Microsoft Corp launched the latest iteration of its operating system (OS) Windows 8 on Thursday. The new version comes three years after the launch of Windows 7 and features radical changes to its interface. Microsoft has tried to make a touchscreen-friendly OS to keep up with the booming tablet market.
The new OS comes in three basic versions Windows 8,Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. Windows 8 is targeted at most users,the Pro version is for the enterprise segment and Windows RT is for tablets and devices running ARM processors.
While the company did not announce the price for Windows 8,XP and Windows 7 users will get the upgrade at a discount. The Pro version will be available for Rs 11,999.
Windows OS bought after June 2,2012,can be upgraded for Rs 699 while others can download Windows 8 for Rs 1,999. Microsoft customers looking for an upgrade DVD will have to shell out Rs 3,999.
The company said its 14 partners have launched as many as 250 different devices running Windows 8,which will be available in stores across India from Friday.
The company is expected to launch its mobile phone OS,Windows Phone 8,next week.
For the first time since the launch of Windows 95,Microsoft has launched an OS without the start button. In Windows 8,there is a start screen,which can be accessed by taking the cursor to any of the four corners on the display. Another new addition is the Windows store. Consumers can buy applications from the store. Apps can also be downloaded without using the store.
Microsoft is banking on the growth of touch devices to create a demand for hybrid devices like touchscreen laptops and tablets with keypads. Dell,Toshiba,Acer and Sony have launched such devices that will allow users to get the best of both worlds.
Microsoft says that Windows 8 devices can be used comfortably with mouse,keyboard or touch inputs.