Microsoft Windows president Steven Sinofsky gave a sneak peek of the next version of Windows — code-named Windows 8 — at the Wall Street Journal's D9 conference on Wednesday.
Today, Microsoft did a more detailed demo of Windows 8 at a news conference at Computex in Taipei (video below).
The software giant has stated that Windows 8 will be seamless across PCs and tablets and slates by making the OS compatible with ARM-based chips as well as traditional Windows processors from Intel and AMD. Based on early slides and video demos, Microsoft has redesigned the user interface to be a medley of Windows client OS and the tile-based design of Windows Phone 7. This certainly appears to be a more flexible and completely different iteration of Windows.
The Start screen for Windows 8 is a personal mosaic of colorful tiles and looks nothing like the traditional Windows desktop we're all accustomed to. Every app on a Windows 8 PC is represented by a tile: e-mail, weather, calendar, photos, Twitter feed, the touch-based IE10 browser, etc. Each tile can be clicked on with the touch of a finger, and also can be accessed via a mouse and keyboard.
One eyebrow-raising app that showed up in Microsoft's demo on Wednesday was for a Windows App Store, which all but confirms that Microsoft is going to wisely release an app store built into Windows 8. Application stores are a new thing for desktop OSes, but are integral to a tablet OS (Apple App Store for iOS, Android Market for Android, BlackBerry App World for QNX on BlackBerry Playbooks).
Click here for a another video demo of Windows 8 from Jensen Harris, Microsoft's Windows Director of Program Management.
Shane O'Neill covers Microsoft, Windows, Operating Systems, Productivity Apps and Online Services for CIO.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Shane at email@example.com