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Tech Beat: Microsoft gets bold with new Windows 8 design
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It appears as if PCs as you know them are about to forever change, thanks to the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.
Gone will be the start menu. Gone will be double-clicking applications to open them. Gone will be just about everything you've grown used to on a Windows PC. Replacing it? Just about everything you've grown used to when operating your smartphone or tablet.
To help make this all happen, dozens of devices with touch screens from just about every big-time manufacturer are launching alongside Windows 8, from desktop PCs to laptops to tablets to the largest new category, called "convertibles."
"Are these new designs PCs? Yes. Are these new designs tablets also? Yes," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said. "Some of them flip. Some of them dock. Some of them convert. Some of them attach."
Though it's designed to be swiped and poked, the new operating system will work on current non-touch-screen PCs via your mouse. There is also a pre-loaded app that returns you to the old school way of doing things, if that's what you prefer.
Microsoft has said for years that it wanted to make computers easier to use and many would probably agree that allowing users to just touch what they want to do accomplishes that.
Windows 8 is available now as a download via Microsoft.com for $40. As for the new, touch-screen devices, Microsoft said pricing on some of those will start at less than $300.