Window 8 LogoNot that long ago, we had a blog post on Windows 8 and the news or rumors surrounding the new OS. Now that we are getting much closer to its arrival, October 26, we thought we would offer updates on the subject.

A few days ago, the buzz around Windows 8 was about the song “Only Want You” by the Eagles of Death Metal in the ad for the new Microsoft OS, which displayed the soothness of Windows 8 on tablets and other touch devices. Many have suggested that the use of the hard rock song in the ad was indicative of Microsoft’s efforts to rebrand their OS as a departure from normal desktop and laptop use. Although, the new OS is an attempt to move to mobile devices, traditional laptops are still being produced with Windows 8 in mind, like the new Acer touch-screen laptops.

Walther Mossberg devoted a recent article in the WSJ to the new Windows 8 (“Windows Pushes into the Tablet Age,” Oct. 17, 2012). Mossberg likes the new look of Windows 8, stating that it immediately differentiates itself from the older OS. “Instead of the familiar desktop,” he writes, you see a handsome, modern, slick world of large scrolling tiles and simpler, full-screen apps best used on a touch-screen inspired by tablets and smartphones.” This new screen is called the Start screen, replacing the old Start Menu. It takes over the whole display and has its own apps and controls. You can still use the old desktop, but now the desktop is like another app, and you tap or click a Start screen icon to use it. This new design brings Windows into the tablet or mobile era.

Basically, the new Windows 8 involves two user experiences in a single product. It can run on older PCs and new touch-controlled tablets. As Mossberg points out, Apple uses separate operating systems for its iPad and Mac computers. But Mossberg also notes that this dual natured OS can be confusing to the user. Another reason for the confusion is that Microsoft is offering two version of Windows 8, one for standard Intel-based PCs and one called RT for tablets and mobile devices. The PC version will allow you to run both the new tablet-type apps and your old apps via the desktop. The RT version won’t install and run traditional Windows apps on the desktop.

Mossberg was impressed with a lot about the new Windows 8, including the universal strip of controls called Charms. He also claims that some of the new apps are good, including those for photos, which enable sharing. One thing he did not enjoy was the new Mail app, which he found disappointing, because it lacks a unified inbox, a single folder for showing unread mail, and a folder for showing messages form your most important contacts. Microsoft has hinted that it will be offering more apps with the launch of the new OS.

It wil be interesting to see how businesses respond to Windows 8. According to http://www.wired.com/business/2012/10/the-next-xp/, most companies have already picked Windows 7 and have no plans to upgrade, but Windows 8 is a whole new ball game and offers exciting opportunities for businesses.

Stay tuned for more information as Windows 8 is offically launched!