The Windows Operating System, or OS, has been at the forefront of personal computing for a decade and a half, and its interface has remained relatively familiar throughout – as demonstrated by this video.
But the bigwigs at Microsoft are worried. The market is changing; a newfound focus on mobile phone and tablet application sales are driving forces in a growth bubble that Microsoft would very much like to participate in, and their current OS is enjoying none of those sales. This is where Windows 8 comes in.
Immediately noticeable is the entirely redesigned interface that pulls its inspiration from Microsoft's own Windows Phone 7 operating system for handsets; a series of large, colourful tiles each represent applications and functionally also behave as widgets, allowing updating of useful information.
With the new tile interface comes additional touch functionality that until now has been an afterthought for a desktop OS, and a new window management system that makes use of 'panes' that snap windows to pre-defined areas of the screen. And of course, the default Windows 8 tile interface comes with a large "Store" icon to encourage the consumption of (they hope) many, many apps.
Though this redesigned interface may seem a complete departure from traditional Windows, the video also shows Microsoft Office 2010 running in a traditional desktop arrangement that appears identical to the Windows 7 interface; the desktop appears to function in a similar way as a full-screen app, and can be manipulated in a similar way.
Though there is no clear emphasis on obsolescence in the video, programmers have cried out for an answer from Microsoft, to no avail. Our prediction is that the tile interface will run alongside the traditional desktop and all programs supported on the OS will continue to function; it doesn't make sense to throw away compatibility and discourage users from upgrading to Windows 8.
Further Windows 8 videos will be released prior to the OS' eventual release, currently slated for 2012.