What "Jupiter" means for Windows 8

Over the past few days, we have uncovered a lot about Microsoft's next major project, Windows 8. The successor to the highly successful Windows 7 will feature a number of big improvements that will help push Windows into a bright future for consumers and businesses.

'Jupiter' is the new application model for Windows 8, an XAML (or UI) layer that will overlay programming to help improve graphics, text, and inputs. According to Mary Jo Foley, 'Jupiter' will provide a much smoother animation, typography and bring new media capabilities to Windows 8. 'Jupiter' for Windows 8 will be taking a lesson from the Windows Phone / Zune HD book to improve the user interface, providing a fresh experience to the end user.

After recent announcements from Microsoft about putting Windows 8 on an ARM chip, it appears that Microsoft is bringing the full desktop experience to the tablet, and bringing the tablet experience to the desktop. With ARM chips exploding around the world, Windows 8 could be the first universal OS between a tablet and a PC. Imagine sharing and playing tablet applications on your PC and vice versa - all without the need for a developer to create multiple versions of the game or app.

As Paul Thurrott explains, Windows 8 will be gearing towards an App Store. The new Windows App Store will allow for Silverlight-based applications to be created and deployed using the .appx format.

The Windows and Office teams are betting very heavily on this new app type, according to my source, and development has already begun using a beta version of Visual Studio 2012. These apps can be written in C#, Visual Basic, and even C++.

Windows 8 is possibly only a few months off from a private/public beta, and slated to launch sometime in 2012.

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