Microsoft, once the undisputed leader of the technology world, has been struggling to compete against the new leader Apple for a number of years. But today, Microsoft could be beginning a comeback.

At a major press conference in New York City yesterday, Microsoft officially unveiled it's new operating system: Windows 8. The new OS, which features a brand-new interface and touch-screen capabilities, is available to the public starting today.

Addressing a standing-room-only crowd of press, analysts, partners and others on Oct. 25, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stormed the stage with a typically Ballmer-ific display, proclaiming: “This is an exciting day!”

Indeed, after years of buildup, development and the pre-release version of the product, Windows 8—which Microsoft says is its best OS ever, or at least the best release of Windows ever—has hit the market. Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows Division, said “Windows 8 reimagines Windows from the chipset to the experience.”

Windows 8 offers better battery life, faster boot time and a smaller memory footprint than previous Microsoft operating systems. It is compatible with Windows 7 hardware and software and has undergone more than 1.24 billion hours of testing, said Sinofsky. The new OS also has enabled the development of the best PCs ever available, said Ballmer. Microsoft has certified more than 1,000 devices for Windows 8.

My initial reaction is that Microsoft is taking a huge risk with this new operating system, and that risk might not pay off. With it's new touch-screen interface, the company appears to be trying to bridge the gap between the "old-fashioned" PCs and mobile devices, which is admittedly admirable. But the interface is radically different from the Windows we're all used to and have grown so comfortable with, and I think that such an extreme change will not go over well with the mainstream crowd. Microsoft is intent on "re-inventing" Windows, but I can already tell it's going to cause a ton of headaches for its users.

Be sure and check out the Geek Girl Report next Monday, October 29th, where we'll take a more in-depth look at Windows 8 and see how it really stacks up to the competition.