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Microsoft unveils "Windows 8"

SAN FRANCISCO (Xinhua) -- Microsoft on Wednesday gave a preview of its next-generation operating system code-named "Windows 8."

The software giant introduced the successor to Windows 7 at the ninth edition of The Wall Street Journal's Digital: All Things Digital in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, some 48 km south of Los Angeles.

With an interface quite different from legacy Windows, Windows 8 looks more like Windows Phone 7 and features an app management from Windows mobile operating system. It is the first major attempt by Microsoft to expand a mobile operating system to desktop status, and is expected to be touch-friendly and work seamlessly on desktops, laptops and tablet computers.

For legacy Windows users, they need to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to get to the Windows 7-based view. Microsoft said the new system will be compatible with all Windows 7 logo PCs, software and peripherals.

During the demonstration, Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's head of Windows, also said the importance of not abandoning the established technologies from the traditional PC. "The mouse and the keyboard aren't evil. They're just tools. There are a number of applications that require the greater precision offered by the mouse." said Sinofsky.

Sinofsky did not say when Windows 8 would be available.

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Although there are some tablets running Microsoft's current Windows 7 operating system, the software giant has been criticized for failing to adequately respond to the fast growth of tablet computers, like Apple's iPad.

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