Bill Gates on Windows 8: It's 'Very Exciting'

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft is hoping that consumers are excited enough about Windows 8 to turn their backs on Windows 7, which has received critical acclaim in the three years it has been on the market.

That may be a tough act to follow.

However, the company's founder thinks Windows 8's October 26, 2012 launch is a big deal.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press (AP), Bill Gates said he considers Windows 8 "a very exciting new product" and "a very big deal for Microsoft."

Gates "Very Pleased" with Windows 8

Gates also gave the new operating system (OS) his stamp of approval, telling AP that he's been using Windows 8 regularly and that he's "very pleased with it."

So, what about the new product has Gates so fired up?

One element he likes is the hardware, including the many ultrabooks and tablet computers that will begin shipping with Windows 8 later next month.

"Hardware partners are doing great things to take advantage of the features," Gates said. It has "a lot of new form factors, a lot of touch, a lot of new applications...It'll be a big deal." (Source:

Clearly, Gates recognizes that Windows 8 -- which is built around a tile-based touchscreen-friendly interface -- gives Microsoft an opportunity to butt its nose into several lucrative markets currently dominated by its major rival: Apple.

Ultrabooks -- which are highly portable but still incredibly powerful laptops -- running Windows 8 will help Microsoft challenge the MacBook Air in this market segment.

Microsoft Enters Tablet Market in Big Way

However, the use of Windows 8 in the tablet market represents an even bigger opportunity for Microsoft.

The new OS will be running on hardware devices built by Dell, Asus, and Lenovo, and Microsoft will also be releasing its very own Windows 8-based tablet called the "Surface."

Even so, Microsoft faces a huge challenge in wooing its highly satisfied users of desktop and laptop PCs running the popular Windows 7 OS to the new Windows 8.

The stats bear this out: According to a recent survey of 50,000 Windows 7 users, 53 per cent say they're satisfied with the current OS and don't plan to upgrade to Windows 8 anytime soon. (Source:

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