By Claire Reilly

With the launch of Windows 8 set for next month, suppliers and retailers alike are preparing for the new operating system to breathe some new life into the PC, notebook, tablet and smartphone categories.

One such supplier is Toshiba, which will be rolling out the new OS on its products over the coming months and preparing for the positive impact Microsoft’s new baby is set to have on the industry.

“Windows 8 is really designed to bring a lot of devices together,” said Justin White, product marketing manager, Information Systems Division, Toshiba Australia. “So you’ve got your Windows 8 phone, your Windows 8 tablet, your Windows 8 computer, allowing you to share seamlessly across multiple devices.

“That is the impetus behind the new interface with Windows 8 as opposed to whatever everyone is familiar with behind Windows 7.

“We’ll have the entire Toshiba range switching over as part of our refresh in next the quarter [Q4 2012]. Models that were previously on Windows 7 will be updated to 8 and we’ll have new models that we’re launching specifically for Windows 8.”

As far as White is concerned, the developing hardware to suit a new operating system does present certain challenges, but it has also allowed Toshiba to develop specialised features and applications in machines, which will ultimately benefit the end user.

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“It does pose its challenges when we go from one operating system to the next,” said White. “The change from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is a little bit larger than the change from Windows Vista to Windows 7. It’s a totally different beast, which means we’ve got to do a lot more additional work and background to ensure that our devices work well with the new operating system.

“But we’ve got things like Toshiba Hard Disk Drive Accelerator which will allow your computer to boot up to 62 per cent faster than a notebook computer without the same utility. We’ll have rapid charge which will allow you to charge external USB devices 3 times quicker than you could in the past. So if you have a phone or a tablet you can now charge that as quickly as you could by plugging it into the wall.

“We even have our own version of a media centre,” he added. “Microsoft Windows Media Centre doesn’t exist on the OEM version of Windows 8 anymore, so we’ve replaced that with our version, which is very friendly and allows people to browse through photos, music or videos and seamlessly stream them either on their device or to any DLNA compatible device externally.”

In conjunction with the arrival of the new OS, White said Toshiba would be attending dedicated retailer launch events as well as Microsoft’s official Windows 8 launch program, which will be occurring around the country from next month

“We’ll also be communicating, through all our regular internal sales people, the key benefits of our products with Windows 8 and the applications we’ve made to make our products work better with Windows 8 than anyone else.”