09/12/2011 08:26 pm ET Updated Nov 12, 2011

Windows 8 Poised For Release: What Features Do You Want To See?

Microsoft is widely expected to unveil Windows 8, the follow-up to its Windows 7 operating system, on Tuesday afternoon at the BUILD Conference in Anaheim, California.

Though Microsoft has offered several sneak peeks at Windows 8, there are still many mysteries surrounding the new, radically re-designed, touch-driven operating system.

Here's what we do know about Windows 8: It will definitely be released some time in 2012, according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. It was first shown off in public at the All Things Digital D9 Conference in early June, and the design was radically different from its predecessor's (See a slideshow of screenshots below). Windows 8 looked much more like the Windows Phone OS, with the interface having been designed for what Microsoft is calling an "all new touch-centric user experience." That is, Windows 8 has apparently been optimized for touchscreen usage on tablets and touchscreen-PCs so that you can slide and zoom on your PC or slate like you would on your Samsung Focus or HTC Titan.

But aside from these glimpses at what may have been an early design, we know very little about Windows 8.

Who knows how much may have changed since June? A preview of its new, very busy toolbar drew heavy criticism for inaccessibility, while its ability to boot in 8 seconds drew praise.

We know that Windows Media Center is coming bundled, but what else?

It is probably going to come with an app store, notes ReadWriteWeb, and part of the BUILD conference will hopefully deal with the Java and HTML 5-powered apps that will be available in this new Windows App Store, and to what extent they will be integrated into the Windows 8 main interface.

There are still several questions about to what extent Windows 8 will look like the Windows Phone OS, and to what extent it will look like the more familiar, "classic" Start-Bar-and-Icons Windows 7/Vista/XP interface we all know. How radical will the changes be, following the PR disaster and customer uprising following Vista?

It's all a (Apple-like?) mystery! So, what are you looking for from the first real, full-frontal debut of Windows 8? What changes do you hope they make to Windows 7? What changes do you hope they DON'T make? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet to @HuffPostTech with your take on what features Windows 8 should (and shouldn't) have.

The conference begins at 12PM EST/9AM PST on Tuesday, September 13, so get yourself back to HuffPost Tech for the latest facts, screenshots, release date rumors and analysis on the newly-redesigned Windows 8.


Windows 8 Preview At D9