Microsoft reveals Windows 8 consumer preview and the Windows Store
By Emily Price
February 29, 2012
Microsoft has gotten official with its latest version of Windows, Windows 8. The next generation of the PC operating system is designed to blur the line between the OS on tablets and that on computers, sporting a design that looks reminiscent of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform.
Much like Windows Phone, Windows 8 has a tiled home screen which showcases apps. These can be selected and moved around just like they can on a mobile device and tapped to open. A finger swipe can move you between different pages of the home screen, and you can pinch to enlarge or shrink something on the page just like you might on your smartphone.
Following Apple's lead, Microsoft has its own Windows Store where customers can purchase applications to run on their computers, and those who have multiple Windows devices will be able to connect them together through the "cloud."
The OS also has a new feature called "Windows to Go," which allows you to carry around your own customized version of the OS on a USB thumb drive and access it on any PC. That, coupled with the ability to get the same Windows experience on a tablet, phone, or ultrabook make the Windows experience available almost anywhere you are.
If you want to give Windows 8 a test drive, Microsoft has made a preview of the operating system available as a free download.