Microsoft Windows 8
Microsoft has released the latest test version of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system, which is now officially in what the company calls its "final phase" of development. If past release dates of Microsoft operating systems are anything to go by, we can expect the full release of Windows 8 around September 2012.
So what are some of the major enhancements, changes and developments that we can expect from the next version of Windows?
Where have the menus gone?
The first big change that you are going to see when and if you make the jump to Windows 8 is the fact that Microsoft have decided to get rid of the tried and tested drop down menus. This is something that is quite controversial and only time will tell if it will be a good idea. The Windows menus will be replaced with ribbon User Interface (UI). Ribbon UI is the same interface that Microsoft uses in the new versions of Microsoft Office. This new interface will give users a greater level of control as to where the commands they use all the time are placed and the user experience will be more like Office 2010.
It Is All About Tablets
Windows 8 has been designed to run as expected on laptops and desktops but in addition to these it will run on tablets. The tablet market is currently dominated by the apple iPad 2 but, as of yet, the tablet has not made major inroads into the business market. I expect that if Microsoft get Windows 8 working well on tablets and the hardware vendors set the price correctly we will see some major changes on the way people are doing business over the next 24 months.
The Touch Screen
Windows 8 has been designed with getting your hands on the screen firmly in mind and this can be seen with the new user interface. This makes sense due to the success of all of our smart phones and also tablets. Touch screen computers have not really taken off yet but get ready to start pushing your screen a little more and pounding your keyboard and moving your mouse a little less over the next 24 months.
Microsoft is pushing hard to integrate all its devices. If you are watching a video on your PC, you can stream it over to your Xbox and watch it on your TV instead. You can share music from your Xbox to your Windows phone with the Zune app. If you work on more than one PC, you can start a project on one and switch seamlessly over to the next. This will integrate even more with all the Microsoft apps, devices and on the Windows cloud. Again this makes total sense and it will be a good move for Microsoft if they can get people to use all of their devices and applications.
Shop At Windows Store
Again this is a no brainer, where Microsoft has looked at what its competitors are doing and decided to implement it in its newest release. As you can probably guess there will be an icon on your desktop to enter the Microsoft Store and this is where you will be able to purchase apps that will be developed to run on Windows 8. This is a good idea as it will be the only place where you will be able to buy Metro style apps. Microsoft says this will help prevent viruses and malware as all the applications will have to be veted first.
The USB Portable Workspaces
Windows 8 will allow users to boot their own personal version of windows on virtually any computer by booting from a USB key. All you will have to do is put your version of windows onto the USB key and put it into the computer at work and boot from it and start to work for the day. Then if you are at home that evening and realise you have to work on your sales figures or your accounts, all you do is put your USB key into your PC or laptop at home and boot from it and you will be using the exact same version of Windows that you were using in the office earlier. Everything will be in the same place and you will be able to get working so much quicker. I am looking forward to using this feature as it will make the lives of some of my clients so much easier.
In general I am really looking forward to Windows 8 but as with every change of operating system I am sure there will be some pain and teething issues. If you want to get ahead of the game, you can now download the pre-release version of Windows 8 and give it a test run.
If you would like to discuss your Windows 8 migration please contact iPing
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