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Microsoft previews Windows 8

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Microsoft has demonstrated its next generation of the Windows operating system, code-named Windows 8, which is designed to scale on various different devices.

Julie Larson-Green, corporate vice-president: Windows experience at Microsoft, says Windows 8 is a reimagining of Windows, from the chip to the interface. “A Windows 8-based PC is really a new kind of device, one that scales from touch-only small screens through to large screens, with or without a keyboard and mouse,” she says.
“The demo showed some of the ways we’ve reimagined the interface for a new generation of touch-centric hardware. Fast, fluid and dynamic, the experience has been transformed while keeping the power, flexibility and connectivity of Windows intact.”
Among the new operating system’s features are:
* The fast launching of apps from a tile-based Start screen, which replaces the Windows Start menu with a customisable, scalable full-screen view of apps;
* Live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps;
* Fluid, natural switching between running apps;
* Convenient ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so you can really multitask using the capabilities of Windows;
* Web-connected and Web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC;
* Fully touch-optimised browsing, with all the power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10.
“We also showed effortless movement between existing Windows programs and new Windows 8 apps,” says Larson-Green. “The full capabilities of Windows continue to be available to you, including the Windows Explorer and Desktop, as does compatibility with all Windows 7 logo PCs, software and peripherals.
“Although the new user interface is designed and optimised for touch, it works equally well with a mouse and keyboard. Our approach means no compromises — you get to use whatever kind of device you prefer, with peripherals you choose, to run the apps you love. This is sure to inspire a new generation of hardware and software development, improving the experience for PC users around the world.”
For developers, Windows 8 apps use HTML5, tapping into the native capabilities of Windows using standard JavaScript and HTML to deliver new experiences.
“These new Windows 8 apps are full-screen and touch-optimized, and they easily integrate with the capabilities of the new Windows user interface.”