Microsoft travels to Barcelona and MWC this week hoping to present Windows 8 as a tablet OS on the eve of its Consumer Preview
Consumer Preview for Windows 8 lined up, Microsoft attempts to pitch next Windows as viable tablet OS as Apple set iPad 3 reveal for March 7
Tomorrow Microsoft will unveil the beta version of Windows 8, positioning it as a true tablet OS with its new Metro UI. However, as CNET writer Jay Greene speculates, can Microsoft really enter the tablet market and be successful?
The Consumer Preview, as it will be known, will make its debut with Apple’s iPad 3 probably event March 7. This may seem odd timing, but Rick Sherlund – analyst at Nomura Securities – says that “It’s an acknowledgement … what Microsoft needs to address.”
As Greene says, Microsoft is launching the Consumer Preview at a time when the tablet market is growing quickly. Yes, they still have a strong grasp on the PC market, but Windows 8 represents an attempt to try and unify the OS. As a result, this Consumer Preview isn’t simply another Windows operating system.
Steven Sinofsky, President of the Windows Division since 2009, says that Windows 8 is a “no compromise” operating system. The aim is that it can power everything, from high-end gaming machines to tablets.
However, Windows 8 trying to not compromise means you end up with “a giant compromise for all things” according to analyst Michael Gartenberg.
According to Green, Windows 8 on ARM will offer a slightly different experience, versus the PC x86 architecture. It means devices can be lighter and thinner, though the result is that some legacy applications won’t work unless developers port them over.
The combat this problem Microsoft has announced Office 15 will ship for the ARM version of Windows 8, and will run in the desktop mode along with the tablet mode that can consumer can switch between in the OS. According to Gartenberg, these tablets will have “something that looks like a Windows desktop, but really isn’t one.”
Windows 8 to feature built-in Office 15 apps, Windows, Office, Excel included
It was also announced that Windows 8 for ARM would come with Office 15 apps. Versions of Word, OneNote, PowerPoint and Excel will be built-in