Tech Beat: Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system
You are about to witness and experience a critical time in tech history. It appears as if PCs as you know them are about to forever change, thanks to the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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Gone will be the start menu, gone will be double clicking applications to open them, gone will be just about everything you've grown used to on a Windows PC. Replacing it, just about everything you've grown used to when operating your smartphone or tablet. And to help make this all happen, dozens of devices with touch screens from just about every big-time manufacturer are launching alongside Windows 8, from desktop PCs to laptops to tablets to the largest new category called "convertibles."
“Are these new designs PCs? Yes. Are these new designs tablets also? Yes. Some of them flip, some of them dock, some of them convert, some of them attach, the best of PCs and tablets in one form factor,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft.
And though it's designed to be swiped and poked, the new operating system will work on current non-touch screen PCs via your mouse. FYI though, there is also a pre-loaded app that returns you to the old school way of doing things if that's what you prefer.
Microsoft has said for years that it wanted to make computers easier to use, and many would probably agree allowing users to just touch what they want to do does accomplish that. But at this stage, with some many people used to the old way, is making things easier actually making things harder?
“Easier is in the eye of the beholder or user. In some ways it's easy and intuitive, in other ways it's like, ‘wait a minute, that's kinda not the way I'm used to doing it.’ There is a learning curve, I've played some with Windows 8 I happen to like it but there definitely is a learning curve,” said Ed Baid, USA Today.
Windows 8 is available now as a download via microsoft.com for $40. And as for those new, touch screen devices, Microsoft says pricing on some of those will start under $300.