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Reporters' Roundtable: Windows 8 and the future of Microsoft

Microsoft introduced Windows 8 to the executive crowd at the D9 conference this week. What does Windows 8 mean to the world? Jay Greene, Ed Bott, and Rafe Needleman discuss.

Microsoft Windows boss Steven Sinofsky was at the D9 conference this week, where he showed off, for the first time, a demo of the Windows 8 user interface running on tablet computers. It was an important demo, as Microsoft has clearly lost the lead in two new hot computing platforms: smartphones and tablets. Can Windows 8 help Microsoft gets its groove back? How will it fare against Apple and Google? That's what we're discussing today. Our guests are two experienced Windows watchers: CNET senior writer Jay Greene, who covers Microsoft, and Ed Bott, author of Ed Bott's Microsoft Report on ZDNet.

Now playing: Watch this: Ep. 79: Windows 8 and the future of Microsoft
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Some of our discussion points

First, let's watch a little video from Microsoft, teasing the Windows 8 user interface. And here's the news story from the announcement.

What is Win 8? A whole new OS?

Why is it important? Isn't Windows 7 pretty good?

When do we get it? What about system requirements?

How important is the slick UI of Windows 8?

How difficult will the UI change be for consumers, and in the enterprise?

Let's talk about Microsoft's monolithic OS strategy: One operating system for tablets and phones. It's a different strategy from Apple and Google. How does the monolithic OS strategy affect timing, developer relationships, etc.?

Microsoft says that Windows 8 touch apps will work great with a mouse, and that the OS will do the UI translation necessary. Will that work?

Discuss Steven Sinofsky, his background, and why he's right or wrong person to lead this charge.

Why did Microsoft's first foray into tablets fail?

Discuss the "gang of four" that Eric Schmidt laid out at D9. What was Schmidt doing with that statement?

How much is Apple driving consumer expectations. How can Microsoft respond?

Is Android's flexibility a blessing or a curse?

Let's handicap WebOS and RIM in this battle.

How will Windows 8 do? Can it win the third place in the tablet OS wars, after iOS and Android?

Wrap-up
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