Windows 8 review

So, the covers have started to be lifted from Windows 8. Take 5 minutes to watch the video to see a glimpse of Microsoft’s new operating system.

Some immediate feedback:

  1. “We’re watching Google”. Google believe the [Chrome] browser is the future, so Microsoft are looking to pull as many Internet services out of the browser into small apps.
  2. “Touch my screen”. I hate fingermarks on my screen. Walk up to someone else’s screen at work today and touch their screen – you’ll get a reaction as if you invaded their privacy! No one likes fingermarks on their screen. Windows 8 will be all about touch screens though. We recently bought a new PC at home and I decided not to get a touch screen because I was concerned the kids would have wrecked it within weeks. And a keyboard on the screen? A vertical keyboard? No thanks.
  3. “It looks so beautiful until you want to do anything productive”. All the screens in the video look really nice – it’s like ‘Windows 7 mobile meets XBox‘. And then the video shows Excel and Word, which are straight back to square one.
  4. “Multiple windows – hmmmm”. I get the slider to show multiple windows, but the sad thing is that this is a world away from how people really multi-task with many smaller windows. Have a vertical slider is very inefficient with wasted space.
  5. “Files haven’t changed”. Whilst Microsoft should be commended from abstracting the C: hierarchy to users folders (it started in Windows Vista and Windows 7 makes it even easier), the abstraction should continue. Why do we still care about files? The only point of a file it to email it to someone else, and Google Docs has solved this already (by sharing it from a central place).
  6. “Why no Kinnect?”. After using Kinnect over the weekend with the family, you start wondering why objects in the rest of the world need you to touch them! Kinnect (aka waving at things) is the future and a smaller one to one style interface would be much better than touch (see #2).

However the OS does look lovely. It’s like a ‘Windows 7 meets XBox‘ interface (and both are good). I’m just concerned they’re fine on a 5″ screen or when you sit 5″ away from it. Sitting a foot away from it at a desk for 8 hours a day requires a different style of UI.

4 thoughts on “Windows 8 review

  1. Bradders, I think many of your concerns will probably get addressed over the next year or so. MS don’t plan to release this until end of 2012 so they will not want to reveal too much yet (I.e. Kinnect, which I agree is a logical move). This is an evolution of Windows phone and therefore not a major leap but it shows they have a product worthy of tablets, which is really the Market they are aiming for.

  2. Agree with your comment about getting ready for tablets, however Microsoft’s main revenue is from desktops and office products – which neither tablets or touch screens are [currently] used.

  3. Isn’t that the point? Mobiles and Tablets are the growing consumer Market, PC’s are losing ground and MS is losing market share to Apple in that market. It’s now all about ubiquity. It’s expensive to develop, maintain and update 3 separate operating systems. Apple has once again moved forward with iCloud. They have boldly stated that the cloud is not just the place you upload and store files to but it’s the place where everything happens behind the scenes. The window to all of this is the OS and the device. As much as possible the experience should be as close as possible whether you be on your PC, tablet, phone or even TV. If I work on a document at work, I then open my tablet on the train I will be able to continue working at the same point I left it at work, all my movies, music, photos come with me, my contacts are instantly the same, my emails, my calendar. I don’t need to carry my work laptop around with me anymore. The experience will be shared across all my devices and it’s so clever how they have made it work. I fully expect MS is doing the same with windows 8, one OS to rule them all backed up by an iCloud(esque) service.

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