Microsoft offers peek at new Windows
Microsoft has offered the public a first peek at its next generation Windows operating system. The software platform features a new user interface that's designed to work with touch gestures as well as a traditional mouse and keyboard and allow Microsoft to compete with Apple's wildly successful iPad, dpa reported.
Inspired by the Windows Phone operating system introduced last year, the new OS is designed to work on tablet computers as well as desktops and laptops. It features tiles on its home screen that allow the user to navigate to different activity hubs, but users will still be able to convert to the more traditional desktop and start button that has been a feature of Windows since 1995.
"Although the new user interface is designed and optimized for touch, it works equally well with a mouse and keyboard," Windows developer Julie Larson-Green said on a company blog.
"Our approach means no compromises you get to use whatever kind of device you prefer, with peripherals you choose, to run the apps you love. This is sure to inspire a new generation of hardware and software development, improving the experience for PC users around the world."
Microsoft executive Steve Sinofsky took the wraps off the new program Wednesday night at the D9 technology conference in southern California. He did not give release dates for the new OS or offer much technical detail. Despite the new look Sinofsky said Windows 8 would be backward compatible with the current version of Windows.
"Every program, everything that runs on Windows 7, every device that you can plug into that, will just run (on Windows 8)," he said. Sinofsky added that Microsoft would work to integrate the recently purchased Skype online communications platform into the new Windows.