We've had a glimpse at the future of Windows. Screenshots from Windows 8 have been discovered by Russian Twitter user Alicans35, revealing an influence from and a possible new version for tablets.
The screenshots show that the next version of Microsoft's business software Office, Office 15, uses the clean interface styling developed for Windows Phone 7. Codenamed Metro, the look and feel of the Windows 8 interface is focused on clear lettering and icons to make it easy to navigate.
A recent job advert posted by Microsoft called for a software designer to work on Outlook, specifically mentioning tablets and mobile phones as well as computers. It's still not clear whether that means Microsoft will make different versions of Windows for each type of device, or make a version of Windows that fits all sizes of screen.
Currently, tablets run Windows 7. Windows 7 supports touching and tapping the screen so it can be used on a touchscreen tablet, but the size and layout is designed for monitors and can be fiddly on a smaller screen.
Microsoft makes a separate operating system, Windows Phone 7, with large clear icons for smaller screens. Gates' gang could continue with just the two versions, or come up with a tablet version of Windows that would combine the roominess of the desktop with the simplicity of the phone version. If Windows 8 does draw heavily on Windows Phone 7, the desktop version may be more suited to tablets.
- Windows has been dominating desktops for more than 25 years. .