Enterprise Applications: Microsoft's Windows 8 Developer Preview: First Look
Microsoft has offered its Developer Preview of its upcoming Windows 8 to the world. This early glimpse of the operating system, while nowhere near finished, offers a one-of-a-kind perspective into Microsoft's thinking when it comes to the next generation of Windows. For one thing, the company also intends Windows 8 to make substantial inroads into the tablet category, currently dominated by Apple's iPadand it plans to do so by offering a touch-centric "Metro interface that consists of colorful tiles linked to applications. A more traditional desktop will operate in concert with this new interface, and users will have the ability to switch between the two whenever the need (or desire) arises. Windows 8 will run on both x86 and ARM systems, meaning it will appear on a wide variety of PC and tablet form-factors. At its BUILD conference, which ran from Sept. 13-16, Microsoft detailed some new additions to the Windows platform, including an app store for third-party applications. Windows 8 will also include two versions of Internet Explorer 10: as a "Metro-style app (that's plug-in free) and a desktop app that fully supports plug-ins and extensions. Nor is that all: trust that, over the next several months, Microsoft will reveal additional features and applications for everything from security to user interface to games. Nothing less than the future of the company is riding on how well this platform succeeds upon its release, which reportedly is coming sometime in 2012.