Windows 8 is being seen as a chance for Microsoft to regain some of the ground lost in recent years to smartphones and tablets.
The operating system could provide Microsoft with a way of playing catch-up getting its OS onto tablets and smartphones in quantities it has failed to manage so far.
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Up until now Windows phones have been a minor success and its stake in the tablet market almost non-existent but that could change with a raft of Windows 8 products about to hit the market.
"Microsoft aims to parlay its lead in the PC OS market into a stronger position in the market for smartphone and tablet OS. Despite several years of effort, Microsoft is still struggling to establish a widespread presence for Windows on those devices," said John Delaney, research director, consumer mobile at IDC.
"Achieving that goal is crucial, because the market for smartphones and tablets is experiencing strong growth, whereas the market for PCs is mature and, at present, essentially flat. With Windows 8, Microsoft becomes the first vendor to design and launch a new OS simultaneously across all three of the main general-purpose computing device types," he added.
Delany said that the vendor was hoping to anticipate the way the market was going by featuring touch heavily in its OS and that could also have the consequence of putting it in a stronger position.