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Microsoft highlights Surface at Windows 8 launch

posted 26 Oct 2012, 08:13 by Mpelembe   [ updated 26 Oct 2012, 08:14 ]

Microsoft highlight its soon-to-be released Surface tablet at Windows 8 launch in Hong Kong,

 HONG KONGCHINA (OCTOBER 26, 2012) (REUTERS) -  Microsoft Corp launched Windows 8 in Hong Kong on Friday (October 26), to around 100 journalists while also displaying its soon-to-be released Surface tablet.

On show were a range of devices running Windows 8 from PC makers such as Lenovo Group Ltd to Acer Inc.

Attracting most attention though was the first computer Microsoft has made itself, its Surface tablet.

Microsoft is hoping the sleek new device, which will be available in Hong Kong in early November, will compete against Apple and Google in the exploding mobile computing market.

"It is a software that supports all these new computers coming into the market today. So it will support different types of computers, from ultrabooks, an all-in-one convertible type of computer, touch devices, as well as tablets. So basically there are multiple different types of models coming to the market and then for the individual consumer you can choose whatever kind of device fits your needs," Microsoft'sHong Kong Marketing and Operations director Joelle Woo said.

Windows 7 was introduced three years ago, but Windows 8 represents the biggest change in Microsoft's user interface since Windows 95 came out 17 years ago.

"From the design point of view all the tiles that we have, all the applications that we have, are based on a live tile design. The beauty of it is that you don't need to enter into the application, to launch the application but you can know what's going on. Say for example if it is a weather forecast application, the weather news will push to your live tile. So you have only the front page you know everything, from like, stock market trends, to the weather, to your friends' news, etc. So you can have everything on your fingertips," Woo went on to say.

The radical redesign, which dispenses with the Start button and features square tiles for apps, is built on the base of Windows 7, Microsoft's best-selling software that recently passed 670 million license sales.

"And the beauty of it is that it combines you know all the supporting functions to a consumer need, that you can play around all those applications games etc. And at the same time allow you to use the same machine that you can support your work environment, like the integration with office, you can do your work, create a document. So by carrying just one machine, you can do everything," said Woo.

Microsoft is offering several versions of the new system.

The basic Windows 8, the full Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise for large organizations will all run on traditional PCs, laptops and new tablets using Intel Corp chips.

Windows RT is a new version of Windows that will be pre-installed on its Surface tablet and other devices using low-power chips designed by ARM Holdings Plc.

With interest in traditional computers waning, the world's largest software company is attempting to reinvent the Windows PC in a new format and directly challenge Apple's all-conquering iPad.

Investors were uncertain about the prospects for Windows 8, but many feel a solid launch could help Microsoft's stock, which has languished between $20 (£12.42) and $30 (£18.63) for much of the last decade.

Apple's shares have outperformed Microsoft's over the past 10 years and its market value is more than double Microsoft's. Microsoft shares closed at $27.88 (£17.33) on Thursday, while Apple shares closed at $609.53 (£378.70).