Developers get early taste of Windows 8

Updated: 2011-09-14 11:00


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Developers get early taste of Windows 8

A Reuters reporter runs through a new test Microsoft Windows tablet running a version of its touch-enabled Windows 8, expected to be released in 2012, at the Build conference in Anaheim, California September 13, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Microsoft Corp handed out 5,000 sleek Samsung tablet computers running a test version of Windows 8 at its annual developer conference on Tuesday, hoping to stoke excitement over its new operating system.

Developers get early taste of Windows 8
The devices, powered by Intel Corp i5 chips, are the first chance for people outside Microsoft to play with Windows 8, the temporary code name for its next software system that includes features tailored for touchscreens and tablets. The company is betting the new system will stem the tide of consumers switching to Apple Inc's iPad.

Microsoft, whose software still runs more than 90 percent of personal computers, needs the new system to appeal to developers in the hope that they will create thousands of applications to attract users.

At the same time, it needs to lure a younger, tech-savvy audience and halt the march of Apple devices into Microsoft's business market, analysts said.

"Kids today are seeing more Apple logos than Microsoft logos, and Microsoft needs to change that if they are going to continue being the force that they have been," said Michael Silver, an analyst at tech research firm Gartner, who was attending the developer conference.

"If you look at where Apple is successful, it's from consumers who have more power to bring in what they use at home to the business," Silver said. "That's important for Microsoft to go after, to get this fixed."

Tablet makers are expected to start selling products with Windows 8 by the middle of next year at the earliest.

The giant U.S. software company also hopes to woo an applications development community that has already taken to Google's Android and Apple, by making the process of building apps in a variety of computer languages simpler.

Developers worldwide can download a preview of Windows 8 from Microsoft beginning Tuesday evening (at ).

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