Windows 8 Is Better Than We Thought It Would Be

windows 8 launch event and presentation

Photo: Kevin Smith/Business Insider

Microsoft publicly unveiled Windows 8 today in New York City.We got a chance to attend the keynote and were surprised to find that Microsoft is well positioned for the future.

With a slew of various tablets, laptops that convert into tablets, desktop PCs, Ultrabooks and more.

There are dozens and dozens of different types of computing devices running Windows 8 – even a desktop that doesn’t have to be plugged in.

We were particularly amazed at how Windows 8 multitasks. You can adjust the desktop to play a movie and browse the Internet at the same time, seamlessly. 

At the keynote, Windows boss Steven Sinofsky gave attendees an overview of Windows 8. Execs Mike Angiulo and Julie Larson-Green gave a hands on demo of the software and hardware. The software seems easy and intuitive, making us all the more excited about testing out the OS ourselves.

The keynote was closed out by CEO Steve Ballmer, who was extremely excited about the launch calling it just the beginning for the software giant.

Microsoft's Windows 8 launch event was held in New York City at Pier 57 in Chelsea.

Windows 8 signs were all over the place.

Soon we were ushered into a huge room and waited for Microsoft to present Windows 8.

Steven Sinofsky, head of Microsoft's Windows unit, opened up the presentation.

Sinofsky walked us through the transformation of Windows. With Windows 95, we had no internet, email or smartphones. Do you remember that world?

Today with Windows 8, the PC landscape has changed. We're always connected and there is a mix of work and play.

The Windows 8 RT experience is a huge step away from what we were used to with Windows 7.

Microsoft believes that with Windows 8, it really has the Best PCs ever. There is so much variety that it's almost impossible for at least a few products not to stick.

Today also marked the grand opening of the Windows Store. No, not the retail store, but Microsoft's Windows App store.

Windows RT is specifically made for ARM based machines, like tablets. RT is made to optimise battery life and runs new apps from the Windows Store. The OS works with 420,000,000 devices!

Once Sinofsky was done going over Windows 8, execs Mike Angiulo and Julie Larson-Green demoed various Windows 8 devices.

The OSes are very customisable. It was interesting to see how the OS functioned on a tablet versus an Ultrabook. We really like how multitasking works throughout the system.

For users who want a traditional Windows experience you can get the taskbar, start menu, and desktop back. The two interfaces transition seamlessly.

The diversity of machines opens up the OS and makes it usable by anyone.

There are already a lot of popular apps available, making the OS fun but also functional. We were surprised to find that Microsoft has employed some big developers to create unique apps for Windows 8.

Microsoft Office 2013 comes with Windows RT.

The Surface and Vivo Tab RT are two flagship Windows 8 tablets that really help the OS to shine.

Windows Phone 8 is integrated into the OS as well, along with Xbox.

Once Angiulo and Larson-Green were done, Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer came out!

Ballmer explained how all of Microsoft's products now work seamlessly within Windows 8.

Microsoft sees the launch of Windows 8 as just the beginning. There are a ton of PCs that will be upgraded or purchased brand new. Developer opportunity is also huge for Microsoft because apps are what make the devices personal.

Microsoft emphasised its partnerships with hardware makers. There are a lot of options to choose from.

There are a plethora of different products compatible with Windows 8. These devices range from tablets, convertibles, Ultrabooks, desktop all-in-ones, and more.

After the presentation we got to see some of the devices in person. This one is a Dell touch screen notebook.

Here is an HP all-in-one that was on display. It was really fun to touch instead of point-and-click. The screens support gestures and multi-touch. Users that want a traditional experience can still use a mouse and keyboard if they wish.

This Samsung Series 5 is a 13-inch Ultrabook notebook.

The ASUS tablet was super light and portable.

This ASUS had an 11-inch screen, 320 GB hard drive, an Intel core i5 processor, and 4GB of memory.

The Acer Aspire S7391 was ridiculously thin and light.

This is Sony's convertible tablet, the screen slides up to reveal a keyboard. But you can get it out of the way when you don't need it.

The is the HP Envy X2. The X2 is essentially a tablet but can be docked into the keyboard accessory.

Now find out more about Windows 8 apps.

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