New York – Microsoft at midnight today, after months of anticipation, officially launched Windows 8, the Surface tablet and Windows Phone 8.
The new operating system is the software giant’s strongest attempt to break into the tablet market and expand its presence in mobile phones.
The new OS has a complete different look than its predecessors, dropping the familiar desktop with its icons for a more touch-friendly appearance. Instead of icons, the desktop is covered in tiles that sweep aside; this allows the OS to be used just as readily on tablets, touchscreen laptops and all in-one PCs.
Every major and minor PC vendor introduced new models in anticipation of the Windows 8 launch as did the Internet security software firms.
Some of the most interesting new devices taking advantage of Windows 8 ability to run both a high-end PC and a tablet are the hybrid models by companies like Acer, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, Sony and Hewlett-Packard.
For complete coverage of all these launches, please see the following stories:
- HP Rolls Out Win 8 Ultrabook Line
- Toshiba Win 8 Launch Set
- Dell Unveils Windows 8 Lineup
- Asus Windows 8 Launch Unveiled
- Acer Debuts Combo Ultrabook/Tablet
- Lenovo Adds To IFA Offerings
- Sony Unveils Portable AIO, Hybrid Tablet
Symantec and Trend Micro have also upgraded their security software to be more compatible with Windows 8.
In addition, Symantec has released two free touch-friendly apps: Norton Satellite and Norton Studio. Satellite can spot issues on Facebook news feeds and Cloud storage sites like Dropbox. Studio acts as a central viewing area so users can check the security status of all their Norton-protected devices.
Tren Micro’s new apps are SafeGuard and Go Everywhere. SafeGuard is optimized for Windows 8 tablets and can check for malicious URLs on all the major search engines. Go Everywhere helps a tablet owner find a lost or stolen device using Google Maps.