Windows 8 Receives Stellar Reviews
Over the last few years, PC sales have been rapidly declining as more and more consumers make the switch to tablets and smartphones to satisfy their computing needs. One of the companies most affected by this trend has been Microsoft, whose Windows operating systems have been the most-used OS on the planet for nearly 20 years. Microsoft has been hard at work trying to cash in on the new trend, developing a mobile operating system called Windows Phone that Apple insiders see as a bigger threat down the line than Google’s Android. But the company has also been working on Windows 8 for PCs, borrowing many of the elements of the mobile system to utilize on laptops and desktops.
A test version of Windows 8 has been circulated to tech reporters during the last week, and the early returns are encouraging. The OS utilizes simple navigation, interactive tiles and even touchscreen capability to make a PC just as easy to use as Apple’s iPad. Of course, the program does still allow users to work with the familiar mouse and keyboard if they don’t have a touchscreen monitor, and the desktop and taskbar work in the same way they always have on Windows operating systems.
Apple’s iOS has changed the landscape of personal computing, for sure. Its ease of use, millions of available apps and portable size have changed the way millions of Americans surf the Web, view video and even listen to music. But the PC still does have a place, as consumers still prefer the old, bulky desktop format for many content creation tasks such as writing on Microsoft Office. And design professionals that work in a variety of mediums say that they will never work on a tablet, no matter what apps emerge.
That’s where Windows 8 comes in. Microsoft’s goal with the software is to create an OS that’s has all the functionality of a familiar Windows PC, but with elements that make it as easy to use as the iPad. In essence, Windows 8 has been developed as a multi-purpose operating system that can power desktops, laptops and a new generation of tablets which the company hopes will take market share from the iPad.
To that end, Windows 8 reportedly boots up to the so-called “Metro” interface, which provides quick, easy access to apps a user would see on a tablet. But just one tap and the computer opens up a traditional desktop interface, where they can delve into more complex programs one wouldn’t attempt to use on a tablet. Windows 8 won’t be available to consumers until later this year, but based on early reviews, it may just be the thing needed to save the PC from irrelevance.