In a market that is being overrun by the Android operating system, Microsoft aims to reassert its former dominance by coming up with three new versions for Windows 8. Aside from the standard consumer version for home computers and the Pro version for more complex needs like domain management, etc. Windows 8 is also available as Windows 8 RT, the first Microsoft offering that was specially designed for use with tablets.
Windows head of communications Brandon le Blanc made the official announcement regarding Windows 8 by saying: “Windows 8 has all the flexibility you need. You can use a touchscreen or a keyboard and mouse—and switch anytime. It’s beautiful, fast and fluid design is perfect for a wide range of hardware.”
Looking back into 2011
Microsoft’s new product offering is hardly a surprise to those who have been following news about the techie world. In January of last year (2011) Microsoft did reveal that it was working on a new Windows version that can run on microchips designed by ARM, a British company. These microchips will be included in a range of Windows-based gadgets, including mobile phones and touch screen tablets. Back then, it was projected that these Window-based products will be hitting the shelves within two to three years.
(Writer’s Note: Sure enough, this prediction came true a little ahead of schedule. Last Easter Sunday, Nokia released the Lumia 900, which bucked convention Smartphone Android convention by using Windows as its operating system.)
In February of this year, Microsoft made a Widows 8 test version widely available to the public. Among the features that were incorporated into the beta version was a completely new interface that was borrowed from the Windows Phone software. For users of a touch screen device, the new interface allows tiles that can be shifted and moved across the screen, or tapped to directly open an app, something which Apple users are already experienced in doing.
This April, Microsoft finally releases the official version of Windows 8, and made the announcement on the official Microsoft blog. Le Blanc also touts that they have “worked to make it easier for customers to know what edition will work best for them.”