Bill Gates wants you to get jazzed about Windows 8. In a video Microsoft posted this morning, the company's chairman and former CEO preached about the new operating system and how important it is to Microsoft's future.
Gates, who stepped down as Microsoft CEO in 2000 and wound down his day-to-day activity with the company in 2006 to devote himself full-time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks enthusiastically about the potential of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, and repeatedly stressed how high the stakes are for Microsoft.
"This is an absolutely critical product," Gates says. "It takes Windows into the world of touch, low-power devices — really giving people the best of what you think of as a tablet-type experience and the PC experience."
In previous years, Gates had at times tried to steer Microsoft toward what he saw as "natural user interfaces" — an umbrella term for using other methods of input besides a mouse and keyboard, such as touch and voice. Back in 2001, for example, Gates showed off both a tablet computer and voice dictation, although those products never caught on. Now Microsoft is betting big on those kinds of new interfaces win Windows 8.
"Microsoft is blending all the different types of input," says Gates. "Speech input — awfully important — over time, camera input, which you now see in the TV world, will also be part of the PC experience as well."
Gates is also one of the first people to own a Surface tablet, and he says he's been proudly showing it off to as many people as he can.
"[Surface] embodies this idea of, 'Can you get an even better tablet, but that also has what you expect in a PC?'" Gates didn't name what tablet the Surface is supposed to be "even better" than, though it's clear he's referring to the iPad.
Mashable is the largest independent news source covering digital culture, social media and technology.