Samsung takes wraps off of Windows 8 desktop PCs

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? Samsung will offer three different choices to people interested in buying a desktop computer equipped with a redesigned version of Windows going on sale this fall.

The personal computers previewed Tuesday by Samsung at a technology conference in Germany provided one of the first glimpses at the Windows 8 machines scheduled to hit the market on Oct. 26.

Windows 8’s release has been widely anticipated because it’s Microsoft’s most dramatic overhaul of the operating system in at least 17 years. It’s also coming out at a time when PC sales have been slowing as more people rely on smartphones and tablets to surf the Web.

Microsoft Corp. reprogrammed Windows 8 so it looks and works more like the touch-based systems on mobile devices. The three new Windows 8 desktops from Samsung will come with a high-definition touch display.

Several other major PC makers are expected to unveil their Windows 8 product lines in the upcoming weeks.

Samsung Electronics Co.’s Windows 8 computers for the desktop will have suggested prices of $749, $1,099 and $1,699 ? depending on the size of the storage drive, the amount of system memory and the size of display screen.

All three models will run on Intel Corp. processors.

Windows 8 can be controlled by swiping the applications on the display screen or by using a keyboard or computer mouse.

The touch controls will be available through a mosaic of tiles to show applications and services that can be continuously connected to the Internet.

When relying on a keyboard, users will usually switch to a part of the operating system that looks much like earlier versions of Windows. However, Microsoft left out the familiar “start” button typically found in the bottom left corner of the display screen.

In an effort to minimize the potential frustration caused by Windows 8’s new look, Samsung built its own optional start button that be used to pull up a menu of applications. This feature won’t be found on all Windows 8 PCs and laptops from other manufacturers.

Samsung is expected to introduce its Windows 8 line of laptop computers later this week.