Microsoft has doffed the silk off the developer version of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system. According to Microsoft, Windows 8 offers the most comprehensive OS upgrade since Windows 95. "From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise," says Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's Windows division head.
Unveiled at Microsoft's Build developer conference on September 13, Microsoft showcased a detailed preview of Windows 8. The next generation of Microsoft's operating system has a host of new features. Here's a look at some of the most noticable ones.
(Photo: Michael Angiulo, corporate vice president of Windows Planning, Hardware & PC Ecosystem, shows a device running Windows 8 during the keynote address at the BUILD conference in Anaheim on September 13, 2011.)
A personalised lock screen displays unread emails, some notification icons and a clock. Slide it out and, depending on your security settings, you'll be asked for a PIN or password. This will direct you to the centrepiece of the entire user interface - the start screen.
It lets you see your apps and content in a glance on the start screen. The new Metro interface is subdivided into blocks or "Live Tiles," as Microsoft calls. These touch interactive tiles display immediate data - email services, social networking sites, IM apps and other information sources.
It allows you to pick files you want to send or share. A user can easily select and email photos from different places, such as Facebook, Flickr or his computer's hard drive.
The Metro IE 10 browser brings a start screen for quick access to the Websites frequently used by the user. Besides, the touch browsing is fast, fluid and intuitive, claims the company.
It shows large buttons that help you type on the touch keyboard. It automatically suggests words as you type and presents a large Insert key right on the keyboard.
You can also select a split layout so that you could more easily type with your thumbs.
This new OS will include a new task manager that will allow users to view statistics, such as CPU usage, memory usage and performance for both apps and processes. The company has also modified the Control Panel in Windows 8.
Sinofsky, in the Building Windows 8 blog, said that Windows 8 achieves super-fast booting of only 8 seconds.
Apart from the upcoming Windows 8, Microsoft also announced an online apps store called the Windows Store.