Release is set for early 2012 according to MS.
Win8 is being built to meet demands driven by the tablet evolution, with a look and feel like
Windows Phone 7 or other popular portable tablet touch screen interfaces.
It has “Tailored Apps” designed specifically work in a WEB environment – written in HTML5, Java Script and CSS. These apps work on current PC HW as well, making the OS and its apps capable of switching HW platforms or interacting with different platforms. The PC can still run Win8 using the “tablet” view, without having a touch screen. The user would simply use the page up/down commands to simulate a “swipe”
A major innovation for this OS is that it is a true multi-tasking platform, you can watch a video, and bring up an excel spreadsheet or email to work on at the same time. This is in part due to new innovation with HW manufacturers that off-load hi-capacity tasks from processors to embedded workload specific HW components.
Win8 is also upposed to introduce Internet Explorer 10 too! IE 10 is designed specifically f0r touch screens and tablets and of course, runs FLASH unlike a major competitor.
Note that users will be able to easily switch between the “touch /tablet” view to the standard traditional PC view at any time or mix the views on demand.
Win8 keeps the same system requirements as needed for Win7 or lower – so most recent PC/Laptop investments should have no issues with Win8 transition.
This as a major event for corporations who have or are in the process of upgrading to Win7. As mentioned at the start, Win8 appears to be bringing the OS up to users expectations for the tablet market. Win8 systems should be compatible with Win7 for most corporate requirements.