Microsoft Windows 8

Preparing its epochal October outing with the new Windows 8 operating system and the industry-shaking Surface tablet, the big team that is Microsoft made another awesome, powerful move this week. It has changed and refreshed its logos in preparation for the marking of a new territory, and the endless choir of eager blogger onlookers, distracters and supporters both are looking over and analyzing this move with a gleeful energy.

What does all this mean for your business? The more the Microsoft behemoth makes its careful moves and shakes out its wings, the better, one would hope, are the results. Since the Preview editions of Windows 8 have been released, over 100,000 changes have been made to the new dual operating system.

One commentator indicated that the change in the logos to a style that is a plain and unadorned repeat of the company name with a simple rendering of the mainstay four blocks of colors tell us two things.  Microsoft intends to remain steady at the helm and it plans to stay. This means the company will do whatever it can to insure that businesses continue without interruption the familiar use of its platform.


It’s the new uses of the platform that has torn into the distracters. This is the Mobil UI that is intended for touchscreen use. The distracters are having a field day. It’s as if they cannot get over the basic fact that the company has decided to make a fitful and studied move into mobile territory. In a recent critique on Windows 8 from Laptop Magazine, several points stand out:

  • The new OS prioritizes content over creation
  • Reaching the desktop underneath the Mobil UI overlay is difficult
  • The Start Screen is missing.
  • Menus are hidden and must be hovered over to appear
  • The left and right corner menus may interfere with scrolling arrows

The comments to this critique are important in that they tell us there are workarounds to all these “problems.” Most importantly, the supportive comments simply say Microsoft now demands a new way of looking at it. Answering some of the criticisms explain how the Windows 8 package with the Mobile UI can help your business.


  • The desktop screen is always available and only one click away.
  • Windows 8 desktop is a more improved and responsive rendition of Windows 7.
  • It will take less than an hour to learn the new OS.
  • Businesses will be able to easily standardize communication with mobile field employees.

The Start Screen is always available with a click in the lower left corner. Apps that are open are shown in mini-windows with a click to the upper left. There is a Windows Explorer tile that takes you to the classic Windows 8 desktop view. The traditional Control Panels are accessible by going to the Computer Screen in the Explorer Desktop window.

From the Mobile UI, clicking or dragging from the right edge brings up the Charms bar that integrates the functionality of all the apps. It has Search, Start, Share, Devices and Settings icons. The Charms bar is also available on the Desktop screen. Businesses will be able to share new information with field apps by clicking the Share icon and sending the information whether it’s a new form, Excel sheet or real estate photo.

We will highlight and explain more of the new advantages of Microsoft Windows 8 as we get closer to the October 26 launch date. Opinions are gradually beginning to turn out positive on the new operating system. CNET has recently described it as, “…stunningly fast, it presents apps in a new way that avoids the repetitiveness of Android and iOS, and it feels connected to your life and the Internet.”

Is Windows 8 Microsoft’s Crowning Glory?

The grand dame wields her ugly head upon the precipice and things change. This could be the the sum  total of Microsoft’s move upon the computer industry come October. Some expect there to be a major shift in the wings of the tablet market as the behemoth technology company moves to  grabs 12 percent of the tablet industry with the public release of Windows 8 and the Surface tablets.

Grand  Critique

The Redmond company shares that grand appellation with its partner company Apple in Cupertino and to a less extent Google and a few others. But Microsoft sits up high with Apple holding crowns as historical progenitors of the desktop market. Crowning positions command waves of approval and disapproval.

The approval is rather locked in. With an operating system that’s on over 92 percent of the world’s desktops, five hundred million users pay the license fees and the company maintains the dominant position in the business corporate market with its server and database software.

Accordingly, criticism fans the waves as grand dame had seem to sit back on her laurels. But over the last decade, her revenue stream had merely tripled from $23 billion to $70 billion by 2011, great globs of money. This explains why erstwhile CEO Steve Ballmer, who perhaps cannot be fashioned in today’s tight leather pants, is still there.

Critics have deplored the company’s lack of innovation in face of its powerfully driven partner, Apple. But, as we shall see, they were wrong. “Partner” is used here instead of “competitor.” It may be best to see these two companies as leaders building and propelling the consumer technology market together. It’s the simple formula of one leaping forward while the other bounds over the leap into new territory – over and over again.

Of course, the last leap was Apple, who went ahead of all with the iPod and the iPad. Under Steve Jobs, Apple practically defined a new industry in mobile technology. There were cries that Microsoft, having experienced setbacks in smartphone technologies, was sitting behind and was just not innovative enough.

Crowning Glory?

But the critics have been apparently wrong. Microsoft has not been merely sitting on its laurels. From the responses of the consumers and developers who have reviewed the Preview versions of Windows 8 and after over 100,000 changes that have been integrated,  it may very well be that Windows 8 and the resulting Surface tablets may become crowning glories.

The company has not so much moved sluggishly into the tablet terrains as it has moved carefully and with great skill. Some had suggested that Microsoft was too big and that it should break up its outfit into smaller parts, or that it should simply move the Windows division into a corner company all by itself.

But as Steve Ballmer was only too happy to point out, Windows 8 and its Model UI representing the tablet promise, are integral parts of the old Windows calling card. A careful look at the new OS does demonstrate the seamless fit for what Ballmer calls a “seamless consumer experience.” Microsoft has simply wielded its ugly head to yield a few powerfully innovative thrusts. The company had never left the playing field.

Industry forecasters Gartner now projects that by 2016, latecomer Microsoft will have an 11.8 percent share of the tablet market. What’s more, from the news rumblings of phone maker Nokia, Gartner projects Windows Phones, sharing the benefits of Windows 8 technologies, will replace Apple by 2016  to become the second largest smartphone producer by 2016, with Android the first.

Indeed, Windows 8 has some has a few positive workings under the hood. Are they worthy of a crown?

Windows 8 Release Preview

As Microsoft’s newest operating system, the pre-release version of Microsoft Windows 8 has emerged from early vetting stages among developers and consumers, with satisfactory results. Several cosmetic changes are being made, but extensive changes appear to no longer be required, and on August 15, Windows 8 was released to OEM companies for fall production. Holding its breath, Microsoft stands behind a formal October 26th release date for a new OS that is poised to become a game-changer in today’s computer world.

‘Metro,’ was initially used to describe the innovative, tablet-friendly user interface. The word is being dropped because Microsoft couldn’t resolve a copyright conflict with a German company. Regardless of its name, this new interface, in combination with a refined Windows 7 engine, could once more propel Microsoft ahead in the area of technological innovation.

The user interface allows Windows 8 to bring the same, unifying multi-touch functionality to desktops, laptops and tablets. It will power desktops and laptops based on powerful Intel and other processers, and with the Windows 8 UI, it will splash and land firmly into the world of tablets based on the definitive mobile-tech, less power-hungry ARM processors.

Starting Up

Powering up their computers, Windows 8 users will now see a Lock screen that, by using their mouse or touchpad with an up-swiping gesture, will take them to a Login screen. You can either sign in or use a “password-touch” gesture to unlock this screen and enter the Start screen. All this is done pleasingly fast and smooth as Windows boots up.

The Start screen consists of graphic tiles representing apps and pictures. The tiles are arranged into groups that swiftly slide from one to the other using a similar gesture or movement on the touchpad or mouse. The Start screen of original tiles is always available through a mouse click at the lower left corner of the Windows screen.

Multi-Touch Functionality

These swiping, sliding and pinching in-and-out gestures are, of course, characteristics of tablet touch-screens functions. They are similar to the multi-touch smartphone technologies successfully innovated and sharpened by Apple, leading that company to the forefront of mobile technology with development of its iPhones and iPads.

Microsoft’s own Windows Surface tablets incorporating the multi-touch screens with Windows 8 UI are due to come out the same time as Window 8. The Surface represents another Microsoft milestone similar to Apple in that the tablet hardware is being produced in-house, wielded to the new OS. They are being produced as Surface Pro models based on Intel processors, and Surface RT – Run Time – models developed on ARM processors.


Clicking or swiping from window corners offers various controls. Swiping from the right side on the Windows 8 Start screen brings up the Charms bar that gives you icons for searches, sharing, and the start menu. In turn, the start menu brings you back to the Start screen titles, devices and settings control.

Swiping from top left, you can get a list of all the apps or recently used ones and can switch between them. App icons are dragged across the screen to open for use. Closing apps involves a simple down swipe to the bottom of the screen as the app disappears.

If Windows 8 demonstrates seamless adaptation across tablet, laptop and desktop platforms as it advertises, Microsoft could renew itself once again as a major leader of innovation. So far, in face of its distracters, many of whom are expectantly Apple-biased, the OS has generated plenty of support and praise with the ease, speed and fluidity of its UI. It’s still possible to access the old Explorer and Start screens, but starting tiles will certainly be the winner and a game-changer of the future.