September 13, 2011, 6:13 AM — Microsoft has been teasing us for months with drips of promises for what the next version of Windows -- code-named Windows 8 -- will offer. It's said that Windows 8 and its radically different user interface will run on both Intel and ARM chips; thus, it will be available not just for traditional desktop and laptop PCs but for iPad-style tablets. Microsoft has said Windows 8 will not run on smartphones, which will use Windows Phone 7 instead. However, the Win8 UI seems to be based on that of Windows Phone.
Microsoft has suggested that Windows 8 will use Hyper-V virtualization to run legacy applications (those designed for Windows 7 and earlier), so Microsoft can break free of the legacy technology and move Windows to a new level, as Apple did when it virtualized its old System 7 architecture a decade ago and came up with Mac OS X.
[ See InfoWorld's Windows 8 preview visual tour. | Galen Gruman outlines what Microsoft must do for Windows 8 tablets to finally be winners. | Keep up to speed on the key Microsoft news and ingths with InfoWorld's Technology: Microsoft newsletter. Sign up today! ]