Windows 8, the latest Microsoft operating system for businesses and consumers, introduces significant changes to the user experience.
Moving beyond Windows' traditional linear layout, the operating system has been designed principally with the needs of mobile users in mind.
Windows 8 ideal for mobile
Smartphone and tablet adoption rates have soared in recent years, as businesspeople and consumers have sought connectivity on the move.
And with the growing sophistication of mobile devices, an increasing proportion of people are now utilising touch-screen technology.
With a shell and user interface based around Microsoft's Metro language, Windows 8 has been designed to improve the touch-screen user experience.
It features a new app platform with an emphasis on touchscreen input, plus the new Windows Store where applications can be purchased.
Other Windows 8 features
Other key features of Windows 8 include heightened security protections, heavier integration with online services - such as SkyDrive - and improved support for mobile broadband.
Windows 8 also benefits from a faster start-up process than its predecessor Windows 7, enabling users to begin their session much quicker.
And while the operating system has been designed with the needs of mobile users in mind, it operates equally well for desktop and laptop users wishing to retain keyboard and mouse functionality.
Those upgrading from a previous version of Windows simply need to get used to the new interface, after which navigating with a mouse wheel is almost as intuitive as using touch.
All keyboard shortcuts continue to work as before, meaning the user experience is in no way affected when conducting word processing tasks.
All users can benefit from an upgrade
So whether you have a touchscreen or a traditional computer monitor, there are a range of benefits to a Windows 8 upgrade.
The operating system allows you to make the most of online opportunities, switching seamlessly between apps and other web-based tools.
You can also switch between devices more readily, with Windows 8 functioning equally as well on mobile devices as on a desktop PC.
Posted by Jenny Arthur