Microsoft has disclosed some key features of its new operating system, which may or may not be dubbed “Windows 8.” The new OS was heavily influenced by the Windows Phone UI’s touch-based functionality. It;s designed with tablets in mind, but users can choose to use a keyboard and mouse as well. Users can also switch between applications by swiping left and right, as one would with a touch screen smart phone.
One of Windows’ major design changes is the improved start menu which includes a colorful tile design, much like the Exposé screen of Firefox. This new menu shows both static program icons and widgets, called “live tiles,” which provide constant notifications and updates. Windows 8 also allows users to access all the files on their computer in the same visualized way that programs are accessed, which helps make the OS easy to navigate with touch alone. Windows 8 is ideal for multitasking, as multiple apps can be viewed simultaneously on the same screen simply by dragging and dropping the app window onto the main screen.
Microsoft’s new OS is far from complete but is expected to launch around Fall of 2012.
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