Home Microsoft Finally Officially Unveils Windows 8; and It’s Radically Different

Microsoft Finally Officially Unveils Windows 8; and It’s Radically Different

Today at the D9 Conference Microsoft previewed the next version of Windows. It also officially confirmed that Windows 8 is the code-name for the next version of Windows.

The new version, optimized for touch, presents a radically different interface similar to Windows Phone 7. You can view a video of the new version on YouTube (embedded below).

Windows 8 features a “Start screen” – pictured above – that replaces the start menu with a WP7-style tiled menu that, in addition to launching apps, displays live information. The start menu doesn’t appear to be going away, though – it’s clearly visible in another part of the video, as you can see in the still below.

The company also showed off a new interface for switching between and resizing windows.

Ina Fried, who was given an exclusive look at the new OS, has more.

Windows 8 will support legacy apps, but it will also support a new style of app written in HTML5 and JavaScript. We’re not sure about Silverlight yet. According to Engadget’s live blog, Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky “confirmed that the browser within Windows 8 will run Silverlight.” These new apps will likely take advantage of the “native HTML5” technology Microsoft touted at its MIX event in April.

We’re not sure about ARM support for legacy applications yet, either. Based on the Engadget live blog, it sounds like legacy apps will be unavailable. Intel told investors last month that ARM-based Windows 8 devices would be unable to run legacy applications. Microsoft later issued a denial regarding Intel’s claims, but didn’t specify which claims were incorrect.

We looked at various features expected in Windows 8 previously here.

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