Windows 8 demoed: One OS for all devices

With the world moving towards mobility at an astounding pace and all major software companies want the devices to run their OS. The market has completely transformed a device and hardware based market to one that is driven by operating systems. Microsoft is already the world’s biggest OS that runs on PCs, and they’ve seemed to realise that Mobile computing is the technology of the future. Undoubtedly, any OS that wants a major piece of the market will have to be able to support current hardware and must me mobile compatible.
But what does mobile compatible even mean. Well here’s the thing, PCs run on Intel’s hardware design, and as most tech enthusiasts will know it is the x86 architecture. While mobile devices run on a more different architectural design , the ARM architecture as it is more suited for low power applications. And since OS has always been Hardware dependant, And Windows doesn’t have any support for ARM processors. Earlier we had reported that Intel in a big to woo device manufacturers onto its chips had begun porting Android Honeycomb to its x86 architecture.

Microsoft’s ambitions in the mobile market are no secret and its WP7 mobile OS drew a lot of interest for it new tiles based UI. Its the ability of these “live tiles” on your screen that automatically update to show you dynamic information that is really impressive. The UI is definitely a cool feature that had to be incorporated in the new edition of Windows designed for PCs. At Consumer Electronics Show 2011 this year, Microsoft had announced that the next version of Windows would support the ARM architecture. This means there are going to be tablets, notebooks, laptops and PCs all running Windows 8. Talk about tackling  the fragmentation problem and Microsoft finds itself in a really advantageous position. Well its not all as good as it sounds. There is one problem, hardware fragmentation. Like OSs, even applications can be platform specific. So applications designed for x86 processors or so called “legacy applications” will not run on newer hardware platforms.

All said and done, the new UI designed for Windows 8 looks impressive with a cool blend of WP7 features like “ live tiles” for all applications and to go along with that the existing windows explorer seamlessly integrated with applications for that familiar feel. Microsoft’s Director for PM windows user experience, Jensen Harris gives a small walkthrough of the features that you will see on the new version.

We’ll definitely be following this story closely as it develops.

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