Information about Microsoft's next version of Windows has been limited to indirect sources including job postings, Windows 8 leaks or third party sites that got insider information.
Yesterday, Microsoft published a first demonstration video showcasing Windows 8 at the AllThings D9 event. The first official Windows 8 video concentrates on the new tablet user interface that Windows 8 will ship with. Desktop users were assured that Windows 8 will ship with a standard interface as well.
The interface has been designed to be fully compatible with touch capable devices and screens. The start screen displays custom applications, like weather reports, stock quotes or the latest emails that the logged in user has received. Touch is used to open apps, bring additional apps to the front and for practically every other operation imaginable.
The start screen replaces the standard Windows start menu. It is fully customizable and will show up to date information and live notifications next to static contents. The switching between apps is fluid, which you will see when you watch the video that demonstrates the touch capabilities.
The touch interface supports multitasking. This is demonstrated by resizing Microsoft Office to make room for Twitter on the sidebar in the video.
The press release confirms that Internet Explorer 10 will be the default system browser of Windows 8. It also confirms that the Windows 8 operating system will be fully compatible with "all Windows 7 logo PCs, software and peripherals".
The Windows 8 video demonstrates the touch interface of the new operating system. Microsoft states that the video showcases only a few elements, and that the company intends to reveal a lot more on the developer event BUILD which takes place September 13 to 16 in Anaheim.
The improved onscreen keyboard, that seems to have taken inspiration from Microsoft's ergonomic keyboard, the ability to switch between the touch interface and the standard mouse - keyboard desktop, as well as apps multitasking and integration on the start screen appear to be the biggest new features showcased in the video.
One interesting thing to note is that Microsoft has uploaded the video to Youtube, and that the title of the video is Building "Windows 8" - Video #1 . Yes, quotation marks are used but it is nevertheless interesting that the company uses the term Windows 8 and not Windows Next or another term for the video title.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.