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Windows 8 will be very, very tablet-friendly

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Microsoft

(Read caption) Windows 8 is geared at both desktop and tablet users. Here, a screen from Windows 8, which is expected to launch in the next 18 months.

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Microsoft on Wednesday took the wraps off Windows 8, a next-generation operating system designed to work on both desktop machines and mobile devices. (It's worth noting that Windows 8 is only a working title, which Microsoft could change before launch.) Company reps touted Windows 8's "touch-centric hardware" and cross-platform capability – a nod to the recent surge of interest in tablet computers.

"Our aim with Windows 8 is to make the user experience a natural extension of the device, from the time you turn on your PC through how you interact with the applications you know and love," Microsoft exec Mike Angiulo said in a statement. "This represents a fundamental shift in Windows design that we haven’t attempted since the days of Windows 95, presenting huge opportunities for our hardware partners to innovate with new PC designs."

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