Microsoft fights back with hybrid in Windows 8
New Windows 8, to be rolled out next month, will merge tablet and laptop into one device
Why pay separately for a tablet and a laptop, when you can get a two-in-one hybrid device? That will be Microsoft's key selling point when it rolls out Windows 8 - the latest version of its flagship operating system software - on Oct 26.
On that day, major PC makers around the world will launch a slew of hybrid PCs in all shapes and sizes, merging the power of a laptop for content creation with the convenience of a touchscreen tablet for content consumption into a single device.
Think tablets with removable keyboard docks like the HP Envy x2, convertible laptops with screens that can be folded or swivelled back to become tablets like the Dell Duo 12, and even laptops with two screens - one on the inside and one on the outside of the lid, like the Asus Taichi.
Touchscreen tablets have become consumer must-buys since the launch of the first iPad two years ago. While total global shipments of mobile computers (tablets and laptops) are expected to more than double from 330,000 units now to more than 700,000 by 2016, sales of tablets are expected to grow much faster, according to a recent report by United States research company NPD. It also predicted that by 2016, more tablets will be shipped than laptops, and the tablet's share of the mobile computer market will rise from one-third now to just over half.
How do you get started?
The Start button is the very heart of Windows. You click on Start, then navigate to Programs to look for software to launch, to Documents for work files, to Games to launch Diablo 3, to Control Panel to tweak settings like screen resolution. Without the Start button, how do you get started?