Event invites have been sent out as Microsoft prepares to unveil its 'Windows 8 Consumer Preview' at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on February 29th.
Whilst Microsoft stock has remained strong so far in 2012, sales of its Windows operating system have been dropping, with the lack in shifted units largely attributed to a slowing PC market as the steel monsters begin to clash with the ever popular tiny tablets. For Microsoft, Windows 8 is an attempt to re-enter the full breadth of the computing market, where, despite its popularity, Windows 7 has seen itself cut out of many sales as mobile segments featuring ARM-based devices, not capable of running the full Windows OS, have emerged.
Windows 8 has had a serious makeover, with a redesigned kernel supporting for the first time the ARM instruction set, native USB 3.0 support, alternative approaches to authentication, installation on a USB drive, multiple desktop backgrounds, a host of new management features and most importantly, the new metro UI system and propagation of the Ribbon interface throughout the OS, to allow for a smooth touch-screen experience.
Many features of the new OS have been highly praised, meanwhile other design choices have been criticised as 'Apple-like' as they look to limit user choice. Either way, Windows 8 will bring many new elements to the table and so we can't wait to see where Microsoft sees it all going when it releases the Consumer Preview later this month.