Windows 8: the game changer

Windows 8

Microsoft has ripped up Windows and started again - but will such a brave gamble pay off?

Microsoft isn’t a company renowned for its audacity, but nobody could doubt the boldness of what you’re about to witness over the next eight pages.

For the first time in well over 15 years, Microsoft has sidelined the traditional Windows desktop and is attempting to change the face of computing.

Having been criticised for failing to offer a credible tablet OS, Microsoft has responded with an all-in bet on touch technology. The familiar Windows desktop – first introduced in Windows 95 – has been supplanted by a radically different touch-friendly interface that isn’t only the default on tablets, but for laptops and PCs as well.

Will Microsoft’s big gamble pay off? In this feature, we explore how Windows 8 transforms touch and non-touch hardware. We unveil the core new features and explain how they affect the Windows experience on different devices.

It isn’t only a new interface we have to contend with: over the next few pages you’ll find a completely new class of Windows applications, the Windows Store, unprecedented improvements in boot performance, a new-look Windows Explorer and much more.

To wrap up our feature, Jon Honeyball – a man who’s probably witnessed first-hand more Windows launches than any other IT journalist in Britain today – delivers his initial verdict on Windows 8 and the rest of the groundbreaking announcements at Microsoft’s Build conference. It’s a typically forthright opinion that you won’t want to miss.

Windows 8: the game changer

Windows 8 on tablets

Windows 8 on laptops and PCs

Jon Honeyball's verdict

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Analysis