Look Out, iPad: Windows 8 a Contender
But a lot can happen in a year, note reviewers
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2011 10:00 AM CDT
Steven Sinofsky, president of Windows and Windows Live, gives the keynote address and a preview of Windows 8 at the Microsoft Build Windows conference in Anaheim, Calif, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011.   (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Mark Rightmire)

(Newser) – Microsoft has skirted the problem it ran into three years ago, when its preview of Windows 7 was leaked to the general public, by "leaking" Windows 8—which will ultimately power PCs and iPad-rivaling tablets—itself. The preview of the operating system, first aired at a conference yesterday, was posted online last night and is available to anyone who wants to download it, ComputerWorld reports. Prefer to have reactions spoon-fed to you by others? A sampling:

  • In the San Francisco Chronicle, James Temple notes that the sneak peek is promising, but reminds readers that Windows 8 is still a year away from market. The OS is heftier than the iPad's "diet operating system," but Temple wonders what that means for "things like battery life and the overall complexity of the tablet experience. ... Microsoft doesn't exactly earn wide praise for getting things right with the first versions of major upgrades. So the real test will come down to execution."
  • "It looks smashing," writes James Kendrick on ZDNet, but he agrees that time will tell. "The competition in the tablet space already has a lead of a few years on Microsoft, and that lead will be even bigger when Windows 8 hits the market."
  • In PC World, Melissa J. Perenson writes that the OS looks like it's a contender—and will certainly cause the "tablet wars" to heat up—but much work lies ahead for Microsoft to truly compete with Apple and Google. Even so, "with Windows 8, Windows gets its whiz-bang back—and does so through touch-friendly design aesthetics that will appeal to mobile-phone-influenced consumer tastes."