Software giant Microsoft on Thursday introduced its much-awaited Windows 8 operating system in India, raising ground for stiff competition from Apple and Google in the computing segment.
The all-new revamped version of Microsoft's flagship operating system was announced at an event in Delhi, hours ahead of its scheduled launch in the US.
"With the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft is unveiling a reimagined Windows to the world," said Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. "Whether you want a tablet or a PC, whether you want to consume or create, whether you want to work or play - Windows 8 delivers a personalized experience that fits your unique style and needs."
Starting Friday, Indian consumers can get access to the latest version of Windows OS on many platforms including PCs, ultra books, tablets and hybrid devices.
Customers who use Windows OS can upgrade to the latest version through an online download that will cost ₹1,999. The upgrade can also take place using a specific DVD which will cost ₹3,499. Customers who own a PC running on Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 can update their OS for ₹699.
In India, Microsoft will launch 250 OS enabled devices through a partnership with dealers across 100 cities. The Windows 8-based PCS and tablets will be available in the country through manufacturers like Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HCL, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Lenovo, RP Infosystems, Sai Info System, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Wipro and Zenith Computers.
"At Sony we believe that the next big revolution in the technological world is the holistic convergence of innovation, synergy and connectivity, packed in a single device. An upgradation to Windows 8 offers not only this, but portability speed and ease in utilization of various processes in a single device," Kenichiro Hibi, Managing Director of Sony India, said according to First Post.
Revamped OS at a glance
As soon as Microsoft sounded the launch of Windows 8, persistent rumours surrounding the latest version turned out to be mostly true. The question on whether the new OS lived up to the reports is yet to be addressed.
Windows 8 will be available in two versions - Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.
Microsoft stated in a press statement: "Windows 8 will be available in two versions at retail, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. And for our business customers who have signed up for software assurance, Windows 8 Enterprise offers new possibilities in mobile productivity with features like Windows To Go, DirectAccess, and BranchCache, as well as enhanced end-to-end security with features including BitLocker and AppLocker. Launching at the same time is a new member of the Windows family designed for ARM-based tablets, Windows RT, which will be available pre-installed on new devices."
The OS gets a new look with rectangular tile clusters. All the applications in use have been split into different tiles which can be dragged to change positions. The applications will get constant updates even when they are not in use. Microsoft also introduced touch-ready Internet Explorer 10.The OS comes without a start button. The user can get the start menu as soon as they log in.
Windows 8 will provide users with picture passwords for their OS, enabling them to access the OS only by touching the picture in a certain way. The new version supports ARM processors.
Application Market place
Windows 8 Application Market place will enable users to download digital copies of programs. It was reported that the company has few developers to create programs for the Windows 8 store. Should the report turn out true, then Windows 8 will have support for only few apps.