Microsoft Corp released its new Windows 8 operating system as well as their Surface tablet, on Thursday. The new products are meant to overcome the territory Microsoft lost in favor of its rivals, Apple Inc and Google Inc in mobile computing.
On an interview for Reuters Television, Steve Ballmer, the Chief Executive for Microsoft, said that the company has reimagined Windows and the whole PC industry. Both the Windows 8 devices as well as the brand new Surface tablet, designed to counteract the popular iPad, went on sale on Thursday night.
Microsoft released their new devices during a launch event held in New York for over 1,000 media representatives and PC industry partners. The event was open by Steven Sinofsky, head of Windows unit and the force behind its 8 version. He presented the public with a variety of devices running the new Windows 8 as well as their new crown jewel the Surface tablet, namely the first ever computer created in whole by Microsoft itself.
The company offers several versions of its new operating system. The basic Win8, the full Win8 Pro and the Windows 8 Enterprise, designed to meet the needs of large organizations, will all be able to run on PCs, laptops and new tablets as long as they are equipped with a Intel Corp chip. The Windows RT will be pre-installed on the Surface tablet as well as other devices running on a low power chip designed by ARM Holdings Plc.
Even though steadily adopted by early users, the new operating system seems to feel a bit too different from the prior Microsoft versions, especially due to the radical redesigning. As such the majority of Windows operating systems users are reluctant to make an early purchase and expected to wait till after the launch to make up their minds.
Panos Panay, the head of the Surface unit, made a large demonstration of the new tablet’s features including its thin cover that serves also as a keyboard and the possibility of attaching a camera to it via USB port. He even dropped the device on the floor in an attempt to show its durability.
However, the Surface reviews so far have been mixed, as specialists embraced the hardware efficiency but expressed concerns regarding the tablet’s low life battery and the limited amount of software and apps available.