Published August 16, 2011
Microsoft will soon take the wraps off the biggest update to its operating system in 16 years.
The Windows software giant unveiled a new blog and Twitter feed for its upcoming Windows 8 operating system Monday -- a first tantalizing look at the development of its next-generation flagship product, the software that powers most of the computers on the planet.
While the first post on the blog reveals few details, it did tease a September developer conference where the company promised to provide more details Windows 8 -- the most significant overhaul to the popular operating system since Windows 95, said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division.
“Windows 8 reimagines Windows for a new generation of computing devices,” Sinofsky wrote in Monday's blog post. “Today more than two out of three PCs are mobile. Screen sizes range from under 10 inches to wall-sized screens and multiple HD screens. Storage has jumped from megabytes to terabytes and has moved up to the cloud."
Given this radical shift, Microsoft understands the need to maintain an open dialogue, Sinofsky said. Those changes also merit a major overhaul to the software powering many of those computers and gadgets.
"These changes in the landscape motivate the most significant changes to Windows, from the chips to the experience,” he said.
Microsoft previewed its new flagship product in June when it showed of Windows 8’s new tablet-friendly interface -- but the company has yet to announce a ship date or state when it will release a preview version.
“We’ve heard people express frustration over how little we’ve communicated so far about Windows 8,” Sinofsky said. “We’ve certainly learned lessons over the years about the perils of talking about features before we have a solid understanding of our ability to execute.”
Sinofsky wants the blog to be a “behind the scenes” look at the evolution of Windows 8 that will help empower developers during this process.
“We intend to continue our dialog around performance and fundamental engineering of Windows,” he continued. “The feedback on these topics and the desire to talk about them in depth was clear during the development of Windows 7.”
The next big milestone in the Windows 8 development calendar is the company’s BUILD developer conference in September, where the company plans to give further insight on development tools and the capabilities of the new operating system.
BUILD runs from September 13 to 16 in California, and many analysts predict Microsoft will distribute preview copies of the under-development operating system to attendees.