Windows 8 revealed as the ubiquitous touchscreen OS, Intel strikes back with Android compatibility

Windows 8 revealed as the ubiquitous touchscreen OS, Intel strikes back with Android compatibility
Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky took the stage at the BUILD conference today and delivered the long expected preview of Windows 8, the most ambitious project of the company to date. Not much was said that we didn't know already from here and there, but the preview will be ready for download later today for those who want to start considering the newest edition of the world's most widespread operating system.

All attendees at BUILD received the 11" tablet computer from Samsung with Intel Core i5 processor that was making the rounds lately, and a Windows Store was announced that will act as a hub for each and every program ever made for Windows, regardless of the version. The Metro-style UI we've seen before, and Live Tiles are the center of its experience. Microsoft stressed numerous times that Windows 8 is above all touch-centric, barely mentioning the fact that it works with keyboard and mouse as well. Programs built for previous versions like Windows 7 will launch as separate apps with the current interface, and only then will all the related code load. 

This makes Windows 8 with even lower memory and resource footprint than Win 7 - Steven Sinofsky demoed it on a basic Atom processor with 1GB of RAM. Actually, the hardware on which all this goodness will run is the most interesting part - the demos ranged from 10" tablets with ARM-based chipsets, like the ones from NVIDIA, Qualcomm or Texas Instruments, to large all-in-ones with 27" screens. Of course, only if you run x86 processor, you will be able to run Windows 7 or Windows XP programs, but Microsoft demonstrated instant-on boot times,and said that the Win 8 installation will only take a few minutes, regardless of the hardware, then run all day on a single charge

This must have annoyed Intel to no end, as it used the time of the BUILD conference keynote to issue its own press release that it is entering a partnership with Google to develop its next mobile chipsets with Android in mind, which in its turn will be optimized for Intel's platform, said Andy Rubin. Thus CEO Paul Otellini aims to hedge his bets because Microsoft embracing ARM chipset designs might mean a lot of unrealized profits. 

Actually the biggest enemy of Apple's disruption and the "post-PC" world has never really been Android, but rather whatever Redmond's response was meant to be, and Windows 8 seems like a formidable obstacle to Apple's quest for dominance. We'll know more when the developers preview hits the servers later tonight, but for now it seems that Microsoft has delivered a compelling answer to all of its critics questions.

source: Microsoft, Intel



1. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I cant wait and I'll tell ya why. Up until right now, tablets have been more toys than anything. Yea they can run a lot of apps, but there is tons of stuff that a regular computer can do that a tablet can. If this OS can successfully be backwards compatible with Win7 programs.. on a tablet.. that will vastly change the tablet experience that we have today. Apple and Google will both technically be playing catch up to Win8 to add in whatever functionality they see as "missing", especially if Win8 tablets take off in sales. That and maybe we get starcraft 2 in tablet form.. :) Man, competition is great.

4. ilia1986 unregistered

Yes I also think that this will kill Crapple - and even might hurt Android a little bit. Provided Win 8 on a tablet will give us those 10 hours of battery life. :D

19. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

The only thing that this will kill (if anything) is Android and not Crapple. Crapple is sitting too comfortably on their throne right now. But anyway, with all fanboyism aside I might consider this as my first tablet. These Apple and Android tablets just aren't cutting it for me. I want a tablet-PC not an oversized phone.

30. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

Lol at kill apple and hurt android.. but i guess android doesn't havee anything to hurt anyways... I am a huge fan of wp7 and really really love the platform so I hope micrsoft will deliver.. i highly doubt this will kill apple though because by the time microsoft gets around to making this a reality, apple will also have time to prep similar tablets/oses if they choose to... and one thing I will say is that even if apple doesn't do it best, they sure do know what is up and coming.. if they don't think this is the future of tablet computing, I am not sure it is...

5. dandirk

Posts: 187; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

The rub is that they mentioned software will be limited by chip... Essentially software will still have to be Win8 ARM etc compatible. In order for backwards compatibility, normal processors will still be required. Atom and AMDs new nettop/book processors will take advantage. I think they probably did some improvements to memory management etc, but I think most of the savings are in the fact that explorer is NOT running by default just metro. The moment you launch one of those "full" win7 apps, memory/processor/energy requirements will jump etc etc. Obviously I am talking out of my ass... but it sounds like Win8 essentially will boot to a stripped down OS (aka like those live bios OSs on some machines) for battery savings then start everything else when needed. Not sure what this will mean for "normal" PC/laptops. I am sure there will be a way to run explorer by default... maybe most apps will update to the metro UI, but that will take time... Vista anyone???? Its a bold move for sure, they do risk pissing off full windows device users/enterprises.

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

dandirk, that chip requirement is going to be a big confusion spot for people buying it. They better have giant "this tablet is backwards compatable" stickers on it to keep confusion down otherwise its going to piss off a lot of people.

18. dandirk

Posts: 187; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

Agree with you there remixfa... Guess we will have to wait for more info. Excited by an MS product for once... homerun or crash either way should be fun!

22. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the 2 things that people love.. a runaway success or a slow train wreck.. lol

9. ilia1986 unregistered

Nope. From what I saw - the "Desktop" is just an App. It's not WP7 and then you click on "Desktop" and wait another 2 minutes for the actual windows to load up. As for Arm\32\64 - I bet that they will have some kind of an internal system emulator to run x86 apps on ARM and vice versa. I doubt that MS will market this and say "Hey here's a windows 8 PC in tablet form but if you want to run Office 2007 you need to buy a PC lol".

24. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

actually this why I haven't purchased a tablet yet, I think this is the one I want

28. firebo14

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

A laptop will always wins because of a physical keyboard, and it's alot faster than a tab. A very high speed laptop can play Metro 2033 only at 38fps.

2. Niels unregistered

Android not the biggest enemy? Look at the sales numbers. Windows is the one that got to prove himself.

3. Man2006 unregistered

Android is a very good OS, but I think eventually people get bored and would want to try something very new and different and that's what would make Windows 8 successful. It's just like how when the first iPhone came out it was very new and offered something very different compared to competition, and then came Android, and now WP7/W8 came offering a very different UI.

6. dandirk

Posts: 187; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

Flat out if Win8 works and they merge desktop/phone/nettop/tablet OS properly... Android will be toast. It is risky, though... But its whats needed first to market and all.

7. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i think in the long run, none of them will be "toast". I do however think that the ipad days will be over as it will be the least functional of the big 3 tablets unless they go a different route with them. It wont be over next year, but I do think that they will eventually settle into 3rd place behind MS and Android in the tablet space unless they drastically change things. That is, of course, on the assumption that Win8 is a showstopper and not filled with crippling bugs that hurt it out of the gate. Either way, I think it will shake up the current tablet market quite a bit.

10. ilia1986 unregistered

Apple? Different route? You gotta be kidding, unfortunately... In 2022 iPads will still look like this: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

14. dandirk

Posts: 187; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

I disagree... IF MS pulls merging the desktop/laptop and mobile environments next year, Android will be the looser. Apple has and always will have their cult following... In the mobile market after RIM/Symb etc are all gutted and the big three go head to head in a more direct way, android will loose. Google doesn't have a viable desktop solution, I don't think chrome is it right now. Apple hardcore fans aren't going anywhere, android doesn't have brand dedication to Apple's degree. Sure some of the cool factor will fade but their core is still there. Remember MS HAS to pull Win8 off almost perfectly. Apple just needs to put an Apple that lights up on their product. I do also think Apple won't ever go below 15% (worst case) of market, they have been in the market too long for MS/Android in any situation to drop them lower.

21. Mr.Mr.Upgrade

Posts: 474; Member since: Aug 30, 2011

Wtf u talking bout nummy, Android is taking over go back to school, do Ur homework

32. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

dandirk, Android cant lose. It has nothing to do with fanbase, but the fact that its free. With Windows there is always a huge liscencing fee associated in the build cost. So unless android gets seriously F##ked up somehow by google, I dont think we will ever see the end of the green robot. Its too ubiquitous. It can be put on anything and everything and customized to order. You cant say that about apple or anyone else. In the end i think we will have a mirror of the PC market where the open platforms dwarf closed platforms like iOS. MS has a very strong chance of being the market leader in this segment if they do it right, and android will be a close second (or first if they mess up) because of how versatile the OS is. And andriod is getting a pretty rabbid fanbase.. it may not be a religious cult like apple's, but its pretty dedicated.

37. shayan

Posts: 159; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

actually, android can lose. the fact that its free, isnt important. linux is free. there is a lot of disturbutions of free linux and none of them can shake ms windows or mac os sales. and they are even better than both windows and mac. yet there were some componys that investigate on linux and they no longer exist...

17. dandirk

Posts: 187; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

sorry missed your points about tablet... I think tablets will be ok... extension of their current offerings (mango etc). The desktop/laptop experiences may (or may not) effect the overall view of Win8...

16. Wioody unregistered

MS Please take my Money now!!

20. Mr.Mr.Upgrade

Posts: 474; Member since: Aug 30, 2011

Last time I used a window was looking out one from inside the house

23. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010


36. Stoli89

Posts: 333; Member since: Jun 28, 2010

Maybe you should consider jumping out of one next time around.

25. toki unregistered

any video of the demo ?

29. gusto unregistered

slash gear has a 12min demo vid

26. shelley.bevacqua

Posts: 80; Member since: Aug 27, 2011

When will the Windows 8 hit market? I can't wait to get my hands on one. So glad I read this blog. Thanks everybody ! I want a Windows Mango phone but some of the hardware is not up to current standards. If only the new generation of phones had higher screen resolutions,dual core chips and 4G.......Hurry up Microsoft.

27. denva unregistered

Microsoft is forcing metro ui on people. The phones have not been that successful. This is a big gamble for them. Google will have Anddroid running on Motorola desktops within the next few versions.

31. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

I agree that Ms is trying to force metro UI on people. And MS, people don't like the metro UI. Can't you please make something better ?

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