Feeds

Microsoft's Windows 8 goals revealed

Fast-boot slate, cloud services

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

Microsoft's successor to Windows 7 is taking shape - and that shape looks suspiciously like an iPad supplementing a diet of media with online services.

A set of Microsoft slides, apparently leaked online here and expanded here, have mapped out the company's design and feature goals for Windows 8.

Among those goals: Windows 8 works on a slate form factor in addition to the regular laptop and "all-in-one" PC, with Windows 8 complementing this new form factor by providing instant power on - or at least near instant.

Windows 8 slates will support touch and use facial recognition to pull up the users' profile - presumably application settings, documents and services.

Microsoft wants Windows 8 to feed users cloud services and let them download applications from a planned Windows 8 Store. So far, Microsoft's only been talking about marketplaces in relation to Windows Mobile and Zune service.

Among the other goals for Windows 8 are a "reset button" for use if - or more likely when - your PC begins to mysteriously slow down and performance begins to drag like a dog. Windows 8 will let you reset and retain your data.

The Windows 8 customer will reinstall applications by visiting Microsoft's Windows Store.

The reset button is a sign Microsoft is aware performance is of paramount importance to consumers and enthusiasts - two customer groups Microsoft has highlighted in its slides as its target users. It also suggests Microsoft feels it cannot stop the performance of Windows on PCs degrading over time, so it wants to give users an easy fix.

In a footnote to the slides, meanwhile, Internet Explorer 9 - Microsoft's companion browser - will be released to beta in August 2010.

Microsoft was unable to comment on the slides at the time of going to press.

In trying to differentiate Windows 8 from Apple, Microsoft said it plans to stress features for partners such as Windows 8's customization and the different form factors.

There are some interesting aspects to Windows 8, if the slides are genuine. Facial recognition being the biggest. This would suggest some overlap with software used in Project Natal - just don't let your cat or anything else with a face near the screen when you're trying to log on.

It's also significant that Microsoft's called out the slate as a third computing form factor while immediate-on start times are a continuation of a race to get Windows in more consumer devices. It's not a very exciting race to outside observers looking for feature sizzle, but it is a race.

The slides, though, also confirm a number of less positive aspects for Microsoft: that the company is becoming firmly entrenched in its role of taking innovation cues from other people like Apple and Ubuntu or is incapable of thinking beyond the present trends on product development.

Clearly, Microsoft's still playing it safe following the failed agenda-setting of Windows Vista.

Also, with Windows 8 Microsoft appears to be further confusing its device operating system story for those all-important partners. Windows 8 for slates will line up with Windows Embedded CE, Windows Embedded Compact 7 that's in community technology preview mode, and Windows Mobile 6.5 and the yet-to-be delivered Windows Mobile 7.0.

Choice is good, except when it's confusing.®

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?