Microsoft will launch Windows 8, the latest version of its ubiquitous Windows operating system, tonight at midnight. Windows 8 is built on top of Windows 7, but was created in order to run across different platforms, from phones to desktop PCs.
Windows 8 is likely to surprise some users -- it looks completely different from previous versions of the operating system, featuring a "tile-heavy" design, and is considered the biggest overhaul in Windows since Windows 95 took the place of Windows 3.1.
The simpler design of Windows 8 is a big risk for Microsoft. Some critics believe the OS is designed mainly for mobile devices, and might alienate PC users. Some consumers report confusion with the new device, and many tech-savvy users reporting feeling a bit lost, having grown accustomed to Microsoft's start menu and toolbars.
Microsoft is confident about the success of their new system. At the launch event today, CEO Steve Balmer said, "Windows 8 shatters perceptions of what a PC now really is. "We've truly re-imagined Windows and kicked off a new era of Microsoft and for our customers."
Microsoft's Windows 8 goes on sale at midnight tonight, as does the Microsoft Surface, Microsoft's entry into the tablet market.
"This really is about debunking the notion that Microsoft is a dinosaur and they are relevant in a new climate of tablets and mobile," Todd Lowenstein, portfolio manager at HighMark Capital Management, told NBC News.
So what do you think? Are you going to update to Windows 8 or buy a Surface?