Microsoft's mission at its BUILD conference was clear: get the world—and especially developers—excited about Windows 8. Whereas Windows 7 simply needed to best its loathed predecessor, Windows Vista, Windows 8 has the much tougher task of taking on the iPad. To do that, Microsoft's new OS features an entirely new interface that's highly customizable and touch friendly, plus a bunch of new features both of Apple's platforms lack. It even works well on laptops, though there are certainly some kinks at this very early stage. Here's everything we learned about Windows 8 this week.
Windows 8: Inside the New Features
Our in-depth Windows 8 hands-on revealed a ton. including nifty new multitouch gestures, engaging full-screen apps (especially Internet Explorer 10), a smarter touch keyboard, and much smarter integration with the cloud.
Samsung's Windows 8 Tablet: The Good and The Bad
Microsoft was prepared with hardware to showcase Windows 8's charm. The Samsung Windows 8 Developer Preview PC is an 11.6-inch tablet powered by an Intel Core i5 processor. We liked the docking station and Bluetooth keyboard, but the hardware was definitely not the story. See how Windows 8 runs on a tablet.
Windows 8 on a Laptop: Better Than Touch?
We installed Windows 8 on a Lenovo ThinkPad T410s and immediately appreciated the smart keyboard shortcuts, plus the ability to snap apps to the right or left half of the display with our touchpad. Clamshell owners will not feel left out.
Windows 8 Meets Ultrabooks
We'd seen Windows 8 demonstrated on both a tablet and a notebook, but an ultra-thin, fast-booting Ultrabook is a different story. The 2.8-pound Acer Aspire S3 booted the OS in a swift 2 seconds. Wow.