Yesterday, before Microsoft revealed its latest operating system to developers at the BUILD conference, we suggested Windows 8 might wow the world, providing a real competitor to Apple's iPad dominance. And we were right. Or at least that's what early critics are saying, giving the new product rave reviews. "'Hello, Windows 8? This is iPad. You win,'" tweeted win Supersite editor Paul Thurrott. And Boy Genius Report's Zach Epstein titled his take "Sorry Apple, Windows 8 ushers in the post-post-PC era." Microsoft hasn't revealed when consumer products will make it to the masses--and things could change on both the Apple and Microsoft fronts--but the developer's preview has techies giddy. What about this system will make users forgo their Apple monikered tablets for a Windows product?
The start menu redefined. We fell in love with Windows for that little icon in the lower left hand corner that made computing less code-y and more intuitive. Apple presented its answer to Start, with its user-friendly OS and people eventually came. With Windows 8, Microsoft has decided to change things up again. Presenting: Tiles. "When you hit the Start screen, you see apps as tiles laid out in a grid. Goodbye, icons," explains Gizmodo's Mat Honan. You can navigate them with your fingers, a mouse, or the keyboard. They work like icons, but group information in a way that makes sense and is easy to navigate continues Honan. "You scroll sideways across tiles, which you can also organize into groups by themes—and because they are so large it's really easy to navigate around to what you want to do. Within individual apps, you can "pin" actions, creating new tiles."