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Microsoft releases first Windows 8 test version


10:37, September 14, 2011

Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky introduces the new tablet running a test version of its touch-enabled Windows 8 at the Build conference in Anaheim, California September 13, 2011.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Microsoft released on Tuesday a test version of Windows 8 to developers, posing to regain ground of the tablet market dominated by Apple and Google.

At its developer-focused BUILD conference held in Anaheim, California, the software giant handed out new Samsung tablet computers with a test version of the code-named "Windows 8," the first detailed preview of the system for developers and people outside Microsoft.

Generally expected to be launched in fall 2012, Microsoft did not say when the system will ship or its price.

Featuring a home page filled with colorful application tiles, the new system boots up in seconds. Microsoft said the system will run on low-power ARM-based chips that power smartphones and tablets. Windows 8 also introduces a new "Metro style" interface, which run full-screen and users can multitask in two at a time.

"We reimagined Windows," said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, in his keynote address to the thousands of developers in attendance. "From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise."

Analysts said the new system is consumer-oriented and intuitive but it will take time to see whether it is an "iPad killer."

As professionals and consumers began to spend more time on smartphones and tablets, Microsoft has not got a significant bite of the market, losing ground to Apple's iPad and devices running Google's Android system.

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