Microsoft has been impressing pundits and users with its Windows Phone mobile OS, but its merged desktop/mobile operating system, Windows 8, stole the show at the Mobile World Congress as the company released the official Consumer Preview version of the OS.
For those who missed out on all the buzz surrounding Windows 8, here’s a brief overview.
Windows 8, unlike Windows 7, is actually two interfaces in one. It combines a tablet user interface, which is outfitted with what Microsoft is calling the Metro style, while the desktop UI keeps largely the same look and feel as Windows 7.
Taking a two-pronged approach allows Microsoft to radically diverge from the conventions it has pretty much been tied to since Windows 95 in the Metro UI, while keeping things familiar for Windows loyalists with the traditional desktop UI.
Jensen Harris, director of program management for user experience on the Windows team, walks through a comprehensive guide to Windows 8 and both of its interfaces in this official video from Microsoft.
For IT pros, Microsoft hasn’t forgot about you in Windows 8. The Windows Team blog addresses this specifically:
If you’re an IT pro, visit the Springboard Series for Windows 8 on TechNet to learn about Enterprise key features. Start with Explore Windows 8, your one-page guide to technical overviews and frequently asked questions about AppLocker, BitLocker, Client Hyper-V, DirectAccess, hardware device management, the Windows Store, Windows To Go, and more. If you need support to help you test and evaluate Windows 8, make sure to visit the Windows 8 Consumer Preview IT Pro Forums on TechNet.
For more on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, read more on the Windows Team blog.