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Microsoft Windows 8 Previewed

Touch-centric interface and application experience designed as a natural reflection of the device.

Microsoft Corp. today previewed the next version of Windows, internally code-named "Windows 8," that is optimized for newer touch-centric hardware, including tablets, while still delivering the flexibility, connectivity and power that people have come to expect from Windows today.

Microsoft also highlighted the new operating system's ability to work across both x86 and ARM-based architectures, with a variety of early prototypes shown running the new operating system. Microsoft and silicon chip makers AMD, Intel Corporation, NVIDIA Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. initially announced plans in January to work together on the next version of Windows.

"Our aim with 'Windows 8' is to make the user experience a natural extension of the device, from the time you turn on your PC through how you interact with the applications you know and love," saidMike Angiulo, VP of Windows Planning for Microsoft. "This represents a fundamental shift in Windows design that we haven't attempted since the days of Windows 95, presenting huge opportunities for our hardware partners to innovate with new PC designs."

The new user experience also extends to how applications will run on "Windows 8," with controls naturally fitting into the device experience. Developers also will be able to use common Web technologies, such as HTML5 and JavaScript, to create applications for the PC, further easing integration and adoption.

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New Features

  • Fast launching of apps from a tile-based Start screen, which replaces the Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps.
  • Live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps.
  • Fluid, natural switching between running apps.
  • Convenient ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so you can really multitask using the capabilities of Windows.
  • Web-connected and Web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC.
  • Fully touch-optimized browsing, with all the power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10.
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