Microsoft's BUILD Kicks Off This Week: Windows 8 Set To Shine

Windows 8. Are you excited? Just the mere mention of it brings chills up the spines of PC junkies and tech-savvy consumers. If Microsoft can deliver on even half of their promises, the new operating system ought to be a real doozey. Needless to say, the tech world at large is gearing up to hear an awful lot of new details surrounding Microsoft's new OS this week. Up until now, very little has actually been revealed about Win8. But with Microsoft's BUILD Conference set to open up in California, rumors are raging about what could possibly be on deck. Windows 8 tablets? New form factors to take advantage of subtleties of the OS?

Here's what we do know. Windows 8 will be a serious upgrade. It may not look drastically different than Windows 7 in some regards, but the "Metro" style that has gained popularity in Windows Phone 7 will almost certainly dominate the home screens of Windows-based tablets in the future. We've also learned that a hastened boot time awaits those that upgrade, and we're hearing that Office's "ribbon interface" will also see life on the new Windows desktop.

Windows 8 User Interface Preview Shots

What will also be interesting is the participation of chip makers other than Intel. In the past, it was largely AMD and Intel powering Windows products. But now that ARM-based solutions are viable, an entirely new class of products could evolve and who knows what kind of surprises they'll bring. We're interested to see what kind of progress has been made on that front. Is the new operating system still just a strawman idea in the making? Or is Redmond executing to a point where viable retail-ready solutions could be showcased at CES 2012?  It would seem the latter is likely.

Microsoft has already shown Windows 8 running on tablets. Hopefully, they'll have an entire family of them to show off at BUILD. Stay tuned. We're expecting a lot of game-changing Windows-based news to be flowing from Anaheim this week.