Windows 8 will be launched on October 26 and everybody seems to be converging on the same unambiguous conclusion about the new software: bafflement. Windows 8 could be the greatest revision of Microsoft's operating system since it introduced Windows 95 amid fantastic fanfare 17 years ago. Ultimately, Windows grew into a $US14 billion a year company and helped make former chief executive Bill Gates the richest man in the world for a time.
Now, because of smartphones and tablets, the personal computer business is slumping. Computer companies are desperate for something that could get sales growing once again. PC sales are expected to shrink this year for the very first time since 2001, according to IHS iSuppli, a market research firm..
The question is whether the new version, which can be run on tablets and smartphones, along with the traditional PC, can satisfy the needs of each types of users?
Speaking to Wall Street analysts on Thursday last week, Microsoft's chief economic officer Peter Klein said he is not particularly concerned that user confusion may slow the adoption of Windows 8. When Microsoft introduces new features, he stated, individuals eventually recognize that "those innovations have delivered way more value, way more productivity and way far better usability". That's going to be true of Windows 8 too, he stated.
Instead of the familiar Start menu and icons, Windows 8 displays applications as a colourful array of tiles, which will feature updated data from the applications. For instance, the "Photos" tile shows an image from the user's collection, along with the "People" tile shows images from the user's social-media contacts.
The tiles are large and simple to hit with a finger means uncomplicated for a touch screen. Applications fill the whole screen by default means convenient for a tablet screen, that's usually smaller than a PC's. The small buttons that surround Windows 7 applications, for features like controlling the speaker volume, are hidden, giving a clean, uncluttered view. When you want those small buttons, it is easy to bring them out, but users have to figure out on their own ways to do it.
In order to stem the tide of troubling publicity, the Supersite for Windows blog revealed this really sweet video that shows a very sweet three-year-old proving that Windows 8 is sweetly easy.