Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review: Windows 8

MICROSOFT launched its biggest operating system overhaul in Sydney on 26th Oct 2012 morning, but faced criticism over a lack of Windows 8 details for consumers, confusing pricing, and its removal of traditional Windows menus.
The Australian launch followed worldwide launches overnight in which chief executive Steve Ballmer called the introduction of Windows 8 a "bold, innovative" move that had been tested for more than 1.24 billion hours worldwide.
"No product anywhere receives this kind of testing anywhere in the world," Mr Ballmer told a New York audience.
But the overhaul has ditched menus and navigation familiar to Windows users, including the once well-marketed Start button.
Instead, users will face an opening screen of coloured tiles, simplified and hidden menus, and a new Windows Store for app downloads.
Microsoft Windows business leader Tina Flammer said users would need to adapt to the new software menus, but it had been designed for an easy transition.
"Windows 8 was designed to be intuitive," she said.
Steve Ballmer Microsoft Windows 8
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gives his presentation at the launch of Microsoft Windows 8, in New York.
"We know that without the traditional (start button) it is different. Every time we bring out a device the familiarity is different."
But Microsoft faced further scrutiny at its Australian launch for vagaries around the software's pricing and packages.
After several questions, Ms Flammer confirmed Microsoft would not sell a full version of Windows 8 in Australian stores, instead offering only upgrade packages.
The Windows 8 Pro upgrade package costs $69.99, she said, while the Windows 8 upgrade costs $39.99.
Another version of the new Microsoft software, Windows RT, would arrive pre-installed on tablets and "thin and light" laptops, Ms Flammer said, although Microsoft would not elaborate on its differences.
A lot is riding on the success of Windows 8 for Microsoft as it seeks to maintain its share of the computing software market. The company's software currently runs on more than 90 per cent of computers worldwide, though it faces increasing competition from tablets, where Apple dominates the market.

Microsoft unveils 'reimagined' Windows 8

Microsoft says its 'reimagined' Windows 8 will launch in 37 languages and 140 worldwide markets.
Microsoft also began selling its first tablet computer today, named Surface.
The tablet, powered by Windows 8 and Windows RT, will feature a 10.6-inch screen, up to 64GB of storage, two cameras and a cover that doubles as a keyboard. The tablets are priced from $559 to $789.
"You are going to love the new Windows," CEO Steve Ballmer said at the New York launch.
But early reaction has been mixed.
Some reviewers like the way the system greets users with a mosaic of tiles displaying applications instead of relying on the desktop icons that served as the welcome mat for years.
Critics say it's a confusing jumble that will frustrate users accustomed to the older versions, particularly when they switch to desktop mode and don't see the familiar "start" button and menu.


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