Microsoft’s High Hopes for Windows 8

On June 1, Mike Angiulo, corporate VP of Windows Planning, stated that Windows 8 offers “huge opportunities for our hardware partners to innovate with new PC designs.” Innovation, on a PC running Windows? The Windows market has not seen any real innovation between hardware and software since Windows 98 in 1998. Other leaders in the personal computer market, specifically Apple, have provided innovative interaction between hardware and software with virtually every major new release. Microsoft’s Windows 8 venture presents a few interesting technical points that are worth considering:

Multi-Device Support
Windows 8 is expected to support touch-friendly interfaces flawlessly across tablets, desktops, and laptops. This is the first significant push by a software company to move a mobile OS to non-mobile hardware.

Supports Dual-Processing Architectures
According to Microsoft’s Angiulo, Windows 8 will support both x86- and ARM-based architectures.

Legacy Hardware Support
Based on the information presented on June 1, it appears that Windows 8 will be supported by legacy Windows 7 hardware. In addition, Windows 8 will already have many of the Windows 7 features baked in and back-supported.

CNET posed an interesting question: Did Windows Phone 7 have “the kind of consumer impact that warrants this elevation?” The article goes on to state that “Windows Phone 7 commands only 1 percent of the U.S. smartphone marketshare”––a measly number to be hedging a new OS release against.

A closing thought: Apple will launch iOS 5 at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next week and release iOS 6 next year, just in time for the Windows 8 launch. Will the two new operating systems clash in a head-to-head death match, or will Microsoft’s newest stepchild cower, forlorn in a corner, while Android, Apple, and maybe even RIM or––gasp––HP steal the spotlight at the 2012 laptop/desktop/tablet/smartphone party?


Author: John Carew


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