At a recent Microsoft conference called BUILD (a new event that aims to show hardware and software developers how to take advantage of the future of Windows) the developer version of Windows 8 was released. This gave us a chance see what the next version of Windows will look like.
We are hearing that a final release of Windows 8 is 12 – 18 months away. Things may change to a certain extent from what has been released now; however there appears to be a push for developers to start creating Apps for what looks to be a very touch-centric interface.
While Windows 8 is for both touch, or keyboard and mouse, the new operating system has the “Metro” style interface; much like the Windows Phone 7 and familiar to what consumers are used to seeing in today’s touch products.
Some new features included in the developer version are:
- Picture password – users can select their own personal picture and sketch three patterns over the picture to login, making it easier for tablet and touch users
- Zoom in and out using “pinch” – another feature aimed at tablet or touch enabled devices
- Application “charms” for search and share functionality, as well as accessing devices and settings
- Improved search – applications can make their content searchable by Windows 8 which makes it much easier for users to find what they are looking for
- New Task Manager – with a more graphical user interface for performance monitoring of the machine
- Refresh your PC without affecting any of your files – with one click, PC settings can be restored to defaults, while leaving files and personalisation intact and unchanged; metro apps are all kept and things like malware or extra tool bars are removed
- Extended monitor capabilities – Windows 8 offers more options and new ways to work with dual monitors
It will be interesting to see how the more “consumerised” interface will be received by business users and we certainly look forward to bringing you more news over the next 12 months as we head towards a commercial release of the product.