October 10, 2012 · 0 Comments
How could a company whose annual revenue is close to $70 billion be called an underdog, one might ask. Microsoft, despite being a very strong player in the desktop market, has been, so far, found wanting in the mobile devices market.
Windows 8 is its big push in that segment, where the operating system is as much about desktop as it is about mobile devices and addresses convergence. Apple users have already experienced convergence when computing everyday with the Mountain Lion desktop operating system that converges seamlessly with iOS 6 devices such as the iPad and the iPhone.
But the one big drawback to using Apple for everyday computing is the price barrier. With premium pricing, Apple is not for a large number of users. And there is no easier way to put it than this: India is not yet on the company’s roadmap.
Such a scenario makes Microsoft and Windows 8 a cost-effective means of experiencing up-to-date technology. Listed here are some of the reasons to look forward to in respect of the major upgrade as well as areas of concern.
Brand new interface: One of the biggest changes in Windows 8 is its user interface (UI). Designed for use through a variety of interfaces — keys, mouse and touch — the modern UI of Windows 8 is going to take some time for users to get used to. This also means that software developers will have to factor it in while bringing out new products.
The new UI has split the online forums and discussion boards wildly. While all of them agree that it is very sleek and in tune with the demands of the day, some of them disagree on whether Microsoft has done the right thing by re-imagining its interface so radically. The Metro UI approach to the operating system seems to work with mobile devices such as smartphones. But whether it would appeal to tablet and desktop users, only time will tell.
App Store approach: Windows 8 software will be available through its App store in pretty much the same way iTunes works for iOS devices, Mac App store for Macs and Google Play works for Android devices. Microsoft has been aggressively campaigning for software developers the world over to publish Apps for Windows 8. What the App Store approach means to average users, especially here in India, is there is going to be a considerable strain on broadband usage. One may have to factor this into computing costs from here on.
Cloud integration: In tune with the modern computing demands, Windows 8 will help users configure their cloud services right from the set-up stage. The OS is expected to give a push to Microsoft’s own SkyDrive Cloud services and will help users configure their Google Drive or one of the many cloud services that have become central to every day computing and syncing requirements. This will also help convergence of data among various devices.
New Explorer: The new iteration of the web browser Internet Explorer 9 arrives with Windows 8. Several technology blogs that have tested the new browser are already approving it. In the web browser race that has fetched considerable gains for Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 9 is being seen as a possible game-changer. Among other things, the browser is said to have improved privacy settings.
The minimum requirements for a PC to run Windows 8 are as follows: 1 Ghz processor or faster, DirectX 9 capable graphics device, 1 GB RAM (32 bit) and 16 GB hard-disk space (32 bit). All systems that already run Windows 7 should be able to run Windows 8.
By Web Editor