Windows 8 arrives

Posted at: 10/25/2012 8:55 PM
Updated at: 10/25/2012 9:05 PM
By: Mark Barger, NBCNC

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer played pitchman Thursday as he touted the company's new eye catching, touch friendly operating system, Windows 8.

Adding sizzle to the slumping PC market is one goal for Windows 8, but the system also works on smartphones and tablets, a burgeoning market Microsoft is trying to enter.

Tablets from several companies using the Windows 8 system got a showcase at the Microsoft roll out.

Microsoft also has its own Windows 8 tablet offering, Surface. Ballmer touted its merits Thursday on CNBC.

"Not Apple, not Google, not Amazon. Nobody has a product that you can really work or use that lets you work and play, that can be your tablet and your PC," he pointed out.

Challenges for Microsoft include developing a Windows 8 app inventory that rivals the numbers for Android and Apple.

There's also the Windows 8 learning curve for consumers.

"There are a lot of basic navigation things that are not intuitive right out of the box," notes senior editor Dan Ackerman.

Most new personal computers and laptops sold after Friday's launch will come with the new Windows 8 pre-loaded, but expectations are its predecessor, Windows 7, will be available on a limited number of new computers or as a separate purchase option for at least another year or two.