Microsoft have unveiled their latest version of Windows.  Due for release in March 2012, Windows 8 will support tablets, laptops, desktops and, for the first time, the low-powered ARM processor.  Windows 8 will come with two interfaces: the traditional desktop look and the 'Metro' interface specifically tailored for touch screen devices.

Windows 8 Metro edition

The support for the ARM chip opens Windows 8, or more specifically Metro, to the smartphone and tablet world.  What is hidden under that announcement is that any apps written for Windows will need a specific version to support the ARM chip!

Operating system are often an anti-climax.  For Techies there is the excitement at the release but for the normal person on the street it has little impact.  Let's not forget that an operating system is merely a tool to get the device booted up and handle communication from all the devices.  They rarely come with any useful tools/apps.

Windows 8 will be a more viable operating system if it delivers on its promise to support a range of mobile devices.

Windows 7, released October 2009, was Microsoft's fastest selling operating system and is now running on around 400m PCs (as at July 2011).  It was a replacement for the doomed Windows Vista which is generally considered a rushed upgrade of Windows XP.

Arguably Windows XP is Microsoft's most used system -- launched in 2001 it still runs on 35% of PCs (mostly corporates) and Microsoft have had to extend the life of support several times.  Currently they plan to cease all support in April 2014.  Windows 7 runs on around 32% of PCs.

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