Mobile // Mobile Applications
10:17 AM
How to Get Cloud Security into Your Budget
Nov 16, 2016
If you've made the move to the cloud, you're facing new security risks - and you may not have budg ...Read More>>

Windows 8 May Feature Tablet-Friendly UI

Leaked images indicate the next version of Microsoft's OS borrows heavily from Office and offers one-click access to key tools.

Screen shots depicting features that may be part of the next version of Windows have leaked onto the Web and show that the new operating system may borrow some features from other Microsoft products, such as Office.

The screen shots, which were posted over the weekend by Neowin and other tech blogs, reveal that the main user interface for Windows 8, at least in its current build, uses an Office-style ribbon that gives users one-click access to a number of features and commands, such as "Share," "View," and "Copy To Folder."

Pundits are suggesting the design may reflect Microsoft's desire to make Windows 8 a tablet-friendly OS that can compete with Apple's iPad and Google's Android. Earlier this year, Microsoft confirmed that it would build a version of Windows 8 for ARM chips, which have become the processor of choice for most tablet makers due to their light footprint and low power requirements.

Microsoft has not commented on the authenticity of the screen shots. Reaction to the purported redesign was mixed.

"Looks too messy, and needs to be made smaller and fit more," wrote Neowin reader "Ely", in the blog's comments section. "If they make it smaller, and fine tune it then it will be fine. If not, hopefully you can turn it off," the reader said.

Another reader, "Joshie", said the changes are appealing: "Office with ribbon on auto-hide is one of the most pleasant software UIs I've ever come across, and I think it's a great way to bring menus and toolbars together in an ultimately space-saving style."

Microsoft has not provided a firm release date for Windows 8, and estimates by market watchers range from late 2011 to the 2012 back-to-school season. Most observers agree, however, that the company needs to ship a tablet-capable OS as soon as possible before it falls too far behind Apple and Google in one of the tech sector's hottest markets.

Even longtime Microsoft partner Hewlett-Packard, apparently frustrated by Redmond's failure to produce a tablet OS, recently said it planned to build slates around its own WebOS, which it gained through its acquisition of Palm, instead of Windows.

Microsoft shares were up .37%, to $25.58, in early trading Monday.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of October 9, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll