Microsoft Launches Surface and Windows 8Dale Wright
Last Friday was the big day for Microsoft. It marked the release of its new operating system, Windows 8.
Windows 8 is more than just software for Microsoft. It marks a complete rethink of Windows, and also hails the release of Microsoft’s first custom built hardware, the Surface tablet. Windows 8 is designed to run on tablets and PCs, unlike Apple’s iOS and OS X which are compatible but vastly different.
Microsoft showed off its Surface tablet at an event in Times Square, New York. Alongside technical details, Panos Panay – the head of the Surface team – dropped a device from a height of around 4 feet to demonstrate how tough it is. That’s not the first time it’s been tested: Microsoft also turned the Surface into a skateboard for a publicity stunt.
However, there are allegations that public displays of excitement about Windows 8 may not have been entirely genuine. In Seattle, GeekWire recognised many of the people queueing for Windows 8 to be Microsoft employees and vendors. In London, the Currys PC World on Tottenham Court road opened at midnight on Friday, but it boosted the launch with massive £400 discounts off HP laptops; in New York, many people were said to be in line to grab a $100 coupon.
Elsewhere, reaction from users seems to be muted. A poll on the Telegraph website suggests that nearly 39 per cent of people aren’t interested in buying Surface, with a further 31.5 per cent saying they’d rather wait for Surface Pro.
In the US, AP and GfK surveyed 1,200 people and found that 52 per cent hadn’t heard of Windows 8 at all. Of the ones that had heard of it, 61 per cent said they wouldn’t buy a new Windows 8 PC. Research by Gartner suggests that 90 per cent of business users will steer clear of Windows 8 until 2014.
The Windows Phone 8, the final product in the new Microsoft range, will be launched tonight in San Francisco. Let’s hope that exciting new Windows phones from HTC, Samsung and Nokia help to create more of a buzz for Microsoft later today.
Have you splashed out on a Surface, a new Nokia Lumia or maybe the HTC 8X or 8S, let us know what you think about Windows 8 in the comments below…