Microsoft Corp has unveiled Windows 8 developer version at Build, the company’s conference for independent developers that began yesterday in Los Angeles.
All attendees received a Samsung tablet preloaded with the developers’ preview version of Windows 8. Windows 8 is the first Windows version designed from the beginning to work on both tablets and PCs. With rivals like Apple and Android dominating in the world of tablets and mobile devices, Microsoft has yet to prove it can still be a technology leader.
“We reimagined Windows,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, in his keynote address to the thousands of developers in attendance. “From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise.”
Microsoft said that many programming languages still could be used for developing Windows 8 applications. Persuading developers to write for Windows 8 will play an integral part in whether it succeeds, says The Seattle Times.
The main highlight of Windows 8 is a new Metro style touch interface, which looks unlike any other Windows version and is based on tiles that, when tapped or clicked on, go directly to an application.
Windows 8 is said to be built on the stable foundation of Windows 7, but with improvements in performance, security, privacy and system reliability. Windows 8 reduces the memory footprint needed leaving more room for users’ apps, which makes it suitable even for the lowest hardware.
The Microsoft representatives didn’t mention how Office, or its applications such as Word or Excel, would work in Windows 8—whether it would be offered in the new Metro style or the classic desktop style—or both. How features such as IT and security would be incorporated is also a question to be answered yet.
As for developers, they seem to be intrigued with the new OS. Richard Campbell, owner and founder of Strange Loop Networks in Vancouver, B.C., and a software developer by training, said he was excited to see the new user interface, which no longer has screens—or windows—stacked one on top of another.
“The first thing I tweeted was: Wow. Windows has no windows,” he said.
The date of the official Windows 8 release is unknown yet. Probably, it will be holiday season of 2012.
This summer Microsoft also introduced MS Office 365, a cloud-based suite of productivity apps.