Since Windows 7, Microsoft's been busily honing the interface for Windows tablets, which uses a bold bunch of squares and rectangles in flat neon colors and has been christened "Metro." Windows 8--undoubtedly the biggest change to the operating system in a few generations--finally brings Metro to the desktop. So how does it work with a keyboard and mouse?
Apple just announced the next version of Mac OS X, the operating system that runs on all Mac computers. It'll be called Mountain Lion, it'll come out this summer for an unspecified price, and it'll be chock full of the same apps you use on your iPhone and iPad. It's one more stop on the way to Apple's Ultimate Plan for Gadget Dominance (not an official title.): the convergence of Mac OS and iOS, which began in earnest with the current version, Lion.
HP has spent the last year or so, as the new owner of the WebOS mobile operating system, alternately making arbitrary decisions about the platform's future and making sure to not release any nice hardware for it. After the company ignominiously shut down WebOS for good this summer, we thought that was it for the best smartphone platform nobody used--but today, HP surprised us with an announcement that WebOS will be going open-source.
Today, in an almost insultingly brief statement in the middle of a press release about something else entirely, HP killed off its most recent acquisition, and perhaps its most beloved platform: WebOS, the mobile OS designed by the scrappy gurus at Palm. It's a bitter, inconsequential end for an OS that in its own way paved as much ground as the iPhone, and that even in its current decrepit state is a damn fine platform. WebOS, you deserved better.
Yesterday evening, Microsoft gave us our first glimpse at the next version of Windows. The world's most popular operating system is due for its biggest overhaul in decades. Designed as a one-size-fits-all OS, Microsoft wants Windows 8 to be used in both tablets and desktops--and rather than split the difference, they simply added a new, Windows-Phone-7-like tablet interface right next to the traditional keyboard and mouse interface.