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Microsoft Windows 8 launched, updates for consumers start at $39.99

Microsoft Windows 8 launched
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Microsoft Windows 8 launched

Text courtesy: Agencies

Microsoft said its "reimagined" Windows 8 will launch in 37 languages and 140 worldwide markets, as the tech giant unveiled the new version of its computer operating system.

"We have reimagined Windows and the result is a stunning lineup of new PCs," said Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer in announcing the new system of Windows designed to help the transition to growing mobile Internet use.

Also SEE: Full Coverage: Microsoft Windows 8 | How Microsoft's Surface compares to Apple's iPad

Also Read: Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad | Microsoft Surface: iPad challenger?

The updates start at $39.99 for consumers
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The updates start at $39.99 for consumers

At an event, Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows division announced the ability of Windows users to upgrade to Windows 8 online and in the store. The updates start at $39.99 for consumers.

Sinofsky claims that Windows 8 has a better battery life, , faster boot time, smaller memory footprint, strong work with partners, and compatibility with Windows 7 hardware and software.

Also SEE: Full Coverage: Microsoft Windows 8 | How Microsoft's Surface compares to Apple's iPad

Also Read: Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad | Microsoft Surface: iPad challenger?

Windows 8 is designed to work with mouse and keyboard, as well as touch
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Windows 8 is designed to work with mouse and keyboard, as well as touch

“Windows 8 is designed to work with mouse and keyboard, as well as touch. That's the big selling point of the new OS,” he said.

“The potential market for Windows is the largest of any platform,” he added.

“You will see fully capable PCs for Windows 8 for under $300,” Sinofsky said.

The software giant has gambled by changing long familiar user interface features to make Windows 8 compatible with trends toward keeping programs and data in the Internet "cloud" and relying on mobile gadgets at work and at home.

Also SEE: Full Coverage: Microsoft Windows 8 | How Microsoft's Surface compares to Apple's iPad

Also Read: Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad | Microsoft Surface: iPad challenger?

Windows 8 will support a wide range of devices
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Windows 8 will support a wide range of devices

Windows 8 will support a wide range of devices, including touch- and stylus-based smartphones and tablet PCs as well as desktop and laptop machines.

Instead of the familiar Start menu and icons, Windows 8 displays applications as a colorful array of tiles, which can feature updated information from the applications.

Also SEE: Full Coverage: Microsoft Windows 8 | How Microsoft's Surface compares to Apple's iPad

Also Read: Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad | Microsoft Surface: iPad challenger?

The tiles are big and easy to hit with a finger
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The tiles are big and easy to hit with a finger

The tiles are big and easy to hit with a finger - convenient for a touch screen. Applications fill the whole screen by default - convenient for a tablet screen, which is usually smaller than a PC's. The little buttons that surround Windows 7 applications, for functions like controlling the speaker volume, are hidden, giving a clean, uncluttered view. When you need those little buttons, you can bring them out, but users have to figure out on their own how to do it.

Also SEE: Full Coverage: Microsoft Windows 8 | How Microsoft's Surface compares to Apple's iPad

Also Read: Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad | Microsoft Surface: iPad challenger?

Windows 8 is the biggest revision of Microsoft's OS
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Windows 8 is the biggest revision of Microsoft's OS

Windows 8 is the biggest revision of Microsoft Corp's operating system since it introduced Windows 95 amid great fanfare 17 years ago.

Windows remains the dominant platform for personal computers, but it has lost ground to Apple and Google in newer devices which use rival operating systems.

Also SEE: Full Coverage: Microsoft Windows 8 | How Microsoft's Surface compares to Apple's iPad

Also Read: Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad | Microsoft Surface: iPad challenger?

The reimagined Windows
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The reimagined Windows

Meanwhile, most analysts believe companies and governments will hold off on upgrading to Windows 8 for at least another year.

About half of business users still haven't upgraded to Windows 7 from Windows XP, which came out in 2001.

Also SEE: Full Coverage: Microsoft Windows 8 | How Microsoft's Surface compares to Apple's iPad

Also Read: Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad | Microsoft Surface: iPad challenger?

Windows remains the dominant platform
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Windows remains the dominant platform

XP also marked the last time Microsoft had a huge launch campaign for Windows. Microsoft also came to New York then, holding an event at a Times Square hotel. Releases of Windows Vista and 7 since then have been more subdued.

Also SEE: Full Coverage: Microsoft Windows 8 | How Microsoft's Surface compares to Apple's iPad

Also Read: Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad | Microsoft Surface: iPad challenger?

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