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News : Innovation Last Updated: Oct 26, 2012 - 11:03 AM

Microsoft launches Windows 8 in Ireland
By Finfacts Team
Oct 26, 2012 - 8:32 AM

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Microsoft on Thursday announced the availability of Windows 8 for its customers in Ireland and around the world.  From today consumers and businesses worldwide will be able to experience all that Windows 8 offers: "a beautiful new UI, a wide range of apps with the grand opening of the Windows Store, available on more than 1000 Windows 8 certified  PCs and tablets."

Windows 8 will also be available for download to upgrade existing PCs in over 140 markets and 37 languages at www.windows.com, and at retail locations around the world including here in Ireland. Over 50 devices are available at more than 300 retail stores and resellers, including at Harvey Norman and PC World stores nationwidePC World in Carrickmines, Dublin 18 will be the first retailer to offer Windows 8 to consumers with a special opening at midnight tonight Thursday, October 25th.

 “With the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft is unveiling a reimagined Windows to the world,” said Paul Rellis, managing director, Microsoft Ireland. “Whether you want a tablet or a PC, whether you want to consume or create, whether you want to work or play – Windows 8 delivers a personalized experience that fits your unique style and needs.”

“We are very proud of the role that the Irish team has played in helping to bring Windows 8 to market.   The Microsoft team in Ireland has contributed significantly to the development and launch of Windows 8  -- team members in the Sandyford based European Development Centre have been involved in core development, localization and testing work - -  ensuring that the product was ready for launch in over 100 different languages. In addition, the EMEA Operations Centre is providing the logistics support ensuring its available in 56 different markets from tomorrow while our Sales and Marketing team have been working with partners, the developer community and customers over the past number of months to prepare for the launch of Windows 8 in Ireland.”

Windows 8 will be available in two versions at retail, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. And for our business customers, Windows 8 Enterprise offers new possibilities in mobile productivity with features like Windows To Go, DirectAccess, and BranchCache, as well as enhanced end-to-end security with features including BitLocker and AppLocker. Launching at the same time is a new member of the Windows family designed for ARM-based tablets, Windows RT, which will be available pre-installed on new devices. Windows 8 features the new fast and fluid Start screen that gives people one-click access to the apps and content they care most about, the entirely new Internet Explorer 10 that is perfect for touch, and built-in cloud capabilities with SkyDrive.

Speaking about the importance of the Windows 8 launch to consumers in Ireland, Feilim MacAnIomaire of Paddy Power said: “The launch of Windows 8 will bring an abundance of content rich apps and user benefits to consumers in Ireland. The ease of use of Windows 8, its ability to work seamlessly across all devices and the beautiful aesthetics that can be created all combine to make this a perfect platform from which we can develop a range of apps and content to attract, inform and engage with our customers. We are very proud that Paddy Power is one of the first companies in Ireland to have taken advantage of this great new product to launch a new app for our customers. Our ‘Premier League Football App’ will be available in Ireland now, and will share information and content with our customers in a user friendly way on the device of their preference.”       

In addition to the range of new devices available, consumers can also upgrade their existing PCs. Through the end of January, consumers currently running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, can avail of upgrade offers from €29.99 available through retail stores or online.  And eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2, 2012, and January 31, 2013 in more than 140 countries can download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated price of  €14.99 with the Windows Upgrade Offer, available at www.windowsupgradeoffer.com.

Jon Milward, operations director of integrated solutions at Northdoor, the UK business IT consultancy, comments on the advantages of the Microsoft Surface and Windows 8 launches for business: “The tablet market has kicked into gear with Apple’s new iPad mini, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and others currently being launched. The convenience, ease and pleasure of use of these devices have captured the attention of consumers as tablets become the must-have gadgets for this Christmas. Given this popularity with consumers, executives and employees are increasingly asking their IT departments whether they can also use these devices at work. There is a big issue here, because iPads and Kindles have been designed solely as consumer gadgets and do not integrate fully with other existing systems such as Microsoft Office, which is the software of choice for an estimated 94% of the business market. Therefore, IT departments are constantly battling to set up and deliver some of the business functionalities of a laptop on these mobile devices and are faced with added complexity, risk and cost.

Microsoft’s new Surface tablet aims to tackle this very problem and promises to be a very popular device for many businesses despite not boasting some of the flashy apps available to iPad users. Companies are always looking for better ways to integrate all of their devices and this new tablet will be easily compatible with existing systems. This convergence of hardware and software is the key driver behind the BYOD phenomenon and will be key for businesses looking for more flexible and scalable technology.

The new Surface tablet is equipped with Windows 8, which will also be launched tomorrow. Microsoft has developed this new operating system to give the same user interaction whether it’s on a desktop PC, laptop, smart phone or tablet. The Surface will therefore give business users all the convenience of a tablet and the same level of integration with their business systems as a PC.”

David Pogue of The New York Times wrote on Thursday: "This may be the biggest week in Microsoft’s 37-year history. The company is releasing its very first computer (the Surface tablet), a new phone operating system (Windows Phone 8), and, believe it or not, two PC operating systems.

I’m not talking about Windows 8 and Windows RT, which are, in fact, two new and distinct operating systems from Microsoft. I mean the two different worlds within Windows 8 alone, one designed primarily for touch screens, the other for mouse and keyboard. Individually, they are excellent — but you can’t use them individually. Microsoft has combined them into a superimposed, muddled mishmash called Windows 8, which goes on sale Friday at prices ranging from $15 to $40, depending on the offer and version.

You can easily imagine how Microsoft got here. 'PC sales have slowed,' some executive must have said. 'This is a new age of touch screens! We need a fresh approach, a new Windows. Something bold, fluid and finger-friendly.”"

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