Antoine Leblond, Window's Corporate Vice President for Web Services was on hand to deliver the bulk of the demonstrations across a plethora of cutting edge devices.
"Windows 8 builds on what is great about Windows 7 - it works well side-by-side with existing Windows 7 infrastructure to deliver the experiences people love and the enterprise-grade solutions organisations need. Windows 8 also helps companies improve the way they do business through immersive apps developed to better reach employees and improve customers' experiences," said Leblond, earning several rounds of applause from wall to wall VIPs and tech. enthusiasts throughout his presentation.
The operating system has now been rolled out across over a thousand types of devices, covering all the main non-Apple computing platforms, facing mixed reviews. But the question for IT decision makers is whether to look or leap when considering Windows 8 for their business.
Ali Faramawy, Corporate VP for Microsoft and MEA President demonstrated the system's Arabic interface and discussed the opportunity Windows 8 brings to consumers, businesses and developers in the region.
Is Windows 8 secure?
Leblond boasts that Windows 8 is the 'most tested' version OS ever. However, with such a major redesign, including the total loss of the familiar Start menu, the new interface may be a cause for confusion for users who struggle to get to grips with new technologies, which translates into a cause for hesitation for businesses.
Familiarity with a system is a key security mechanism, says Nicolai Solling, Help AG's Director of Technology Services, speaking with AMEinfo. With a completely new GUI experience there are some security concerns that users will not initially understand what they are doing. Users may therefore misinterpret security threats.
"Consider for example an antivirus being run on the new system," says Solling. "In order to give it a refined look on the new Metro UI, there have been a number of aesthetic changes made due to which users will not be able to view the various security parameters that they are used to seeing. And if the user is unfamiliar with a system, there is always the chance of something critical going unchecked."
Another thing that users need to be wary of in Windows 8 is the discrete URL bar in the internet browser, and the difficulty of inspecting the destination of hyperlinks - similar to a browser on a mobile device.
"Since this operating system has been developed for use on tablet devices as well, the address bar is not constantly visible. The user therefore will not see the address of the website unless he or she specifically checks for this and this makes them far more vulnerable to phishing attacks," Solling explains.
Windows 8 will of course be a subject for scrutiny of security vulnerabilities. In fact, before its launch, there were rumours out on buffer overflows being identified by security organisations. Some of these things have now been formally acknowledged, most notably a Flash vulnerability in the embedded Internet Explorer version 10 browser.
But there is nothing in Windows 8 that would stop a botnet/malware from being executed.