Microsoft is prepping Windows 8 to deal equally with tablet and traditional PC users, according to Windows and Windows Live division president Steven Sinofsky.
September's BUILD conference, Microsoft is taking steps to position its
upcoming Windows 8 as a platform meant equally for tablets and traditional PCs.
Even before it
began offering sanctioned glimpses of Windows 8 earlier this summer, Microsoft touted
the operating system's interoperability with tablets. During this past
January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Windows and Windows
Live division president Steven Sinofsky suggested that Windows 8 would support system-on-a-chip
(SOC) architecture, in particular ARM-based systems from partners such as
Qualcomm, Nvidia and Texas Instruments-something that would give the platform
the ability to work on tablets and other mobile form factors.
Microsoft's tasked itself with assuring audiences that Windows 8 will prove
adept at serving the needs of both tablet and traditional PC users.
of [the] user interfaces together harmoniously is an important part of Windows
8," Sinofsky wrote in an Aug. 31 posting on the Building Windows
blog. "Our goal was a no compromise design."
that, Microsoft's Windows teams apparently focused on an "elegant" and
"nuanced" approach to OS design, one in which the tablet-centric interface
coexists with the desktop one, complete with the ability to shift between the
"If you don't
want to do any of those -PC' things, then you don't have to and you're not
paying for them in memory, battery life or hardware requirements," Sinofsky
wrote. "If you do want or need this functionality, then you can switch to it
with ease and fluidity because Windows is right there. Essentially, you can
think of the Windows desktop as just another app."
posting included no images of the tablet-ready "Metro" interface and the
supposedly "improved Windows desktop." Microsoft has yet to fill in precise
details about how the transition between the two environments will work, or how
thousands of applications built for previous Windows editions will work in this
radically revamped, suddenly mobile-friendly environment.
Over the past
few weeks, the Building Windows 8 blog has focused on everything from support
for USB 3.0 to Windows Explorer revisions to the reasoning behind the user
interface. Current rumor also suggests Microsoft could hang out quad-core
tablets loaded with a test version of Windows 8 to BUILD conference attendees.
Windows 8 is
widely expected to launch sometime in 2012. As the Windows franchise continues
to draw substantial revenues for Microsoft, the company will almost certainly
need Windows 8 to prove a commercial hit on the scale of Windows 7, which has
sold hundreds of millions of licenses since its October 2009 release.
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