Microsoft Takes Risk With Major Interface Redesign

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-11-17 Print this article Print


5. ARM processor support

Support for ARM processors in Windows 8 could be one of the most important additions Microsoft is bringing to the operating system. By supporting ARM processors, more companies should be able to build devices running Windows 8, including tablets and lightweight notebooks. Even better for customers, it could create a price war between ARM chip makers and Intel that could eventually bring computer prices down. It's a win-win.

6. Improved energy efficiency

Microsoft has said that it understands consumers and enterprise users are going mobile. So, to make it a bit easier on those folks, the company says that Windows 8 will come with improved energy efficiency features that should make notebook and tablet batteries last longer. Windows 7 can be a power hog because of its resource intensiveness. Microsoft is fixing that with Windows 8.

7. Improved memory usage

It seems that over the years, more and faster RAM has become a big concern for PC buyers. But Microsoft is trying to limit that with Windows 8 by making the operating system more capable of handling multiple applications and processes without using up too much RAM. Will it succeed? Time will tell. But it certainly sounds nice on paper.

8. Design, design, design

Those who haven't seen images of Windows 8 yet owe it to themselves to look it up. And when they do, they'll find a drastically altered operating system design that nixes the start button for the start screen, and drops the typical file layout with something more akin to Windows Phone 7. Microsoft is taking a big risk with its Windows 8 design tweaks. And it should be interesting to see if it pays off.

9. A nod to the cloud

Although Microsoft has several cloud-based applications, it has historically been loath to embrace that in Windows. In Windows 8, however, the company is doing just that by allowing the operating system to tap into Windows Live SkyDrive, a cloud data storage service. Windows is far from being cloud-based, but at least it's starting to rely somewhat on the cloud to extend its functionality.

10. Windows to Go is a biggie

Windows to Go could very well become the key reason enterprise users decide to deploy Windows 8. The feature allows the entire Windows 8 system to be run from a USB device and is designed with corporate customers in mind. There aren't too many details that have emerged on Windows to Go, but at least right now, it looks like it could push some IT decision-makers off the fence.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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