Microsoft previews Windows 8
Microsoft offers a preview of the new functions they are bringing to the latest version of the Windows operating system.
Microsoft has offered its most extensive preview so far of the forthcoming Windows 8 operating system.
The new designs are heavily influenced by Windows Phone, with 'tiles' on a new homescreen that the company hopes will be useful for both tablets and traditional PC setups.
Steven Sinofsky, President of the Windows Division of Microsoft, said that although the new operating system should be equally at home on very different platforms, it was important that it was also "no compromise".
Bridging the gap between mobile and PC, Windows 8 will support both HTML apps, similar to the apps available on smartphones, and also the traditional applications that are familiar to users of Windows 7.
Details on more precise specifications and when the new software will ship are, however, not yet known.
Microsoft has said that the new version of Windows will be less processor-hungry than Windows 7, and that more details will be revealed at a September developers conference.
Writing on the Windows blog, Julie Larson-Green said that Windows 8 was "reimagining" the 25-year-old operating system.
She highlighted the new interface, touch optimisation, the ability to size two apps neatly on a single screen and the speed of switching between apps.
Some bloggers, including the influential John Gruber, claimed that Microsoft's bid to use one OS for both tablets and PCs was a mistake, while others praised the software giant's genuinely novel approach.