Windows 8: Distinctive, Innovative, and Microsoft’s ‘Riskiest Bet’ Yet

by Reads (4)

Since its inception, Microsoft has created 20 or more different releases of its flagship product, the Windows operating system. This doesn’t even count the variants for different microarchitectures, Starter Editions, or so-called ‘UItimate versions.

Despite this, this latest version, Windows 8, promises to be the most distinctive Windows yet as it represents Microsoft’s attempt to completely re-brand its consumer and corporate identities.

The design philosophy behind W8, known as the ‘Metro UI’, has its roots back in Windows XP’s Media Center Edition. It then became the basis of the Zune media players and software, traveled to the Windows Phone operating system and even transformed the Xbox 360’s dashboard interface before coming to rest in the form of Windows 8’s new Start screen.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called Windows 8 the company’s “riskiest bet” at a Gartner Symposium back in 2010. Given some of the drastic changes we’ve seen so far, we’re inclined to agree. The next-generation operating system faces the unenviable task of unifying Redmond’s mobile and desktop codebases, responding to the overwhelming pressure the iPad has brought to bear, and helping to transition the company into what Steve Jobs once called the ‘post-PC’ era.

It’s expected that Windows 8 will be released later this year. Join us as we take a close look at its evolution and delve deeper into Microsoft’s strategy in our Wait for 8 series.”

- J.R. Nelson
Special Report Editor

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Initially, there were rumors that Microsoft would not include the critically favorable Windows Media Center in the upcoming version of their insanely popular operating system. That proved untrue, but what else can we expect to see?

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