Back in January at CES, Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows will run on the ARM architecture, hinting that they are taking Windows and moving it into the tablet space. Since then, we’ve seen lots of rumors floating around the internet but nothing really solid from Microsoft about how they planned to make this happen. There’s more to getting Windows running on a tablet than just compiling it against the ARM architecture. Perhaps the two biggest issues are battery life and making the interface more finger friendly. In order to be a success in this newly redefined market, Microsoft has to get at least those 2 elements corrected.
If the video posted on YouTube is any indication, the next version of Windows may just have the finger friendly aspect down. The four and a half minute video featuring Jensen Harris (Director of PM, Windows User Experience) shows off some of the new features in Windows 8. There’s no mention of battery life, but hopefully that’s a story we will be hearing more about in the coming months. The new finger interface in Windows 8 appears to be heavily inspired by Windows Phone 7.
Features we do get to see include:
- New tile based start screen with customizable full screen view all apps installed on your device
- Tiles are live and can provide notifications in much the same way as Windows Phone
- Fast switching between running applications including the ability to easily snap applications on the screen and resize them
- Quick switching between traditional Windows applications and new HTML5 / Silverlight apps
Check out the video below, and let us know your thoughts. In my opinion, they need to get the battery life up from the typical 3-4 hours that we see today, to 10+ hours on a single charge if they want to have a chance.