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Windows 8: Beyond touch

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Post by Peter Han, Vice President, Microsoft U.S. OEM Division.


There’s something to be said for new and exciting, with a touch of familiarity. For example, as a runner, I enjoy running the same trails. There’s something grounding and comforting knowing what each footstep will bring. Every now and again, however, adding a new component to my runs, such as a different running buddy, brings something fresh but in the context of something comfortable. It’s exactly how I feel about Windows 8 and its offering of both non-traditional features, like touch, and traditional features that rely on the mouse, keyboard, and other tools we know so well. They’re almost like second appendages to many of us.

Since the release of Windows 8 on a variety of new devices in October, it’s been the “new and exciting” that’s received the lion’s share of attention, and understandably. The operating system’s touch experience delivers a fluid and intuitive computing experience, and one that customers are increasingly excited about. Interestingly, though, partners have talked to me just as much about the non-touch features of Windows 8, and it’s clear that users are seeking the right balance of innovation and practicality in their solutions.image

But what’s practical about Windows 8 is anything but been-there-done-that. I urge you to continue to help customers understand that Windows 8 delivers greater advantages, including:

  • Battery life and mobility. Windows 8 devices are designed to optimize battery life, enabling users to take their devices on the go. In fact, Windows 8 has a 13 percent longer battery life compared to previous operating systems.
  • Keyboard and mouse usability. Windows 8 is loaded with keyboard and mouse shortcuts that will give more traditional PC users a streamlined experience.
  • Device compatibility. Windows 8 devices are designed to seamlessly integrate and communicate with each other, creating a smooth, cross-device user experience from PC to tablet to smartphone.
  • Efficiencies. With Windows 8, there’s a 36 percent faster boost time compared to previous operating systems, creating increased efficiencies that include enhanced performance and quicker connections.
  • Improved security. Windows 8 offers tremendous improvements for security, including BitLocker that allows encryption for data stored on Windows client and server platforms.

The OEM partners I’m working with are building form factors that cater to both touch and non-touch Windows 8 enthusiasts. In fact, some terrific examples of PCs that support Windows 8 are the Dell XPS 14, the HP Spectre XT 13 and the Samsung Series 9. Between the design of Windows 8 devices that bring to life the spectrum of functionality and computing experiences, and informing customers about Windows 8 touch and non-touch capabilities, our partner ecosystem has an incredible opportunity to bring something that’s both brand new and familiar to the businesses and individuals we sell to.

Below, I’ve provided you with some of my own frequently-used mouse/keyboard shortcuts. There is a more comprehensive list at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/mouse-keyboard-whats-new and a keyboard-specific list at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/new-keyboard-shortcuts.

imageAre you hearing as much about non-touch devices as touch when speaking with your customers? Now, you’re armed with the information to keep that sales conversation alive. Follow me on Twitter @PeterKHan and I encourage you to share your thoughts with me!



  • And is economy MSFT assumes people will opt to purchase a new PC to experience what Windows 8 has to offer?

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