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January 19th, 2013

Windows 8 experiences, and the future

Although I haven’t “upgraded” to windows 8 just yet, I have encountered it many times in the real world, with real people using it.

Given that I am technically savvy, I was able to find my way around the OS, and get my work done, but in doing so, I can now see why so many people are avoiding Windows 8

I can understand that microsoft want to push people to using the “metro” interface, but in this case, 2 things are obvious:

  1. The metro interface is still very “unpolished” (ie few apps, many apps do not have the functionality that most people expect, etc)
  2. The classic desktop has been hobbled in such a way, that it keeps trying to force people into the “metro” system.

Now, if the classic desktop was functionally identical to Windows 7 (ie with the start button, and without flicking people into “metro”), then it wouldn’t matter that metro was unpolished… some people with touch screens would still go there, and everyone else would avoid it until it improved, and was worth using.

On the other hand, given how the current classic desktop works, most people probably wouldn’t mind, if the new “metro” system was an awesome feat of functionality and useability (ie like MacOS or IOS, or even Android!).

So, it seems that, with Windows 8, Microsoft have split windows into 2 parts, and have tried to accelerate the move to “metro” by damaging the classic desktop.

My opinion, is that MS have pushed a bit too hard, and they have also underestimated how attached many people are to the start button, and the classic desktop system.

And this is without even considering how the classic desktop is still a wonderfully functional and productive environment.

My prediction for the future:

Microsoft will publicly say that Windows 8 is the best ever… but behind the scenes, they already know that they have another “Vista” on their hands.

So I wouldn’t be surprised if MS is furiously (and urgently) developing Windows 9… mostly in an effort to fix the “problem”.

If common sense prevails, they will probably re-introduce the start button, and minimise the automatic jumps to metro… this would be the quickest and easiest solution, which would only require a Service Pack update to fix.

However, if MS is unable to see the obvious, they they will probably try to tinker with metro, in an effort to make it all things to all people (and fail).

Given the rise in smartphones and tablets over the last few years, I believe that MS have taken a wrong turn, by trying to unify their OS on phones, tablets, and desktops.

The desktop still has its place, so MS should have kept going with a split OS line:

Since the phone OS wasn’t working well enough, bringing it to the desktop is just asking for trouble.

MS needs to focus on true functionality, so that computers are properly useable, rather than holding on to the idea that you get the most profit by upgrading windows every 2 years.

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By Luigi Martin
Category: Business, Musing, Rant

1 Comment »