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October 26, 2012

Windows 8 Radical Departure From Old OS

Microsoft Corp. unveiled its drastically made-over Windows 8 at an event in New York Oct. 25 that attracted more than 1,000 PC partners and members of the media.

The new Windows operating system features a new interface called the Start Screen. The Start Screen, which was created for tablets and touchscreen computers, has moving tiles much like those on Windows Phones. The operating system works on personal computers as well as tablets, laptops and Smartphones.

“We’ve reimagined Windows and we’ve reimagined the whole PC industry,” CEO Steve Ballmer told Reuters Television.

Steven Sinofsky, head of Microsoft’s Windows unit said more than 1,000 computer models have been certified for Windows 8. He said Windows 8 is compatible with Windows 7 PCs and will enable the machines to boot up faster and run more effectively.

Microsoft also presented an online store for Windows 8 apps which, Sinofsky said, has more apps than any competing stores at the time of the launch.

Microsoft’s Surface tablet also launched at the event.

The company is pinning its hopes on the tablet as interest in desktop computers continues to diminish. The software giant also hopes to take on Apple and Google in the growing tablet market.

Ballmer told Reuters Surface is an all-in-one product.

“We have a device that’s uniquely good at being a tablet and a PC (with) no compromise on either one,” said Ballmer.

“Work. Play. Tablet. PC. Boom! One product.”

Sinofsky described Surface as having “twice the amount of storage as a competing tablet for the same price,” Reuters reported.

Microsoft emphasized the Surface is not just for entertainment but also for work. The device, which is 9.3 millimeters thick and weighs 1.5 pounds,  is similar in size to Apple’s iPad at 9.4 millimeters thick and weighing 1.44 pounds. The tablet has a 10.6-inch display, a built-in kickstand and magnetic cover that doubles as a touch keyboard.

“We’re all in on this,” Ballmer told Reuters. “You’ll find these things everywhere this holiday season. You walk into any retailer that sells electronics other than an Apple retailer, you will see Windows 8 machines all over the place from Acer, from Samsung, from Dell, from Toshiba, Sony, Lenovo and many others.”