Microsoft took to the stage in New York today to discuss the next version of its desktop-slash-tablet operating system, Windows 8, as well as its Surface tablet. Just as we did for the Apple event earlier this week, we’ve collected all of the pertinent information below.
Windows by the numbers:
- Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky started the day off by talking about Windows and its evolution from an operating system that ran on 15″ CRT monitors with no network connection to the always-connected, “more sleek, more powerful, and vastly more mobile” computers of today.
- Windows 7, the company’s best-selling operating system to date, is used by over a billion people, Sinofsky said.
- 670 million businesses and consumers have licensed Windows 7.
- 16 million people installed the pre-release version of Windows 8.
- Citing “analysts,” Microsoft said that some 400 million PCs will be sold during the next quarter, “most of which” will run Windows.
- The company didn’t stop with just Windows; it also trotted out some numbers concerning its services, especially SkyDrive.
- According to Microsoft, 200 million customers are using SkyDrive to store 11 million photos, 550 million documents, and 14 petabytes of data. Another 2 petabytes of data are added to the service each month.
Windows 8 and the Windows Store:
- In an effort to promote transparency, Microsoft wrote 650 pages of blog posts outlining the development behind its new operating system.
- Windows 8 was tested in 190 countries, with the total amount of time spent in the operating system amounting to 1.24 billion hours.
- 1,000 devices have already been Windows 8 certified
- The Windows Store, Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s App Store, will operate in 231 countries and 109 languages.
- According to Microsoft, the Windows Store will be launching with “more apps than any competing app store had at its opening.”
- Windows 8 will be available at 12:01 am tomorrow, and the upgrade (for users coming from Windows XP, Vista, or 7) will cost $39
- Microsoft’s Panos Panay took a “show, don’t tell” approach to demonstrating the Surface tablet. Panay dropped the tablet on stage, handed a few of the devices out to the audience, and said that the entire presentation was being run via Surface tablets (and an Xbox).
- Surface sports a 10.6″ display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and was built with “ClearType” technology, which the company says improves the contrast ratio.
- The tablet will ship with USB ports, a microSD slot, and 2×2 MIMO antennas, which are said to improve the device’s wireless reception. (Amazon’s Kindle Fire also shipped with these MIMO antennas.)
- According to Panay, Surface can be dropped in 72 different orientations without causing significant harm to the device.
- Surface (and Windows 8) will be compatible with some 420 million peripherals – think keyboards, mice, and bluetooth accessories – at launch.
- Microsoft is selling the 32 gigabyte version of the Surface for $499 (cheaper than “a competitor’s tablet”). Users will also be able to purchase the TouchCover and the TypeCover for $120 and $140, respectively, or choose to buy the TouchCover at the same time as the Surface and get a $20 discount.
- Surface goes on sale tonight at midnight, but Microsoft will also be selling some models in Times Square at 10pm.
Reviews of the Surface:
Because the embargo time for Surface reviews has already lifted, several outlets have already published their thoughts on Microsoft’s newest device. Here are a few: