MANILA, Philippines—Software giant Microsoft has launched its new flagship operating system (OS) in the emerging markets around the world, including the Philippines, to regain the ground it lost to mobile devices that have become more popular among consumers.
The local launch of the Windows 8, as well as devices running on the same platform, came just days after the OS was unveiled in New York City.
“We are launching a product that will respond to the needs of today’s brave new world where the lines between work and play have all but disappeared,” Microsoft Philippines managing director Karrie Capellan-Ilagan said.
“Windows 8 is the most-tested, reviewed, and ready OS in Microsoft’s history,” Ilagan said, describing the new software as the “boldest” system ever released by Microsoft, the company responsible for the global boom in personal computing.
The new Windows 8 OS is optimized for traditional desktop and laptop computers, tablet devices, and mobile phones. This aims to bridge the gap between PCs and other mobile devices that more consumers are starting to buy.
Windows 8 introduces a radical change in Microsoft’s OS user interface, or “UI.” The traditional desktop screen with a taskbar and “Start” button at the bottom was replaced with a new “Tiles” page. In an interview, Ilagan said users would have to “forget what they know” about using Microsoft PCs when trying out the new OS.
Ilagan said devices running on Windows 8 would offer consumers the same computing power and functionality expected from traditional PCs.
“It is a platform that can seamlessly and effectively bridge the gap between PCs, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones to create a no-compromise experience for all,” she said.
Starting this week, hardware vendors such as Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba will be selling PCs and tablet computers running on Windows 8, which replaces the Windows 7 OS, the company’s best-selling platform to date.
Also launched on Tuesday were several local apps that aim to make Windows 8 devices more relevant to Philippine consumers. Among these apps was the new “My Makati” app by the Makati City local government. This features news, weather, and traffic information in Makati City.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) also launched a version of its popular Traffic Navigator (TNAV) app for Windows 8. The TNAV app is already available on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms.