In an apparent bid to challenge Apple and Google, Microsoft unveiled Windows 8 for public testing yesterday. It hopes to gain back some of the brand equity it has been losing to Apple and Google.
At the launch of the consumer preview of the new operating system at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft Windows President remarked "It's beautiful, modern, fast and fluid -- it's a generational change in the Windows operating system." "Windows 8 scales across devices and screen sizes", Sinofsky said. "There's too many hard stops between phones and tablets and desktops. We want to make things more harmonious," he said.
The new operating system works on tablets as well as PCs and laptops, connecting them via the cloud to give users a consistent experience as they switch between devices.
Windows 8 uses the "Metro" style of software currently being used on phones running the Windows operating system, using tiles on the start-up screen.
Also at the event, Microsoft also launched a new Windows store, which will act as the marketplace for all apps for Windows 8. Apps will be fee to download for the duration of the consumer preview.
The test version was downloaded by people from more than 70 countries as Microsoft gave its presentation about Windows 8, but the company didn't immediately disclose the number of downloads. The software can be downloaded here.
See video below about the Windows 8 Consumer Preview by Jensen Harris, Director of Program Management, Windows User Experience.
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