Late yesterday, Microsoft lifted the veil off Windows 8, previewing a new user interface designed to bridge the gap between conventional PCs and touch-enabled devices like tablets. What does it look like? A whole lot like Windows Phone 7, as it turns out. The familiar live tiles are there, as is the Metro design language and touch-optimized interface. Behold:
The new start screen is where everything goes down. All apps are represented by tiles with dynamically updated content. Microsoft clearly aims to make its new OS touch-friendly, with large buttons having become the norm and apps taking up the whole screen. However, the company says you can use the tile interface with a keyboard and mouse, and Windows 8 also lets you load up the familiar, Windows 7-style desktop and Explorer file manager, so legacy applications will still be usable side-by-side with new ones.
Microsoft disclosed further details about Windows 8 during its Computex preview event. You can check out Engadget's live coverage here. Microsoft demonstrated a tablet and a "skinny laptop" based on Nvidia's Kal-El chip, and it talked about an "always on, always connected" mode that will allow ARM-powered Windows 8 tablets to wake up from sleep instantly.
In a way, Windows 8's new UI reminds me of the Windows Media Center overlay—essentially a specialized GUI layered atop the regular Windows desktop. It looks like Windows 8 will put the touch-friendly UI front and center, though. That certainly bodes well for tablets and touch-capable laptops, but I'm curious about the implications for us desktop users. Will windowed multitasking be slowly phased out?
|be quiet!'s Silent Base 800 case reviewed||3|
|MSI Aegis Ti wraps up SLIed GTX 1080s in an aggressive shell||21|
|Deals of the week: a Dell G-Sync monitor for $470 and more||8|
|Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.3 serves up the bugfixes||3|
|AMD reveals the full specs of the Radeon RX 460 and RX 470||67|
|Nvidia will pay GeForce GTX 970 owners $30 over memory snafu||46|
|Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming graphics card reviewed||36|
|Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer ends tomorrow||107|
|ASRock H110M-STX mobo puts the 5x5 platform in builders' hands||15|
|Now you can install Crysis directly on the video card!||+65|