Barely more than two years after Windows 7 arrived, Microsoft is hyping the release of the next system in the Windows line of operating systems, Windows 8. Although the world would probably be just fine with Windows 7 for a few more years, Windows 8 is reported to have at least a few new and enhanced features that should be welcome and useful.
One possible reason for the Windows 8 rush is its support for ARM processors found in tablet computers. This will be the first version of Windows that will support both ARM processors as well as more traditional processors from Intel and AMD. Given the rapidly growing prevalence of tablet computers, it stands to reason that Microsoft would want to establish their place in the market.
Windows 7 brought with it an improved user interface (UI) and Windows 8 is reportedly going to continue the trend with an even more enhanced UI. The Windows 8 UI is said to embody simplicity while still making the most important information easily accessible. The start screen will also feature a new interface that displays the most frequently used applications in a grid like pattern.
As a possible response to portable operating systems such as Ubuntu, Windows 8 will include a feature being called Windows to Go. This will allow users to install the system on a portable drive and boot the system to any computer running Windows 7 or Windows 8. Users programs, settings and data will be maintained on the drive.
Other popular features that we should see on Windows 8 include a Windows store where users can purchase and download Windows apps, similar to the Apple store, enhanced video support, an improved version of the Windows Defender antivirus program and the release of Internet Explorer 10. There will undoubtedly be other tweaks and additions that no one is privy to at this point, and Windows 8 promises to be a welcome addition to the Windows family.
Exactly how long the wait for Windows 8 will be is still up in the air. Rumors, including some hinted at by Microsoft and other PC manufacturers, seem to point to a 2012 release date, but exactly when is anyone’s guess. Most people in the know are planning for a release date sometime around fall.