Next up in our countdown of the hottest 100 gadgets on the planet is soon to be released Microsoft Windows 8 operating system

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Few would have thought, as Vista greasily clogged the arteries of the world’s PCs, that we’d ever again be so enthusiastic about a Windows refresh. Then Windows 7 and Windows Phone Mango wandered into town and revitalised Microsoft’s image.

This is the next step: an integrated operating system designed to work seamlessly across portable, touchscreen devices and desktop/laptop PCs (take that, iOS and Mountain Lion), with the WP7- style “Metro” tile interface holding it all together – Start button RIP. Currently in consumer preview, the first truly next-gen OS is nearly with us…

Windows.com

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