Widows Shoots For A Game Changer With Windows 8

Windows has been dominating PC desktops for decades.  The classic operating system, pretty much synonymous with PCs, has to continue to reinvent itself as time goes on – to keep up with changing user attitudes and expectations, and to keep up with the competition.  The operating system’s developer, Microsoft, has fought classic battles with companies such as Netscape and Apple, and emerged as the dominant operating system in the world.

Microsoft has had some really well received operating systems, such as Widows XP.  They have also had some duds, such as Windows Vista.  Microsoft has even tried to break into the emerging world of mobile computing, think smart phones and tablets.  But they have only had limited success with mobile.  Enter Windows 8.

The latest Windows product, set to launch in October, is Microsoft’s attempt to bring a comprehensive Window’s solution to both the mobile and PC markets in one package.  Here are some important aspects expected to be included in the newest version of Windows:

Touch Based User Interface

The world of mobile computing has turned computing in general on its head.  One particularly important advance has been the advent of the touch screen, made popular by the Apple Iphone.  Windows 8 has a touch –centric user interface, which has been built on a Windows 7 platform.  The home screen of the newest Windows version will look and feel much more like the app based home screens of smart phones.

Snap Multi-tasking

This feature is designed to allow two apps to be run side by side.  Snap multi-taking allows the user to resize the apps, and switch quickly between them.  The apps will not, however, be able to be seen simultaneously on the same screen.

USB 3.0 Support

USB 3.0 will operate at up to 10 times the speed of USB 2.0.  It is easy to understand why the new Windows OS will include native USB 3.0 support.  Windows 8 will come with USB 3.0 drivers, which are expected to hit all PCs by 2015.

Newly Designed Control Panel

Windows 8 will have a newly designed Control Panel, which will include such new categories as Personalize, Wireless, and Share.   These new options will allow the user to have more control of their desktop – even to the level of the Start Menu.  The full extent of these new categories should be quickly evident soon after the official launch.

Two Keyboards

Microsoft is including two touch based keyboards with Windows 8.  One will be a more traditional kind of touch keyboard, which has been enhanced.   The other will be a different kind of touch keyboard, for people who are not entirely sold on touch typing.  The typing interfaces will come with the standard spell check and word suggestion features.  One interesting point is that the software will be able to auto-detect the language of the user, and apply this to the entire computer, not just to the typing interface.

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