Microsoft took a big leap entering the mobile industry as it revealed the new Windows 8 operating system and offered a closer look at Surface diving into the hot tablet market. The new Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablet which will both go on sale Friday stamp the US tech giant’s offensive move as it seeks to keep up with Apple and Google in the midst of a dramatic shift from PCs to mobile devices.
“Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet. What you have seen and heard should leave no doubt that Windows 8 shatters the perception of what a PC really is… It works perfect for work and play and it is alive with your world,” Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said.
Microsoft announced that the new Windows 8 OS would launch Friday in 37 languages and 140 worldwide markets. It can be downloaded beginning at 12:01 am local time worldwide and will be sold at retail stores.
Microsoft is also launching a version called Windows RT, designed for tablets and available pre-installed on new devices including its own Surface tablet. Surface is “the perfect expression of Windows,” said Microsoft product team member Panos Panay. “It’s exactly what Windows was designed to run on.”
Panay even dropped the device on stage during the New York news even to show Surface’s durability, saying, “You can drop it 72 different ways.” He also displayed some units modified as skateboards, with wheels attached, used by one team member.
Microsoft plans to have 100,000+ apps available to Windows 8 users by February 2013 according to Keith Lorizio, the company’s vice president for US sales and marketing.
This will be good news for consumers and businesses alike as, despite excitement surrounding the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system plus its first Windows 8 phones and Surface tablets, many have been questioning whether the company will be able to build a big enough apps store to compete in a market dominated by Apple and Google. There remains, however, some concern as to how users of the new system will react to the advertising that will be integrated into all apps available in the Windows Store.
But through all these, the revelation provides Microsoft with an opportunity, but that dramatic changes might not be initially welcomed as the new Windows 8 OS and Surface tablet are all new to all of us.