A preview version of Windows 8 was distributed at a recent Microsoft Build developer conference. The preview allowed an early glimpse of what can be expected when Windows 8 is officially released.
Windows 8 is a desktop, laptop and tablet operating system from Microsoft. The system will be able to operate on many platforms. For example, it can operate on small touch-only tablets or small notebooks, but also big screens and large desktops.
The Windows 8 interface has a resemblance to the Windows Phone 7 Metro Interface, especially looking at the Lock and Start screens. The Windows 8 Lock screen is unique because it allows users to unlock the computer much differently than in the past. For example, instead of having to simply type in a password to unlock the computer and regain access, users will be able to unlock the system using a series of touches or swipes. Users choose a picture when setting up the password and select on the picture what combination of touches and swipes that must be performed before the computer will unlock.
Another difference in the Windows 8 interface is that there is no longer a start menu, but a search menu is available that functions similar to the start menu of past versions.
Lastly, another interface change involves the task manager. The task manager will be completely redesigned and more convenient for users, allowing them to add and delete which programs they want to load at start-up.
In terms of the multi-touch-on-screen-keyboard, users will notice several changes with Windows 8. First off, the auto correct is expected to be improved. In addition, two keyboard layouts will be available, including the standard and the other split for thumb typing.
Windows 8 is also expected to be much faster and use less memory than previous Windows versions. It will be able to boot in 8 seconds, and will use 281 MB to run at start-up, compared to 404 MB for Windows 7.
Pricing information has not been released, but Windows 8 is expected to be released sometime in 2012.