Microsoft launches Windows 8 system
BARCELONA - Agence France-Presse
Windows President Steven Sinofsky is seen at the Windows 8 Consumer Preview presentation in Barcelona. REUTERS photoWindows President Steven Sinofsky is seen at the Windows 8 Consumer Preview presentation in Barcelona.
IT giant Microsoft on Feb. 29 delivered its answer to Google and Apple, through a new-generation Windows operating system designed to run seamlessly on computers and portable tablet devices.
“Windows 8 is a generational change in the Windows operating system,” said Windows president Steven Sinofsky. “It’s Windows reimagined,” he added, launching the consumer preview of the operating system at the world’s biggest mobile fair in Barcelona.
The operating system is Microsoft’s riposte to Google’s Android platform and Apple, which has dominated the tablet market it ignited with the release of the iPad. Like its two competitors, Microsoft is adopting the “app” style in its reinvented operating system.
Unlike previous generations of Windows, which has a taskbar pulling up a list of software, the
latest version has a selection of applications or “apps” tiled on the start page.
For devices with touch screens, apps are selected or moved around in the same way as on a smartphone -- by hand, swiping to switch between pages or screens, pinching to enlarge or shrink and tapping to select. For those without touch screens, the same could be done using the drag and drop functions, or clicks of a mouse.
Microsoft also announced on Feb. 29 the test opening of its Windows Store, where users can buy apps online.
Although it is a heavyweight in the computer market, Microsoft has lagged behind in getting a share of the smartphone and tablet pie.
Windows has teamed up with Finnish giant Nokia to make smartphones to try to win back a share.
The Windows 8 preview is available for download at preview.windows.com. During the preview period, apps on the Windows
Store will be available to users to test for free.