Microsoft's Windows 8 supposedly includes SMS support and feature licensing, according to enthusiast breakdowns of an early build that leaked online.
of Windows 8 have apparently seeped out, courtesy of an early build that leaked
onto the Web.
"A new build
of Windows 8, build 7989, has surfaced," the blog Redmond Pie reported June 18
. "Slowly but surely, it's
finding its way onto file-sharing sites, and some Windows enthusiasts have
already dug deep into it."
in the build supposedly include a redesigned virtual keyboard and SMS (Short
Message Service) support. The keyboard features an option that splits it into
two halves, for easier thumb-typing on a tablet. "Microsoft has also built
emoticon support directly into the keyboard user interface and feedback sounds
similar to Windows Phone," Winrumors' Tom Warren wrote in a June 18 posting
, which also included a supposed
video of the keyboard in action.
To be fair, a
variant of Windows 8's ergonomic, "thumbs optimized" keyboard has been glimpsed before
, so that particular
feature's presence in the early build comes as no enormous surprise.
also detailed Windows 8's coding for an App Store and the ability to unlock
certain features. "While it's still no indication on what Microsoft plans to do
with this, per-feature licensing could do away with Windows editions," read its
posting. "Instead, all users would start with a single, -bare bones' edition of
Windows and purchase individual features as they saw fit."
tried something similar with Office 2010, offering a free, stripped-down, ad-supported version
productivity suite pre-installed on certain PCs. A single-use license on a
plastic card, purchased from a retailer such as Best Buy, would unlock the
fully functional version of Office 2010.
with Microsoft's intention to port Windows 8 onto a number of form factors, the
early build of the operating system also apparently contains code indicative of
"Windows 8" is
a code name for the next-generation version of Microsoft's bestselling
operating system, and its name could change before the final release, generally
rumored for later in 2012.
past January's Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft revealed that Windows 8
would support system-on-a-chip architecture, in particular ARM-based systems
from partners such as Qualcomm, Nvidia and Texas Instruments. That should give
Microsoft the ability to port the next version of Windows onto tablets and
other mobile form factors-and, in the process, establish the company's
beachhead in the tablet space, where it faces aggressive competition from the
likes of Apple's iPad and the growing family of Google Android touch-screens.
previous versions of Windows embraced the "traditional" format of a desktop
with folders, paired with a taskbar and "Start" button, Windows 8's user
interface centers on a set of colorful tiles that open up applications-a design
that draws many of its visual cues from Windows Phone, Microsoft's latest
smartphone operating system.
competitive front, Windows 8 will face not only Apple's Mac OS X, which is also
taking design cues from mobile operating systems, but also Hewlett-Packard's
webOS on PCs and tablets.