With the forthcoming arrival of the latest desktop offering from Microsoft, Windows 8 and Windows RT has some hype about it- and with good reason. Coupled with the launch of some fantastic new Windows 8 and RT ready devices such as The Surface, HP slate and all in one offerings from HP, Lenovo and the like, it is clear that Windows 8 is looking to deliver a solid mix of consumption and creation devices. After 15 years, Microsoft has finally dropped the start button (though you can add it back if you want) and replaced it with a live tile screen controlled by multi-touch display. Live tiles create great opportunities for businesses to develop on the new platform with instant information in mind, allowing for more innovative application designs and realtime information to be displayed.From an education standpoint, Microsoft have released an advanced hand recognition software, allowing students to utilize a tablet device as their notebook and workspace. This is accompanied by a stylus that is detected by the touch screen and deactivates when the stylus is pressed close to the screen, allowing for greater handwriting control.It is clear to see that Microsoft has based their new platform largely on a move to cloud based services, and they have incorporated a single instance feel across all of your devices; from the desktop to tablet to smartphone, giving the feel of a cohesive ecosystem. In the enterprise world, it means that policies can be deployed across smartphones, tablets and computers equally to standardise and protect environments with the use of Microsoft inTune or Microsoft System Centre 2012 allowing for greater security control of bring-your-own-device within companies.With over 200 million licensed copies of Windows XP still in production, it is clear that it is time to upgrade.Windows 8 launches October 26Clinton Shiels is a Senior Consultant, Engineers at Brennan IT.