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Windows 8 is more useful

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The Associated Press story Shock wave (Oct. 22) notes the newly announced Microsoft Windows 8 software combines a touch-enabled tablet with the traditional Windows desktop on one device. From there, the article jumps from one quirky anecdote to another, leaving the reader baffled. In fact, the reviews are in, and they show the new Windows for tablets and tablet PCs is easy and fun to use.

Why should we care? The key reason is the new Windows 8 devices are more useful. They bring the better features of touch tablets together with the PC desktop environment, which the vast majority of us are using at our workplaces and in our homes (note there are some 1.3 billion windows PCs in use worldwide).

Until now, most of us using an iPad or Android tablet had to carry it alongside our PC notebook or MacBook. Microsoft's innovation combines the two and offers a new device at the same cost or less than the cost of Apple's two-device solution of the iPad and MacBook.

The primary decision people will need to make before they buy is whether they want to bring an existing PC full of programs into this new touch-enabled device. If they do, they need to choose a Windows 8 tablet PC.

Otherwise, they could choose a Windows RT tablet device, such as Microsoft's Surface RT. Even with Windows RT, you will be delighted to find that, in addition to various standard preloaded apps, it comes with Microsoft Office and Windows desktop. It is designed for use with an integrated keyboard, and, unlike the iPad, has USB, video out, memory expansion and other ports. Not comprehending the advantages of that is baffling.

NORMAN KLIPPENSTEIN

Niverville

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 26, 2012 A11

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