First view of Windows 8?

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First view of Windows 8?

Postby meteorite » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:29 pm

Actually a number of developers and testers have seen quite a bit of Windows 8, believed to be ready for release early next year, but this Infopackets story reports rumours that t least one specialized version could be out in restricted distribution to a specialized group this week. There is also supposed to be a version that runs on mobile phones or smartphones. What relation these versions will bear to the ultimate general-use consumer release is another matter, since it's expedcted that that will require the hardware of a heavy-duty laptop or desktop. Still...

Rumor: Windows 8 Tablet to be Unveiled This Week

by Brandon Dimmel on 20110912 @ 08:01AM EST

It may be another year before Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system (OS) officially hits retailers, but that doesn't mean hardware companies aren't already using it for new devices. In fact, it's expected that Samsung will unveil a new tablet PC running Windows 8 at the Microsoft BUILD conference this week.

BUILD is a developers conference being held by Microsoft for the first time this fall. The conference will be held in Anaheim, California from September 13-16.

Attendees May Receive Free Copies of Tablet

Now, everyone expected that Windows 8 would be a hot topic at the event, but the possible unveiling of a new tablet actually running the OS has everyone buzzing.

Word of the Samsung reveal comes from the Korea Economic Daily, which reports that "this new product manufactured by Samsung will be the company's first collaboration with Microsoft in its hardware devices." (Source: washingtonpost.com)

Adding to that note, some have speculated that those attending the conference might actually be provided with free copies of the Samsung device by Microsoft.
Legal Trouble Forces Samsung to Diversify

Moving forward, it's expected that Samsung will continue to use the Android platform for most of its tablets and that this foray into the Windows sphere is an attempt by the company to diversify its portfolio.

Part of the reason for this new trend is Samsung's ongoing patent battle with Apple -- makers of the iPad -- over the construction of its Galaxy Tab tablet and various smartphone devices. (Source: theinquirer.net)

Keep in mind that Windows 8 isn't the only thing worth getting excited about when it comes to Samsung's new tablet. It's also believed that the device will be using a brand new quad-core processor from NVIDIA called the "Kal El" -- a component that could offer superior processing power and provide the hardware with a performance boost that could help it compete in a very challenging tablet market.
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Re: First view of Windows 8?

Postby meteorite » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:56 pm

Now, further information is out, And don't like it one bit. Consider:

Windows 8 PCs May Not Boot Other Operating Systems

by John Lister on 20111005 @ 10:46AM EST

Microsoft is planning to introduce a rule by which most Windows 8 computers will be unable to run any other system. It should improve security, but could be bad news for users that prefer to have more than one operating system installed on their PCs.

The new rules will apply to computer manufacturers who want to use the official Windows 8 logo on the machine and in marketing. It's perfectly possible to sell legitimate Windows 8 computers without the logo, but the chances are most major manufacturers will follow the rules. (Source: dreamwidth.org)
Operating System Guarded by Identification Key

Computers using the Windows 8 logo will be required to have a secured boot-up. That means there'll be an identification key on the operating system, and the firmware will only load a system with that key. The firmware is software that isn't part of the operating system, but rather directly controls the hardware.

The effect will be that the computer will only be able to load Windows, even if other systems are installed on the computer. The point of this measure is to prevent malicious software that is designed to run as the computer is booting up, before the operating system loads and runs. When that happens, malware can do damage before any Windows-based security software is able to spot it and block it.

This type of malware infection is often referred to as rootkit software, and it's incredibly difficult, if not impossible to remove.
Secure Boot Likely to Cause Headaches for Hardware, Software Vendors

The security measure may be a major problem for various reasons.

The most prominent is the case of users who want to run a "dual-boot" system, which lets them choose which operating system to run. Many users who have installed open source Linux-based systems will also run Windows as well, using it as a back-up or to run Windows-only software. It's also common for users to have a dual-boot setup when they are 'weaning' themselves off of Windows before fully committing to Linux (for example). (Source: readwriteweb.com)

Another group potentially affected by the changes is those who run so-called Hackintoshes: PCs set-up to emulate Apple software. One reason for doing this is to get the look and feel of a Mac without having to pay for the expensive Mac hardware. Many Hackintosh users use their machines to dual-boot their systems into Windows.

There may also be problems for people who use back-up software that aims to copy an entire hard drive and boot directly from the copy if the original installation of Windows becomes corrupt through a virus.

It's also been suggested that a bootable firmware-only system will have issues with graphics card, network, and hard drive controller installations. (Source: pcworld.com)

>> Nor is this all. Remember how the classic Windows interface was developed in Windows 3.1, tweaked for Windows 95, and ever since you've had the option to use it on all subsequent versions of Windows? (Yes, Windows Secrets says it's possible on Windows 7, too). The bottom line is that a lot of users simply like it and raise such a howl when Microsoft tampers with it that they have to given them the option. Now consider this:

Windows 8 Start Menu to be Completely Overhauled

by John Lister on 20111007 @ 07:49AM EST

Microsoft says it is rethinking the way the Start Menu will work in Windows 8. It's partly a response to user behavior and partly a recognition that more people will be using touchscreen devices in the future.

By default, the Start Menu appears on the left-hand side of the screen, either when the user clicks the Windows logo in the bottom left corner, or presses the dedicated Windows key on their keyboard.
Fewer Users Use Start Menu, Says Microsoft

The Start Menu menu serves several functions by listing recently used applications, commonly used applications, a complete list of all applications, access to Windows tools such as the control panel, as well as being the primary launch point for starting applications.

Microsoft says it has tracked how Windows PC owners use the operating system and found a significant shift towards people launching applications from the taskbar. That's the menu permanently displayed at the bottom of the screen, consisting of large application icons from the left and smaller notification icons on the right.

In short: many users are now putting icons for their favorite applications on the taskbar and thus rarely use the start menu. (Source: msdn.com)
Full-Screen Display the New Default

According to Microsoft, this makes it all the more important that the start menu is easy to use when people turn to it. As a result, it's decided that Windows 8 will instead feature a Start screen that fills the entire display. It will be more customizable, giving users control over what appears and in what way.

The big difference is that rather than small icons and labels in a horizontal list, the Start screen will be made up of tiles: rectangles of varying sizes, which can be placed into groups. Tiles can be filled with larger images or logos relating to the application, rather than the standard, small icons.

It will also be possible to have tiles that contain "live" information from the Internet; for example stock prices, weather, or the latest emails a person has received.
Windows 8 Start Menu Similar to Windows Phone

Instead of folders, individual items will be grouped into blocks of tiles with a relevant heading. Users can zoom out to see all the blocks, then zoom in to see a particular set of tiles.

It's no coincidence that this is very reminiscent of the home screens on smartphones running Windows Phone. The new smart screen has been designed with the idea that many users will be running touchscreens, meaning Windows 8 should transfer to tablet devices smoothly.

The big question is whether this will come at the expense of maximum usability for the majority of users who are still using a keyboard and mouse combination. (Source: wired.com)

>> A lot can change - and will - between now and the time Microsoft puts Windows 8 on the market. But let me suggest that if they think Vista was less than a roaring success, wait till buyers are confronted with, and find out about, this.

Simply, more and more users are going to feel that if it ain't bust, don't fix it. These reports sound as if Microsoft, misled by a good reception of some of the more successful cosmetics of Windows 7 (though do they know how many users reverted to the traditional option?) figure novelty will sell. It would not surprise me if they suffer a very rude shock.

Microsoft say nothing about the neat anti-piracy function of the firmware-controlled boot. You use what the manufacturer put on, or you have a boat anchor. What if you find you don't like what the manufacturer put on, and want to buy a copy of Windows 7 and revert to that? (Sorry, Cholly). What if you're already peeved with Microsoft and want dual-boot capability so you can play with Linux on the side? Nope, you can boot what you got and nothing else. What if it gets corrupted by some brand new snazzy Homeland Security machine that isn't quite right? Apparently, a replacement copy won't work. And on and on.

My guess is that if Microsoft proceeds with the plans shown so far, consumers will simply not stand for it. I suspect, as the word gets around, that the Windows PC market will simply collapse and go away. Folks are getting savvy and folks are getting picky these days.

I could be wrong as a three-dollar bill, and Windows 8 could become Microsoft's greatest triumph yet to prove me totally wrong. Nevertheless, I don't expect to increase my holdings of Microsoft stock anytime in the next several months.
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