Windows is Microsoft’s main operating system and is currently one of the most popular platforms used by businesses and organisations all around the world. A large amount of press coverage has been trained on the upcoming release of Windows 8, which is expected to be available to the general public in late 2012. However, what has got people in a frenzy is an entirely new interface known by the name of Metro.

Metro is expected to bring big changes to the Windows platform that everybody knows and loves. These changes are outlined below, but it should be noted that these features were drawn from the preview release only. The final release could easily have additional changes.

Tablet Interface

Windows users won’t be able to spot many similarities in the interface of Windows 8, but people who use smartphones for their day-to-day activities will notice that the interface is similar to their smartphone interface. Tiles and boxes shaped like rectangles replace all of the old icons and folders that are traditionally associated with Windows.

As is clear, this interface is geared towards tablets. Users will be able to use touch screen capabilities to navigate around Windows 8, but at the same time it will still be able to be used with PCs with a mouse and keyboard.

Moving Around

Two things are not present in this new version of Windows. The ‘Start’ button has disappeared. By default it’s hidden from view until the mouse is moved to the bottom left of the screen. Once this is done it pops up out of nowhere.

The desktop has gone the same way as the ‘Start’ button as it’s now not visible unless the correct area is hovered over. It’s been transformed into an app tile and can be found on the main page of Metro. Just click on the tile and the classic desktop setting magically returns.

This move is very much towards Apple territory as hovering over different areas of the screen will bring up things like Devices and Search tools. These are called “Charms” in Microsoft lingo.

How Will Businesses Use It?

Small businesses will have to deal with a few obstacles when they first encounter Windows 8. Obviously, they will have to deal with a completely changed platform. Employees will have to go through training in order to learn how to use it, which will naturally impact work productivity in the short term.

Any software may also suffer as the initial launch of Windows 8 will be ahead of the vast majority of programs. So many common programs won’t be compatible with this new version of Windows as the developers won’t have caught up yet.

Where can you turn for Windows 8 support?  When it is officially released in October our IT service team will be ready to help you make the move to Windows 8.