The message passed down from Microsoft at yesterday’s Windows 8 preview was clear: ‘the future of technology is here’. Do we believe the sentiment? It’d be stupid not to. Is Windows 8 the metaphorical bridge to that future? Well, kind of.
Windows 8 is first and foremost a significant overhaul, visually speaking at least. With its sleek, modern, continuous sliding user interface, flashy application icons and drag-and-drop tabbed multi-tasking, it's blindingly obvious where its intentions lie. Its style oozes simplicity and ease of use, effortless browsing over logic and familiarity, an OS for the age of the tablet PC. If Windows 7 was the admirable yet irredeemably flawed first chapter for Microsoft to claw back some of Apple's dominance in the market, this is the climactic body of the fight. The more traditional 'Start' desktop will likely also be on hand by 'sliding' between the two interfaces, though this can not be confirmed.
With the aptly-named 'Windows To Go' functionality and seamless Windows Live integration, Windows 8 excels in putting the user first. With the former, Microsoft has now made it possible for the OS to be installed on a flash drive – big enough to accommodate the 16Gb for the 32-bit system and whopping 32Gb for the 64-bit – which, when used on another Windows 8-enabled PC or tablet, will sync your existing profile and settings to the new device instantly. The latter sees the same changes take effect, but through logging into Live rather than booting up physical data. Grandpa.
To sweeten the deal, Windows 8 is offering native USB 3.0 support and a brand spanking new file system known as 'Protogon'. Download a copy of Windows 8 and have a go with the Developer preview (recommended for use in a virtual machine, as to not lose your computer).
Many more events to come from the Microsoft Student Partnership at University of Lincoln.