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"Another thing we did is build intelligence into Windows 8 to adapt the user interface based on what hardware you have. So whether you're upgrading or buying a new PC, Windows will adapt itself for your hardware." - Michael Angiulo

Windows 8 is the next operating system due to be released by Microsoft. It will use the same specs as its predecessor Windows 7, making it user friendly for Microsoft's customers. Because many consumers have upgraded to devices that incorporate touch-screens, Windows 8 will be ideal for such a format. Stylistic elements such as HTML and CSS were incorporated in the creation of the program. The Windows Store, the Protogon File System, and Windows To Go are among the new features of Windows 8. System requirements will vary only slightly from those for Windows 7. The program is still in production and is not yet ready to be widely distributed, but is rumored to be in the early stages of beta testing.
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Release Date and Comparisons to Windows 7

Windows 8 is expected to be released 2012, but no confirmed date has been given. The current OS, Windows 7, has been out since July of 2009. Windows 8 is said to be incredibly similar to it's predecessor because consumer's will not have to upgrade their computers. Microsoft executive Michael Angiulo stated that "We've extended the trend we started with Windows 7, of keeping our system requirements either flat or reducing them over time." From the latest OS systems from Microsoft (XP, Vista, Windows 7) the change to the new Windows 8 will bring the biggest change from one OS to a newer one. Microsoft, as everyone else, is aware that people are wanting more portability and devices on the go so making an OS that works similar to your phone is where the market seems to be steering towards. This will be reflected on the new visual design of menus that work more like icons than windows with open folders. Boot up times are expected to shorten. This will benefit the user on multiple platforms.
System Requirements
Originally when Microsoft announced Windows 8 they promised to keep the system requirements the same as Windows 7.
It requires: CPU with 1 GHz or faster, 1 GB (for 32-bit) or 2 GB (for 64-bit) of RAM ,16 GB (for 32-bit) or 20 GB(for 64-bit) of Hard Drive space, Directx 9 graphics device with WWD 1.0 or higher. Windows 8 will also have USB 3.0 support, a ribbon interface in Internet Explorer, the Windows store and other features not included in the previous Windows.



Applications

The layout of the new OS will have similar features as current tablet and smartphone devices. In fact Windows is designed in a way that it will be compatible with portable devices with touchscreen. This can be seen also by the fact that Windows 8 will have "apps" like the newest OS from Apple (Mac OS X Lion). Microsoft will also launch a "App Store" and this will be a source for the users to download the applications they want from one location instead of third-party's. Developers will be able to put out their apps through the store, but like Apple's App Store, Microsoft will be taking a 30% cut from all the apps sold. New applications for windows have been leaked. They include AppX and Open Packaging Conventions. Microsoft has used webpage design languages HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to also designing new programs for the upcoming OS. Javascript will be also used with CSS; the designing will be similar to that of web development. Microsoft has promised that "old-style" programs that run on Windows 7, will also run on the new OS. Internet Explorer 10 will be using CSS and HTML for videos on pages instead of plug-ins like Flash, which is something that Apple has done with their operation system too.


Tablet User Interface
Windows_8_tablet_thumb2.pngThe Windows 8 Tablet User Interface is being referred to as a "Metro-style." It will feature Live tiles with hidden menus and controls.It will also have large flashy graphics and bold white type.The interactive touch screen will have multi-touch gestures.Windows is hoping that this will set them apart from its competitors.The UI begins at the Start menu,which displays information like new emails, calendar events,and time.The user can then swipe there hand up to reveal the Home menu,which is the live tiles,and from there they can select apps they want to interact with.If a user wishes to multitask and use multiple apps at once all they need to do is swipe their hand to the right and it will cycle to the next active app.Another key feature of the os is that it allows you to keep two apps open side by side.

Links:

Microsoft App Store Article

How touchscreen function is used on Windows 8

Windows 8 News

Windows 8 Wikipedia Article

A Quick Peek At Windows 8

Video source: Precentral.net