Barry Levine, newsfactor.com-On Wednesday, Microsoft demonstrated the next generation of its venerable operating system, which is expected to be launched next year.
But it may not be called Windows 8. In a posting on the company blog, corporate Vice President Julie Larson-Green noted that Windows 8 is the internal code name, and Microsoft is reimagining Windows "from the chip to the interface."
Small To Large Screens
She also noted that the next Windows will be applicable across a wide range of devices, from "touch-only small screens through to large screens, with or without a keyboard and mouse."
The demonstration was at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan. New approaches include a tile-based Start screen to launch apps, rather than the Windows Start menu. Live tiles show notifications, with up-to-date information from the apps. In a demonstration video released online by Microsoft, Windows User Experience Program Manager Jensen Harris said tiles are better than icons at showing the "personality" of apps.
The company has also learned key lessons from previous major upgrades, in which customers often had to buy new machines and new applications. Although the company has said the OS has been reimagined at every level -- the kernel, networking, storage, devices, user interface -- Larson-Green said there is full compatibility with existing Windows 7 PCs, software and peripherals.
Microsoft said Windows 8 will run on a wide range of machines with the same system requirements or lower as Windows 7, and the user interface will automatically adapt to the available hardware.