Microsoft has decided to show of its first version of Windows 8 and a short video shows that the new OS can pose some nice competition to Android tablet OS in the future.
Windows 8 is going to run on ARM cores including Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Nvidia Tegra 2 and we are quite sure that Samsung's ARM cores should be able to run it. In case it chooses to do so, even Apple should be able to run Windows on its A5 and future chips, but this will be between Microsoft and Apple. Theoretically it's possible with a leap of faith.
The 5 minute video shows a touch screen oriented video and the first thing that Director of Product management of Windows User Experience Jensen Harris shares with us is that icons are replaced by tiles. Jensen just tells us that "tiles are better than icons, they have a little more space to show its personality" and can tell you a lot of details about the weather today, including temperature, without having to open it.
HTML 5 and Java script are the languages behind it and Microsoft hopes to see a lot of apps. The apps are created for touch but mouse and keyboard will open them just fine. After all there are still a lot of people who are not comfortable with grease on their monitors.
The demo works pretty fast but we don’t know the exact hardware. The demo shows a big list of running applications.
A new feature called Snap will let you to run two apps on the same screen at the same time, and you can change the size of one or the other. We must admit it looks pretty neat.
Internet Explorer 10 is touchscreen optimised and of course it should have no problems running flash. The keyboard Microsoft demonstrated looks a lot like the one you see on Windows 7 phone OS and Zune players.
The new thing is the thumb keyboard, that will help you type with your thumbs while holding your tablet. This was a big problem in the past as with a normal touch keyboard as you could not type while holding a tablet, e.g. in a train or plane.
Windows 8 will also run existing apps but we guess that this is the case for X86 version of Windows 8, especially seeing how Intel will do anything necessary to keep ARM alliance from running its X86 compatible applications. We will ask around about this.
Windows 8 runs on excising PCs, touch screen slates, tablets, X86, ARM, but there are still many foggy details including minimal specs and capability to run old apps on ARM.
You can see the video here.