Tomorrow’s a big day for Microsoft. The company will not only release its breakthrough device – The Surface – but also its most transformational operating system to date. Windows 8 is expected to rival some of the most successful mobile operating systems on the market and give both consumers and businesses the functionality they desire.
Microsoft’s calling it “Windows Reimagined.”
It sounds bold. I still vividly remember the hype before the release of Vista – and the flop that followed. But based on the preview releases – first offered in September 2011 and then in May – Windows 8 will be the game changer Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been preparing for.
Microsoft first announced Windows 8 in 2011 at the Consumer Electronics Show, but development actually started even before the company released Windows 7.
From cloud computing to USB 3.0, Windows 8 leverages a series of emerging technologies that are fast becoming industry standards. Many of the significant platform changes delivered through Windows 8 are focused around the mobile experience – and meeting the needs of the increasingly mobile workforce. Here are a few of the features that businesses can appreciate:
Touch or click.
Touch screen capability is becoming an increasing preference and Windows 8 will allow users to use touch or a mouse. Users can experience this functionality firsthand on the Surface device.
New app-like interface.
Microsoft gets rid of the start bar commonly found in its previous operating systems. The look of Windows 8 resembles the app-rich interfaces users have become accustomed to on their mobile devices. Featuring more colors and icons, the design of Windows 8 was first introduced in Windows Phone 7 and then Xbox 360.
Access from anywhere.
Windows 8 will allow employees to more easily work from anywhere on any device by giving them access to files, photos, people, and settings once they sign on. This leverages “cloud’ technology and does not come at the cost of security.
Preferences set across all devices.
Users can sign in to any of their devices running Windows 8 and their personalized setting will be reflected and their apps will be available.
Apps unleash new opportunities.
Developers have been working on apps for months now so the release of Windows 8 likely will be followed by the launch of a series of new apps for businesses.
Windows 8 will change the user experience and that likely will prevent businesses from becoming early adopters of the technology. While that may be the safe bet, the functionality, feel and features of Windows 8 likely will become the expectation. Consumers will want it – and businesses will follow.