Few Microsoft publicity efforts have ever drawn as much attention as last week’s 20-minute Windows 8 sneak preview.
If you’ve heard that Windows 8 is for the dogs or that it will look like a phone, you haven’t heard the whole story.
Permit me to step you through what we know about Windows 8 and give some insight into what we don’t know. Microsoft has dropped a few hints — some intentionally, some inadvertently — about where we’re headed.
One thing’s for sure: Windows 8, as we know it now, represents a huge departure for Microsoft — a rethinking of the way people interact with their machines. Some of it’s familiar; some of it’s scary. A whole lot of it is very new. Like it or not, Win8 will likely change the way we work through our PCs.
Start with the live-tile phone interface
If you haven’t yet seen the official briefing, take a short break from what you’re doing right now and have a look. Last week, Microsoft VP Julie Larson-Green took the stage at Walt Mossberg’s All Things Digital D9 Conference and, with Windows head honcho Steve Sinofsky providing color commentary, walked us through a slick demo of what we can expect.
As you watch the video, keep your finger on the pause button and watch for these milestones:
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Interested in Windows 8 but don't know where to start? You have a friendly guide in My Windows 8 Consumer Preview: A Sneak Peek at the Windows 8 Public Beta, by Katherine Murray. This month, all subscribers can download Chapter 1 and Chapter 5. In this excerpt you will learn about the new look of Windows 8, how to make things happen in it, how to use the apps that come with it, and how to get more apps.