Microsoft has officially unveiled Windows 8 at the D9 conference.
The theme of the next-gen operating system is that it’s a “re-imagining” of Windows, from chip to interface, which will scale from small tablet touchscreens to larger slates and desktop displays with or without a keyboard and mouse.
The new touchy-feely Windows takes a good deal of inspiration from Windows Phone 7, with a tile-based Start screen filled with apps replacing the traditional Start menu.
Live tiles are here too, plus the ability to quickly resize and snap apps to the side of the screen for more intuitive and effective multi-tasking within the Windows environment.
This will be backed up by the hardware accelerated HTML5-toting Internet Explorer 10, which will feature fully optimised touch-powered browsing.
Microsoft noted that although Windows 8 is very touch-focused, it’s designed to function just as well with the traditional mouse and keyboard on the desktop. The Windows Explorer and desktop are still going to be there, and the OS will be compatible with all Windows 7 software and peripherals.
So, device scalability and touch is the order of the day, and standard Windows desktop users won’t be hurt, although aren’t really going to gain anything much either.
More will be revealed later this year, and Windows 8 is expected to land at some point in 2012.