Microsoft has released more details about its upcoming Windows 8 operating system at the All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
The company said that Windows 8 melds elements of the classic Windows interface with touch-screen designs to create a system that supports tablets, notebooks and desktop PCs.
The operating system will also sport a tile interface with Live Tiles and touch-screen web browsing functions.
"Although the new user interface is designed and optimised for touch, it works equally well with a mouse and keyboard," said Julie Larson-Green, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Windows Experience.
"Our approach means no compromises. You get to use whatever kind of device you prefer, with the peripherals you choose, to run the apps you love."
Microsoft has spent much of the year releasing small bits of information about Windows 8, which is slated for release in late 2012 and will be the first version designed for tablets.
Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps believes that Windows 8 tablets could make a strong showing in the market, pointing to recent research suggesting that consumers strongly prefer the prospect of Windows running on a tablet to Android.
"As it relates to tablets, a well-formed Windows 8 will pose serious problems to Android," she said. "What's more, Microsoft will have a product that can compete across devices, and a foothold in the post-PC future."
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