Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Microsoft goes mobile with Windows 8

26 October 2012, 12:43

New York - Microsoft took a big step into mobile Thursday, unveiling a revamped version of its flagship Windows system and offering a closer look at Surface, its entry into the hot tablet market.

The new Windows 8 operating system and tablet to go on sale on Friday mark a new offensive for the US tech giant seeking to keep pace with Apple and Google amid a dramatic shift away from PCs to mobile devices.

"Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet," said Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer.

"What you have seen and heard should leave no doubt that Windows 8 shatters the perception of what a PC really is... It works perfect for work and play and it is alive with your world."

At a New York news event, Microsoft announced that Windows 8 would launch on Friday in 37 languages and 140 worldwide markets. It can be downloaded beginning at 12:01 local time worldwide and will be sold at retail stores.

Analysts say the revamped Windows system provides Microsoft with an opportunity, but that dramatic changes might not be initially welcomed.

"Windows 8 looks like a big, bold, very innovative and very different new operating system," said independent tech analyst Jeff Kagan.

"The problem is that Microsoft is not giving users the chance to get used to the new operating system slowly. Instead they are launching this in an all-or-nothing way."

Major changes

Rob Enderle of Enderle Group said: "Microsoft has been losing ground to both Google and Apple at an increasing pace and Windows 8 is their strongest response to date. If they miss here there will likely be major changes in Microsoft to adjust to that failure."

Microsoft is also launching a version called Windows RT, designed for tablets and available pre-installed on new devices including its own Surface tablet.

Surface is "the perfect expression of Windows," said Microsoft product team member Panos Panay. "It's exactly what Windows was designed to run on."

To show its durability, Panay dropped the device on stage, saying, "You can drop it 72 different ways." He also displayed some units modified as skateboards, with wheels attached, used by one team member.

Michael Gartenberg of the research firm Gartner said Surface "is a new category of device and one that will make sense for many consumers".

Surface, which seeks to challenge Apple's market-ruling iPads and rivals built on Google's Android software, will be among Windows-powered devices sold at Microsoft "pop up" stores to open on Friday in the United States and Canada.

The news comes two days after Apple introduced its iPad mini in a bid to crowd out lower-priced offerings by rivals Amazon, Google and Samsung.

Surface - a late entry in the market - has a 26.9cm screen and starts at $499, challenging the larger-format iPads.

Dominant PC platform

But Surface appears to be a cross between a tablet and a PC, equipped with a flip-out rear "kickstand" to prop it up like a picture frame and a cover that, when opened, acts as a keypad to switch into "desktop" mode for work tasks.

It launches in a crowded market for tablets from Apple, Google, Amazon and others, amid forecasts that global tablet sales will surpass those of PCs within a few years.

Some analysts say the Windows RT system used on Surface and other devices offers Microsoft a chance for a fresh start in controlling both hardware and software in a single device.

The new mobile system "represents the best shot Microsoft has against Apple and Google", said Roger Kay at Endpoint Technologies Associates. "WinRT is where things are going."

Windows, the first version of which was launched in the 1990s, remains the dominant PC platform with some 90% of the world market. But in the mobile world, it is struggling against Apple's iOS and Google's Android system.

Microsoft reported that pre-sales of Windows 8 have outstripped those of its predecessor by 40 percent.

The Redmond, Washington-based company next week will provide details on its new Windows Phone 8 operating system designed for its push into the smartphone market.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
China to help Kenya fight high le...

China observed that if left unchecked, corruption could see the country degenerate into lawlessness. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Signs that he is seeing someone e...

When a man wants to be with you, he will always create time to be with you. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Spat between DP Ruto and Boniface...

A close associate of the DP, Hon Njogu Barua made an alarming comment on live TV Tuesday morning. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Matatu driver who drugged, robbed...

The driver of a Nissan matatu who over the weekend drugged and robbed a female passenger in Nairobi has been charged. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Heavy police contingent deployed ...

More police officers were on Monday deployed at Likoni in Mombasa County in a security operation to nab members of the ‘Wakali Kwanza’ and ‘Mtalia’ criminal gangs who have been terrorizing locals in the area. Read more...