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Microsoft launches Windows 8 OS

Microsoft has launched Windows 8 - the company's new operating system that follows on from Windows 7 - at an event in New York city.

The new operating system was launched by Microsoft Steven’s Sinofsky, which he described as the best Windows operating system ever.

"Windows 8 is also about the best PCs ever," said Sinofsky.

Windows 8 is designed to work equally well with existing PCs with keyboards as well as new PCs," added Sinfosky. "It has an intuitive, powerful, accessible and scalable interface designed for touch screens."

Sinofsky says that more than 1,000 new PCs have been certified for Windows 8, with some costing under US$300. According to Sinofsky, Ultrabooks will be released with touchscreens during the event. He also commented on Microsoft's new Surface tablets.

Stores open at midnight when consumers will be able to get their hands on a new PC running the OS.

Sinofsky also announced the grand opening of the Windows Store with new apps and talked about how IE10 has been touch enabled.

 Microsoft’s Mike Anguilo and Julie Larson Green demoed Windows 8 on upgraded Windows 7 tablets – Green on a Samsung tablet. They also showcased  Microsoft Surface tablets, as well as their hardward partners offerings of tablets, all in ones and ultrabooks.

AT&T's tablet was of particular interest as it comes with a keyboard that doubles as a battery so it charges the tablet when it is attached.

“Windows 8 is really easy and fun,” said Green.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer then took over to talk about how this fits into the company’s overall strategy.

Ballmer talked about the importance of touch-enabling Windows 8 devices. He said there would be both affordable and high-end devices. “We’ve brought together the best of two worlds – the PC and the tablet, your work life and home life. One device pairs the greatest qualities of the PC with the greatest qualities of tablets."

Ballmer talked about the importance of Windows 8 for business.

“Our enterprise customers will also love Windows 8,” said Ballmer. “It protects their corporate data. Business IT departments say Windows 8 will give them what they need and allows their employees to select the device they want to run."

Microsoft will continue to add to the Windows 8 experience for businesses incorporating Dynamics, Yammer, Azure etc.

Ballmer also said that analysts have predicted 400m new PC sales for next year, most of which will run Windows 8.

He then touched on Windows Phone 8. "There is a great phone designed to work with Windows 8 – Windows Phone 8," said Ballmer. "It uses Live Tiles, the same Microsoft account and same content from SkyDrive."

More about Windows Phone 8 will come on Monday at its launch.

"Microsoft has developed this new operating system to give the same user interaction whether it’s on a desktop PC, laptop, smart phone or tablet," commented Jon Milward, operations director of integrated solutions at Northdoor. "The Surface will therefore give business users all the convenience of a tablet and the same level of integration with their business systems as a PC.”

 

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