Windows is getting a major user experience facelift with the upcoming release of Windows 8.

Microsoft is moving to a flexible design grid, with variable content areas that they are calling “piles” (no the sexiest name, but oh well). The underpinnings seem to be HTML 5, which allows developers to quickly integrate their apps into the Windows ecosystem. The whole platform is touch enabled, which will work on tablets, phones and presumably a version for the Xbox.

Microsoft has always been accused of playing catchup with Apple as far as the user experience, but this does seem to be a step in the right direction. The experience could break down once the user has to interact with apps or programs that are not integrated with the “piles” concept, so it will be interesting to see how deep the integration goes. It’s also interesting to see how much mobile interfaces are driving the way we interact with content moving into the future.

Watch Jensen Harris, Director of Program Management talk about Microsoft’s new take on user interaction on the PC:

So, what do you think? Is Microsoft still playing catchup or will this change the way people interact with their PCs?