Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says the firm's upcoming operating system is "key to where personal computing is going."
The chairman spoke about the OS during a video interview with Microsoft's Steve Clayton. He touted Windows 8 as an "absolutely critical product" that combines "the best" of both traditional PCs and tablets.
Consumers will be "amazed at the energy" Microsoft is putting behind its new products, as well as the fact that Windows 8 "is key to where personal computing is going," Gates stressed. "This is the big time for us."
Gates also said he has been using Microsoft's Surface tablet nonstop and labelled the in-demand device "unbelievably great."
"We're certainly sharing between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8," Gates added. "Over time, we do more and more of that. It's evolving literally to be a single platform." Microsoft will reveal its own smartphone running on Windows 8 on October 29, three days after Windows 8 itself releases.
While current CEO Steve Ballmer has delivered high praise for the OS, fellow Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said certain Windows 8 features are "particularly bold and innovative," but some components of the OS are "puzzling."
Microsoft executives are clearly confident in the operating system (even as far as investing $1.5 billion in advertising alone). However, it's said that PC component suppliers are worried that it won't interest consumers until 2013.