Microsoft have realised that something must radically change if they are to rejuvenate the company after a number of recent failures. This has led the technology giant to go back to the drawing board for the development of Windows 8 and the release is somewhat make or break for the company. On first glance, Windows 8 is nothing like any Windows operating system that has come before it and marks perhaps the biggest overhaul to the system in history. So can this new operating system turn around Microsoft’s fortunes? Here’s what to expect from Windows 8.
The most radical change between Windows 7 and Windows 8 is re-designed user interface. The new system looks totally different to anything Microsoft have produced before, with the start button bringing up a colourful interface with customisable squares linking to programs rather than the more traditional start bar menu. This is likely to go down well with home users, especially the less computer literate who may find the box system more intuitive. However, Microsoft have confirmed that Windows 8 is meant for office use as well, yet nothing about the interface looks suitable for use in a work environment.
Touch Screen Technology
Windows 8 will be the first in the series to incorporate some form of touchscreen technology. The feature will be available on all PCs across the range including desktop computers. Making the operating system touchscreen-friendly will be most revolutionary on Windows 8 laptops, which have now been designed to shed their keyboards and work like tablets PCs if the user requires. This is something that has the potential to be a success for Microsoft, as they attempt to keep up with rivals Apple and their incredibly popular Macbook series.
Moving with the Times
Microsoft seems to have acknowledged that your average technology consumer is in 2012 interested in shiny gadgets and useful apps. It comes as no surprise then that the Windows 8 launch conincides with the debut of Microsoft’s new tablet system, Microsoft Surface which will also run the Windows 8 opperating system. The design is interesting, whereas most companies who produce tablets have used on-screen keyboard software, Microsoft have developed an ultra-thin keyboard, which functions as a screen cover when the device isn’t in use. Whether this is enough to attract consumers will remain to be seen.
No More Chances
In the 13 years that Steve Ballmer has be CEO of Microsoft, he has seen the price of his company’s share lose nearly half their value, as direct competitors Google and Apple repeatedly find themselves hitting the right notes with consumers. Whilst both Google and Apple have been seen as leading innovators in the sector in the past few years, Microsoft are losing ground and need to find a successful product that is at the cutting edge of the market. Ballmer now admits that time is running out and he and his company won’t get many more chances to get things right, but if Windows 8 pays off, he’ll feel somewhat vindicated.
It seems like Microsoft may have their work cut out this time. Although the shares prices of the technology giant are falling, their last operating system, Windows 7, was extremely popular among consumers and the radical changes implemented in Windows 8 may do nothing to help their stock go up. However, no one ever achieved anything from standing still, so Microsoft were certainly right to try something revolutionary. Whether it works for them or not, only time will tell.
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