side.
Read more about Windows 8 here