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Does Microsoft think the mouse is an endangered species? Here’s your first look at touch-happy Windows 8

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Based on this first-look video, Windows 8 looks eerily familiar to those of us who paid any attention to the Windows Phone 7 operating system when it came out a year ago — big tiles that contain themes, apps and data. A home screen that quickly customises to your needs.

And touch-screening. Lots and lots of touching and gliding and switching, which is an interesting feature for an OS that’s designed for desktops and laptops as well as tablets. Our host in the video assures us the interface is just as slick when operated with a mouse — but we never see that happen. Instead, we see lots of fingers. Does Microsoft think the mouse is an endangered species?

The video, reportedly the first of a series, is designed to beat the drum for the Build Windows conference 13-16 September in Anaheim, California. There, hardware and software developers will be invited to learn how to play with “the all new touch-centric experience” (Microsoft’s words) offered by Windows 8, which is tentatively scheduled to launch in early 2012.

Is this the future? Steve Ballmer thinks it is, obviously? Are Window users agreeing vigorously, like Apple followers do every time Steve Jobs sneezes? Well, open the video in YouTube and look beneath the video itself.

The comments have been turned off.

Ouch.

Building Windows 8: Video No. 1

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