Here comes Windows 8

Here comes Windows 8

Microsoft has shown off the next generation of the Windows range of operating systems. The latest version, Windows 8, is designed to run on tablet and other hand-held computers, as well as traditional desktop or laptop PCs.

Microsoft has been pressured to develop an alternative to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems in order to take better advantage of the rapidly-growing handheld computing sector.

The system will feature two interface options – a traditional desktop, similar to previous editions of Windows, and an alternative, to be known as Metro. The latter features larger, block-style controls better suited to touchscreen use. The current lack of touchscreen support is often cited as the reason why few Windows 7 tablets are available on the market.

Microsoft said that it would also be launching its own ‘app store’ style online marketplace, to be called ‘the Windows Store’, to allow the purchase and download of applications.

With Windows 8, Windows will for the first time support the ARM range of processors, in addition to those from Intel. ARM devices are popular in handheld and mobile computing devices due to their relatively low power consumption.

Windows 8 currently looks likely to launch in 2012.