LAS VEGAS -- Microsoft no longer has a presence at CES, but that didn't stop Windows 8 from claiming a spot on the showroom floor at this year's convention. Intel's booth showcased new app offerings in the Windows Store specifically catered to enhancing the operating system.
Intel showcased Windows 8 touch screen laptops from manufacturers such as Lenovo, Toshiba and Dell touting fresh Windows 8 applications.
Sonar X2, for example, is the PC-only music production app that launched for Windows 7 and Windows 8 last month. Sonar X2 offers the traditional features that users will find with most music editing software, but a new update that just rolled out last week adds touchscreen functionality.
With touchscreen support, users can pinch-to-zoom to edit individual tracks and sections of a recording. According to an Intel representative, this lets users "operate in a mobile mode," adding an entirely new ecosystem for music editors.
Besides Sonar X2, Intel boasted another addition to the Windows Store: Power Director. This is a video editing app that allows users to edit footage seamlessly directly from their home screen. Users can choose various templates and add background music as they wish.
We toggled with the app on Lenovo's Yoga ThinkPad, which demonstrated how the video editing program would appear in a tablet-style environment. The user interface seemed simple, clear and seamless, a noteworthy upgrade from Windows self-branded media programs such as Windows Movie Maker. There are also some built-in social media functions that make it easier to share videos.
Power Director is compatible with MPEG 4 files and no additional plugins are required to import and edit video. The app is brand new to the Windows Store, and footage can be imported to the app via USB or SD card slot.
Microsoft has made it clear that it intends to bolster its Windows Store since Windows 8 launched last year. The addition of Windows 8 touch-enabled media editing apps could be a game-changer for Microsoft. If these apps take off, it could give Apple some more competition in the media editing space.