First Look at Windows 8 Debut: MWC 2012

Microsoft created a big splash, not literally, as they hosted their launch on a covered pool at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona when they launched the consumer preview of the Windows 8.

During the almost 2-hour “show,” various Microsoft execs graced the stage, demonstrating the power of the new OS.

First up was Tami Reller, a Microsoft exec, who opened by telling people that half of them were sitting on top of the covered pool, followed by Windows President Steven Sinofsky, who said they’re all “super excited” to be there.  Sinofsky also tackled how the Windows 8 is drastically different from Windows 7, but the familiarity is still there.

Julie Larson-Green, who heads design and vision for Windows 8 and Antoine Leblond, the VP who has headed up the Windows Store that is built into Windows 8 did the actual product demo.

So what does the new OS offer?

Getting Things Started

Windows 8 offers various login options such as typing in your PIN, a photo login, or drawing your login into your photo, so you can be sure that keeping your files secured is both complex and quite fun.

How To Get There

Most that tried the new OS are all thinking the same thing: Windows 8 seemed to have been created for tablets.  Why?  Because the features of the new OS begs to be touched since it’s all about apps which Microsoft calls Tiles.

A hands on review from CNET stated that, “Windows 8 is all about the edges of the screen. You swipe in from the right edge to reveal the Windows 8 charms. These include the instantly-recognizable Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. The Start button returns you to the Start screen, which is what you see after you log in and where Microsoft expects most of your activity to take place. Once you’ve launched at least one app, you can swipe in from the left edge to return to the last-open app.”

“You can also perform a U-turn from the left edge. Swipe in a little bit, then swipe back to the edge, and instead of pulling forward the last app you used, you’ll get a sidebar of thumbnails of your last six apps. At the bottom left corner of the thumbnail bar is a thumbnail of the Start screen, providing another way to return “home.” So yes, the familiar Start “button” is hidden, but no, it’s not hard to get to. It takes about the same effort to get to the Start screen from either edge.”

“One of Windows 7’s better interface features was a split-screen view that you could initiate just by dragging one program’s Title Bar to the left or right side of the screen. This has been updated for Windows 8. When you drag an app from the left edge, if you drag it slowly and hold it near either the left or right edge, a vertical separation bar will appear. Once the bar shows up, release the app and it will “snap” to the edge. The screen will be split, with one-third for the app you just dragged over, and two-thirds for the previous app.”

But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work well when you use a mouse or a keyboard.  Things become easier with the use of external devices such as a mouse or a keyboard.  When you’re on the Start screen, looking for an app is as easy as typing the name of the app, no search bar needed, just type the app’s name and voila!  It’s there, right in front of you.  And the mouse makes it easier for you to navigate Windows 8 and explore all its beauty.

It’s All in the Store

And because Windows 8 is all about the apps, Microsoft also launched the Windows Store for Windows 8.  The store features apps for both ARM and x86 and it will automatically download the app appropriate for your device so you won’t have to guess which version you should download.

Apps already available for download are: MSNBC, Vimeo, Slacker Radio, Evernote,Hivemind, Wordament, Pirates Love Daisies, Train Titans, and Carmen Sandiego: Adventures in Math.

And because Windows 8 is all about making things simpler and organized, the apps in the store are grouped by type, making it easier for users to find what they are looking for.

Cloud Makes it Perfect

But the best part of Windows 8 might be its cloud integration since your Microsoft account can be used in any Windows 8 device and your account settings, even your Windows Store settings or the apps you’ve downloaded will be synced to the Windows 8 computer you are using.  So no more lost files to worry about.  But as we mentioned before, it won’t support PC-to-PC syncing without using the cloud.

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com