On May 31, Microsoft premiered a "Release Preview" of Windows 8 on their website which features a downloadable version of the upcoming operating system with limited functionality. Additionally, the release includes several applications that will be integrated into the new Windows environment; which is based on the "Metro" language seen on the Windows Phone OS. Among the applications included with the preview is a new program called "People", which is an obvious indicator of Microsoft's recognition of the impact of social media on Windows users.
The new Windows People app is designed to seamlessly integrate social media platforms such as Facebook and Google+ directly into the operating system itself. People's interface will display notifications from various social networks and allow users to interact and engage on those platforms via the program. By making social functionality available on a user's desktop, the accessibility of networking sites is greatly increased and is likely to appeal to a broader audience.
A New Era for Online Marketers?
The impending final release of Windows 8 creates almost endless possibilities for Internet marketing companies and social media marketers and advertisers. The ability to deliver rich content such as photos and videos directly to a user's desktop as well as enabling sharing capabilities is very beneficial to SMOs. Essentially, the People application will not only enhance the reach of such campaigns, but their value, too. Microsoft's recognition of the social media trend is not only a milestone for the social networking industry, but it may be the beginning of a new era for online marketers, as well.