Windows 8 coming soon Microsoft says its new operating system may be on the market by fall of 2012. Windows 8 has a dramatically different look and feel. It will be flexible enough to accommodate new tablet devices as well as more traditional PCs that use keyboards and mice. The system will compete with Apple's iPad. Microsoft says it has sold nearly 450 million copies of its previous operating system, Windows 7. Microsoft's "Metrointerface" streams a continuous selection of news, photos, emails and headlines in a mosaic of square and rectangular tiles, The company is calling for app developers to work with the new software. It gave 5,000 Samsung-made tablets, running an early version of Windows 8, to developers attending a recent San Francisco conference. Windows 8 applications will be distributed through an online app store. Light bulbs with speakers It's kind of like elevator music for your home with tunes playing at your command from the ceiling and lamps, only this time you will actually like the music. The MusicLites system uses an LED light that you screw into a standard light bulb socket. Inside the bulb is a hidden high-fidelity loudspeaker. A separate transmitter connects to a stereo receiver, computer, smartphone, digital audio player or TV. It communicates wirelessly with the light and speaker. A remote control lets you brighten or dim the lights and adjust audio volume in up to five zones in your house. Each zone can be outfitted with up to 12 speaker lights and operated independently or in tandem with each other. A starter kit with a transmitter and single light-speaker costs about $350. But you'll need at least two speaker-lights for stereo, and extras cost $250. You can get by with one transmitter unless you pipe music from different sources.