Microsoft launched Windows 7 in late 2009. A follow on to Windows Vista, it featured a more streamlined interface and ditched the intrusive dialog boxes that plagued Vista. Still, to date most enterprises remain on the decade-old Windows XP.
That fact alone means that Windows 8, set to go on sale later this year, will mostly be a consumer play--at least for the next year or two. It represents the most ambitious redesign of Redmond's operating system since Windows 95, which introduced now-familiar features such as the Start menu and Task Bar.
Windows 8, when run in Metro mode, ditches the familiar icon-based interface in favor of Metro, a touch-centric GUI built around Live Tiles--blocks of screen real estate that deliver real-time updates from messaging, e-mail, and social networking services.
[ Considering a Windows 8 ARM tablet? Here's what you need to know now: Windows 8 ARM Tablets: 8 Must-Know Facts. ]
At Computex, numerous vendors introduced new Windows 8 systems. AMD for the first time showed off a prototype tablet running its new Trinity Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) architecture. The device, manufactured by Taiwan's Compal Electronics, features an 11.6-inch screen, with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. It's also got a kickstand and detachable keyboard, an indication that AMD is looking to play in the hybrid space.
Earlier this week at the Taipei techfest, Acer previewed several Windows 8 systems, including a pair of tablets, the Iconia W510 and the Iconia W700. The former offers a 10.1-inch touchscreen, and comes with a detachable keyboard dock. The larger w700 boasts an 11.6-inch screen which, on its docking cradle, can be swiveled into landscape or portrait mode.
Also, Asus introduced a pair of slates. The 10.1-inch Tablet 600 runs Windows RT, on an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. Specs include 2MB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and an 8-megapixel camera. The larger Tablet 810 runs Windows 8 on Intel Atom, and features an 11.6-inch screen, 64GB of storage, and a front-facing videoconferencing camera in addition to an 8MP photo camera.
More vendors are expected to announce Windows 8 systems as Computex continues through the week.
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