For the first time in 25 years, Microsoft has has given its logo a facelift. The new logo takes a bold step in highlighting the simplicity in the
Metro Windows 8-style interface that we're seeing in Windows 8, Windows Phone, Xbox 360, and more. Hit up the video below to see Microsoft's take on the new design.
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Yesterday we told you all about the big announcements Microsoft made--the Microsoft Surface tablet was unveiled, along with the intriguing Touch Cover and Type Cover accessories. There was even an odd Surface intro video they teased us with. Now, you can watch the entire Surface event in its entirety after the jump.
Now that Microsoft has revealed its plan to do battle in the tablet market, Microsoft Surface (as well as its super-cool accessories, the Touch Cover and Type Cover,) we thought you'd appreciate a look at the teaser video that Microsoft put together to unveil the product. Check it out after the break.
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The rumor mill was calling for a new Microsoft tablet to be announced today, and thats exactly what happened. Just a few minutes ago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the Microsoft Surface tablet. The Microsoft Surface is a companion to Windows 8, with Microsoft saying that it's "a tablet that's a great PC, and a PC that's a great tablet." The hardware is 9.3mm thin with edges beveled at 22 degrees. The casing is all magnesium, which is a first for a computer, making the Surface weigh in at 1.5 pounds. Oh, and it's also got a 10.6-inch display, so it's here to compete with the big boys. As you'd expect, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are present, as is a built-in kickstand, Gorilla Glass, and an amazingly thin 3mm cover that also doubles as a keyboard for touch typing.
Surface will be available in the model we just detailed, as well as a Pro model that supports a higher resolution display. It's got the same chassis, same kickstand, and supports the same accessories, but this model wuns full Windows 8 Pro rather than just Windows RT. It also supports digital ink by way of a stylus. When the Surface detects the pen, it stops accepting touch input, making it easy to write on. The upgraded model also has a DisplayPort, allowing you to plug it in to a larger monitor, this giving you the regular, full PC experience.
Microsoft has just revealed some major changes as it pertains to the user interface of Windows 8. Gone is the popular Aero Glass theme that shipped with Windows Vista and Windows 7. It's being replaced with a flatter design that seems to match the boxy shapes that we've been seeing on the Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and the Windows RT Metro UI. It does seem to make sense, although we always thought that Aero Glass was certainly visually appealing. Microsoft says it's confident that users will find the new UI less distracting.
Within the same announcement, the company takes you back in time with a tour through various Windows interfaces, starting with the original Windows 1. Good stuff.
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If you've been patiently awaiting the arrival of Windows 8 tablets while staring at your iPad with evil eyes, listen up. Now you can test apps in, and play with, the Microsoft Metro interface right on your iPad. While that may sound awkwards--dirty, even--it's perfectly easy to do using the Win8 Metro Testbed app from Splashtop. With it, you can swipe to switch between apps, access the Charms menu, and all the other stuff you'll be able to do within the confines of a Windows 8 tablet Metro interface. You can find the app in the iTunes App Store, where it costs $24.99 for a limited time. Afterwards, it'll be bumped up to $49.99, doubling in price. You need a PC running the Windows 8 beta for the app to work. Check out a video demo after the break.
Normally at this time of the year, I predict tech trends for the New Year. As I think about 2012, I realize that over the next 12 months, the personal computing and consumer electronics industries are poised to see some big disruptions that could change their course for the next five years.
In fact, I believe that when we end 2012, we will look back and realize that it was the most disruptive year we will have had in personal computing in over a decade. In the next 12 months, the market for personal computers of all shapes and sizes will have changed dramatically.
So, what will be the major forces that could reshape the PC business in 2012? There are four technologies and trends in the works that I believe will force the computer industry in a new direction.
The first will be Intel's huge push to make ultraportables 40 percent of its laptop mix by the end of 2012. Although I don't believe it will achieve that goal, especially if ultrabooks are priced above $899, the fact is that ultrabooks are the future of portable computing. Instead of thin and light laptops driving the market as they are now, ultrabooks, which are thinner and lighter, with SSDs and longer battery life, will eventually be what all laptops will look like in five years. The heavier and more powerful laptops that exist now won't go away completely since there are power users who will still need that kind of processing power. But ultrabooks will be the laptops of the future and 2012 will be the first year of their major push to change the portable computing landscape.
There is an interesting twist with ultraportables that could be even more important starting next year: the introduction of ultraportables with detachable screens that turn into tablets. In the past, this hybrid, as it is called, ran Windows when in laptop mode and Android when in tablet mode. But this approach was dead in the water from the start. With Windows 8 tablets ready to hit the market next fall, you will see ultraportables with detachable screens that will run Windows 8 with the Metro UI both on the laptop and in tablet mode. This will bring a level of OS consistency across both device modes and I think that this concept is a sleeper. In fact, if done right, this alone could reshape the traditional PC market in the near term.
Microsoft has officially launched the Windows 8 Developer Preview at its BUILD conference this morning, with the download actually becoming available later this week in the new Windows Dev Center, but if you're at BUILD, you'll get your copy there. In addition, they've also announced the Windows Store - yep, it's pretty much like the Mac App Store, but, for Windows. The store will include Metro-style apps (think Windows Phone 7 UI) as well as the more traditional Windows apps that you're used to. We'll be going hands-on with the Windows 8 Developer Preview in just a bit, and will report back with our thoughts!