Microsoft’s latest operating system is now available to all, for a price. Windows 8 was released to retail today, with stores opening at midnight to allow the ultra-keen fanboys a chance to get their hands on the OS and/or a device powered by it as soon as possible. I’m reliably informed such people do exist, I just don’t know any.
The release of a new Microsoft operating system is always a muted affair. The problem being that most people don’t actively want to upgrade to a new OS, especially if they’re happy with the one they currently use. Which is why so many home users still have Windows XP installed on their computers. Windows 8 is a new challenge entirely, being, as it is, a new spin on the Windows brand.
Windows 8 was launched at a huge press event in New York, with Steven Sinofsky doing most of the presenting duties. He reminded those present that Windows 7 had been a huge success, with 670 million licenses sold so far. Before then pitching the idea that with the computing needs of the many having changed substantially Windows has had to evolve. The result being Windows 8.
Steve Ballmer later stated, “We have reimagined Windows and the result is a stunning lineup of new PCs. Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet. It works perfect for work and play and it is alive with your world. Every one of our customers will find a PC that they will absolutely love.”
Make no mistake about it, Microsoft intends Windows 8 to be the one operating system to rule them all, still offering PC users everything they need while also giving the company a chance to enter the tablet market. Which it’s doing with the Surface. Whether such a strategy can work remains to be seen, as it may turn out that Windows 8 fails to please either group.
Windows 8 can now be bought in stores or downloaded, with XP, Vista, and Windows 7 machines capable of being upgraded. There are also 1,000 PCs certified to run Windows 8, and new machines powered by the operating system will be rolling out over the next few months.