Though some of you are just starting to implement Windows 7 in your Libraries, I wanted to explore what is coming for the next Operating System you, your co-workers, and your patrons will be using in the near future.

Steven Sinofsky, Windows Division President, is today’s keynote speaker for the BUILD conference, the first extensive preview of Windows 8. This conference is geared towards developers, but there are plenty of goodies for the rest of us to get a glimpse of too. I’ll be highlighting the big changes here while watching today’s webcast of the conference, following along on Twitter, and scouring the tech blog sites.

Changing World of Computing

  • Form factors are changing the type of software we use i.e. tablets, smart phones
  • Touch: Microsoft foresees touch being wanted on all PCs not just tablets
  • Sharing capabilities: customers want a web of applications that work together not an app that stands by itself separately
  • Services are intrinsic to apps, we now expect a back-end of services in the cloud that applications connect to

What is Windows 8?

  • A re-imagining of what Windows can be
  • New user experience that is touch first but equally mouse compatible
  • Completely backward compatible with Windows 7, will work on any machine that can run Win7 and run software that worked on Win7
  • A robust Operating System that can run on low powered Netbooks, Multitouch Tablets/Smartphones, and Powerful Desktops/Laptops

Re-Imagining Windows 8

  • “Metro” style User Interface (see image below) – the default user experience is a tile interface, similar to what is being used on Windows 7 phones
  • Lock Screen shows all important info at a glance, i.e. calendar/appointments, email, battery
  • Login through “Picture password”,  touching certain parts of a photo to unlock the system vs. a typed password
  • Start Screen shows Programs in “tiles”, i.e. tiles for Windows Live, Music, task manager, notepad etc.

Photo Credit: Microsoft

  • Multitasking, every application has a side-view and docking-view to enable fluid multitasking with two programs on the screen at once
  • “Charms”: swipe-able sidebar for Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings within applications
  • “Contracts”: what Windows 8 is calling the process that allows applications to share resources
  • Start-up booting will be faster than the Windows 7 phone
  • No surprise here: A Windows App Store

That’s it for a quick taste of what you are going to see with the newest Windows Operating System from Microsoft, a release date has yet to be announced.


The Buzz: Twitter