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Microsoft unveils Windows 8

The new software will work equally well on tablets and computers

After months of anticipation Microsoft has finally unveiled a preview of the brand new Windows 8.

Attendees at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona were shown the new software but assured that it was a 'consumer preview' and not the finished product.

The software has been designed to work just as well on tablets as on traditional desktops and as a result comes with an entirely new interface.

Following on from the success of Windows 7, which sold 525 million copies worldwide, Microsoft has decided to do away with the start button on the new platform.

Instead the start option has been replaced with an entirely interactive homescreen interface, called Metro, which was heavily based on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.

"With Windows 8, we re-imagined the different ways people interact with their PC and how to make everything feel like a natural extension of the device, whether using a Windows 8 tablet, laptop or all-in-one," said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft in a statement.

"The Windows 8 Consumer Preview brings a no-compromises approach to using your PC."

He explained that the move was a "generational" change.

Earlier this month, speculation over the new interactive interface of Windows 8 prompted some ultrabook manufacturers to consider touchscreen technology.

According to DigiTimes, Lenovo, Asustek Computer and Acer has already begun work on redesigns that would make touchscreens possible.

In most cases this will involve a change to the hinge so that the slimline notebooks can enhance the functionality of the screens without increasing weight.

"Notebook hinge makers pointed out that with the existing clamshell designs of ultrabooks, the panel could easily move around while users are operating through a touchscreen, but if they strengthen the hinge's torque, it could easily flip up the bottom part of the notebook," the magazine explained.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801306635-ADNFCR