Desktops and Notebooks: Microsoft Details Windows 8 Ahead of BUILD Conference

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2011-09-08 Print this article Print
Multiple Goals

Multiple Goals

Microsoft has multiple goals with Windows 8: Maintain its dominance of the traditional operating system market, convince users to upgrade from previous versions of Windows, and make inroads into the tablet market dominated by Apple's iPad.
Microsoft is gearing up for its BUILD conference, which runs Sept. 13-16 in Anaheim, Calif., where the software giant plans to offer additional details about the next version of Windows. Due sometime in 2012, the latest Windows—codenamed Windows 8, although that could change by final release—is meant to not only reaffirm Microsoft's hold on the traditional operating system market but also build inroads into the tablet and mobility sector currently dominated by Apple's iPad. In theory, Windows 8 will accomplish these goals by offering a tablet-centric interface—defined by bright tiles reminiscent of Microsoft's Windows Phone—alongside the traditional desktop experience, with a supposedly seamless transition between the two environments. For some time, Microsoft's Windows teams have worked on a user interface that will appeal to consumers, businesspeople and power users. For several weeks, the company's official "Building Windows 8" blog has offered a steady stream of updates about Windows 8's "ribbon" for Windows Explorer, support for features such as USB 3.0 and the decision to embrace a "Metro" design aesthetic over the "Aero" one that dominated Windows Vista and Windows 7. Windows and Windows Live division President Steven Sinofsky has authored many of these posts, at times devoting their length to defending some of Microsoft's design choices. Whether those choices succeed, however, is something that will be ultimately determined by the audience.??í
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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