SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Changes are coming to both Windows and Apple users. Microsoft has confirmed that its next operating system, Windows 8, will be available in October, while Apple’s Mountain Lion has some promising features as well.
I’ve been testing out a preview version of Windows 8 and there’s a lot in it if you have a tablet computer, like Microsoft Surface (announced a few weeks back) or tablets from any of Microsoft’s hardware partners. This OS will have touch-screen interface which is on current Microsoft tablet software.
It will also have a new interface called Metro. If you’ve ever seen a Windows phone they have tiles that are kind of like icons, but bigger. Metro is a whole new way of interfacing with Microsoft computers, but for those of us who still want to use Microsoft Office and the other familiar programs; it still has the standard desktop.
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It’s a great step forward for tablets, but in terms of running it on my laptop, it’s so-so. I don’t really like the tile interface on a machine where there is no touch screen.
It is a bit faster so I like what they’ve done to their performance. Some of the features like system-wide search and spell check are also nice and the Windows Store, which emulates the Apple Store, is a very good idea. I’m also told it has very good security but I haven’t been able to test that.
Meanwhile, Apple has put the final touches on its new operating system called Mountain Lion. This OS is likely to debut on July 25th after their next investor’s meeting. Some of the nifty new features include dictation and something called “Power Nap” which allows it to be updated while it’s sleeping and a share button throughout the system so you can post things on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.
It’s going to look a lot more like the iPad. Both companies seem to be making strong attempts to bring the laptop, desktop and the tablet together with similar features and interfaces.
As far as the iPad goes, there will be a separate iOS 6 launch in the fall which iPhones use as well. Mountain Lion on the other hand is for Macs.
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