Microsoft introduces Windows 8 (!) at CES 2011

Okay before all you Windows fanboys pee in your pants, Apple fanboys scoff at Microsoft’s next failure, and Linux fanboys hammer out a wordy condemnation of closed-source software, let me say this: The title of this article is a little bit very misleading. Microsoft didn’t actually introduce a fully functional Windows 8, nor did they even call it Windows 8. Rather, at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011, Microsoft showed off the “future version of Windows” with the “current Windows [Windows 7] user interface” demonstrating Windows 8′s “system on chip” capabilities. Confused? A video is worth ten thousand words:

(Note: The above video is an eight minute clip I extracted out of Microsoft’s hour long keynote speech.)

So what does this all mean (aside from the fact that Steve Ballmer apparently has an appreciation for beautiful hardware)? What is all this “system on chip” mumbo jumbo? Without going into too many technical details, it means Apple smartphones and tablets are going to take over the world.

/Discuss in the comments below. /Party, /laugh, and /scoff are allowed, too. No /spitting, though, please.

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19 comments

  1. Mags

    I’m having a slow day (which is rare) so thought I’d add a bit of M$ humour here.

    Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.

    The box said ‘Requires Windows Vista or better’. So I installed LINUX.

    Microsoft: “You’ve got questions. We’ve got dancing paperclips.”

    Source: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/55-geeky-line-jokes/

  2. Dennis F.

    I’m impressed, but wish I had more gadgets, but then I probably will by the time Win 8 launches. It looks like the driver problems with Win 7 will be a thing of the past. I also don’t care when it finally is released. Just get it right. Yes, the video was smooth (Iron Man), but then was it streaming over the Internet? I am very pleased with Win 7 as so far it has done everything I’ve asked it to. I’m running a $1,500 DIY machine with an Intel chip. I can’t imagine Apple doing any better, especially at that price.

  3. Wojo

    I’m excited about Active Directory integration with tablets, phones, and main servers and workstations. Not to mention the group policy advantages for all of those devices.

    Sorry everyone, my consulting side got a little Giddy.

  4. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    /Discuss in the comments below. /Party, /laugh, and /scoff are allowed, too. No /spitting, though, please.

    Come on out of the 500+ people who have viewed this article already, did no one get the World of Warcraft references?!

  5. Samuel

    @Ashraf: True…but while I do agree odds are they will change it they never actually said they will yet.

    Of course an interesting thought is that ARM based windows will have to use less power…will that spill over to x86-x64 Windows?

  6. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Samuel: and @Ashraf: Plus my point wasn’t to say that Windows 8 interface will be drastically different. I just wanted to make it clear to people that what they see in the video is Windows 7 interface because it is quite confusing. :-D

  7. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Samuel: Yeah. Desktop Windows running ARM is the big takeaway here.

    @Samuel: They may not change it a lot but they definitely will change it. The interface in the video is Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be different; the question is how much different.

    @mukhi: I wonder how NVIDIA’s desktop GPUs (not Tegra) will play into all this.

  8. Samuel

    It means IE9 on WP7!

    OK, the BIG deal with this is running the desktop Windows client on ARM, since MS has had Windows Embedded (which includes Windows Mobile) for years which could run on ARM.

  9. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    Engadget has a more clear image of the command prompt that was shown in the video: http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/05/microsoft-confirms-arm-support-is-coming-in-windows-will-play-n/.

    Anyone else find it hilarious that the command prompt is still showing “Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation” even though it is updated to v6.2.7867 (Windows 7 is v6.1.7600). I am sure the copyright will be updated by the time Windows 8 is released but seeing that just tickled me.

    BTW Take note that in the video Windows 8 is shown using Windows 7 interface — that interface is not the Windows 8 interface.