Details about Windows 8, Microsoft's newest operating system expected in 2012, have been leaking out thanks largely to Microsoft previews and a stream of blog posts on the company's Building Windows 8 blog.
The new OS is said to be Microsoft's biggest Windows refresh since Windows 95, when desktop PCs reigned supreme and most laptops cost nearly $3000. Now, Microsoft wants to update Windows for a consumer technology world that is obsessed with online services and touch-centric devices such as the iPad and Android smartphones.
ARM and Intel
Windows 8's touch-centric interface may give traditional mouse-and-keyboard desktop fans the chills, but the new UI could help Microsoft compete in the tablet arena. Starting with Windows 8, Microsoft will design its operating system to work not only with Intel's x86 chip architecture, but also with ARM processors. ARM chips are very popular in the mobile device market and should help Microsoft's partners put Windows 8 on a range of so-called post-PC devices such as tablets.