Windows 8 user interface details leak, touch will be the name of the game
We know that the interface overlays in their final version are reserved for the RC issue, not these early milestones, that is why the leaked screenshots are not showing the touch-optimized interface. A Russian site, however, is confirming that the interface will be heavily touch-optimized, most probably the interface displayed will depend on the device Windows 8 is running on, as Microsoft clarified at the CES show in January. The Windows 8 tablet overlay, for exampe, is rumored to use the tiled structure of Windows Phone 7.
The installation time will be reduced threefold from the current 25 minutes for Windows 7, to 8 minutes for Windows 8, and making a backup copy of the whole system too. The drivers installation progress is also shown now in the taskbar. The next version of Windows will also allow you to restore it back to the default system settings in two minutes, without taking up much disk space.
You will be able to sign in directly with your Windows Live ID, and your profile avatar will be displayed prominently in the system tray, so we presume Microsoft's cloud services will take place front and center. This is welcome news, since Hotmail is still the most used online email service, SkyDrive offers 25GB of free storage, and we hope Redmond will work out the kinks in the online version of Microsoft Office, to allow easy syncing and collaboration for your documents between your device, and the cloud.
The other great thing is that there will be an app store inside Windows 8, where probably all the software written for Windows will be catalogued (no official account, but way more than a million programs), which will make it easier to search for programs you need, and might spearhead development for this first Windows version that will be capable to run on ARM-based mobile chipsets.
If Redmond manages to pull this off in the right way, it's certain that Microsoft will continue to play a big role in computing, considering how familiar its environment is for billions of users, and its rich legacy software and driver support. Not the mention the potential brought on by the alliance with Nokia, of which Microsoft stands to gain everything in the mobile space, without even having to buy Nokia, brilliant move on Ballmer's side.
Adobe Flash won't be a problem, that's for sure, and you won't have to make do with stripped down versions of desktop software that most mobile apps are. It's just that the interfaces of the new versions of everyone's software for Windows 8 will have to take into account the touchscreen aspect.
Too bad recent reports show that Windows 8 won't be ready until some time into 2012, but it's said that the tablet version has been prioritized to show a demo as early as June, and Microsoft has more than a 1000 engineers working now on porting Windows to ARM-based chipsets to make its tablets available for the holiday shopping season.
Oh, and obviously your profile avatar can be a video clip now. Cool beans.
2. End-around (unregistered)
Yes, that's Microsoft's end-around. If competitors don't start to build out their ecosystems quickly they will find MS launching a unified OS on everything and that will squash everyone rather quickly. Just like they did with netbooks. So, if the others want to survive they had better have a unified OS for everything so users can go all-in to one ecosystem as opposed to a handset and/or tablet with one ecosystem and desktop with another--people want a unified experience. . . because the post-pc era just isn't here yet. Only .03% of the world has a smartphone or tablet and the all Apple's iOS devices require a PC & iTunes. Whereas Microsoft's end-around could usher in an era where you only need one form factor.
6. Lucas777 (Posts: 2121; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
I doubt it.... people will always have a computer... not just a tablet. And hppalm is doing the whole ecosystem with phones tablets and a promised webos flavored computer. apple to.
3. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)
I've always wondered if I really wanted a touch screen desktop...then again a touch friendly desktop has never really been made. Your finger becomes the mouse, but you have to be precise with your gestures. I think hardware will be the biggest issue. Our computer screens are generally not in very close proximity to us at our desks which would mean us leaning forward to actually manipulate the screen. I almost imagine a new way of having the screen even closer for it to work.
What is promising is XBOX 360's Kinnect. Maybe a person could still sit back in their seats but manipulate the screen with gestures done in the user's seat. That would revolutionize computing. Add a unibody form factor like the iMacs and you'll have a computer you could mount on a wall. You may not really need a desk at all. Computing could be completely handfree...
10. Dollgrin (Posts: 19; Member since: 21 Nov 2010)
I could completely see the Kinnect idea working. Good call.
12. Henrik (unregistered)
Oh, man - Don't worry. Of course you'll still be able to use a regular mouse when working around on your desktop/laptop computer. Anything else would just be insane for so many reasons. You can't just expect Microsoft to suddenly just cut away the keyboard and mouse that has been the foundation of regular computing for 20 years.
It's just that when you unplug the mouse (or when there's no mouse present) it will still work on tablets and such by using your fingers instead. It's simple yet genious. I would actually guess that the icons and such also gets bigger when there are no mouse plugged in.
5. cowsrockalot (Posts: 34; Member since: 02 Nov 2009)
EXCITED! It's funny because this is phone arena, not windows arena :) But Still exciting!
7. Lucas777 (Posts: 2121; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
pa is starting to show a lot more then phones
8. dan_md (Posts: 66; Member since: 19 Oct 2010)
This is cool.
iPad = app-centric, touch-optimized interface but too simplistic - not "tablet optimized", fails to maximize screen estate, compromized I/O, connectivity
Android Honeycomb = touch-optimized and tablet-optimized user interface, limited apps due to fresh state of OS, better expansion, questionable I/O for interaction with bluetooth, mice accessories
Windows 8 = no judgement for UI and OS yet due to lack of a working prototype (public) but huge repository of apps make it a win and less compromise, let's hope that it's more versatile than the "closed" WP7
9. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)
I'm not sure they are talking about Windows Phone 8...but rather Windows 7. The desktop OS...
11. dan_md (Posts: 66; Member since: 19 Oct 2010)
I'm actually referring to the desktop UI, not the phone. Touch implementations usually take hints from their existing counterparts. I'm hoping that the tablet UI wouldn't have the limitations of the WP7. :)
13. flakefrost (unregistered)
search in google images: 'windows 8 tiles'