Jun 012011

Imagine all the hand-wringing and chair tossing in Redmond since Apple released the iPad in 2010. First the iPhone, now this? We’ve been poking our fat fingers at tablet PC’s for a decade to choruses of laughter and Apple swoops in with another touch-based product? Such embarrassment. Now imagine all that frustration being channeled into the next version of Windows “codenamed” Windows 8 and this video will make more sense to you.

You wanted touch? Windows 8 has touch, goddammit!

I can honestly say that some of the features debuted look like a fresh take on a mobile OS. Some sensible gesturing, a cool way of interacting with 2 apps simultaneously. Here’s the problem: this UI is a response to the iPad. There’s a reason why Apple segregated iOS and OS X. In classic Microsoft “Windows everywhere” fashion, they’re attempting to layer a touch-based interface with yummy buzzwords like “HTML5” and “JavaScript” over the top of a desktop and file system. How will people using a keyboard and mouse interact with this layer? How happy will people be swiping and tablet-typing in Excel?

If this is the trajectory Microsoft is going to continue on, they’re headed for head-on collision between their legacy users and their desperate 3-years-too-late attempt to enter the touch OS market.

  8 Responses to “Windows 8 Demo: Show TMA on the Pad Where Apple Touched You”

  1. Corporate buyers will like it!

    CIOs will head-off their “I need to use my iPad at Work” users with “Wait for the corporate Win8 Roll-out!”.

    Sheeple in Best Buy will like it when the salesguy does lotsa screen swipes and says “It’s the same as the one you use at Work”, then they know they can get support from the IT guy at Work.

    Excel power-users wont care as long as the macros still work.

    Is there a copy of the Cairo promovideo on YouTube? ‘Cos Cairo worked very well didn’t it?

  2. Nothing beats Microsoft’s Longhorn video from PDC 2003, complete with censored Pink soundtrack. I think it would turn out a lot better for the company if the Windows 8 video was as vaporlicious as the Longhorn promo. Even if Touch UI and the traditional desktop/file system UI are systems that can be reconciled (which I’m not convinced they can be), Microsoft as a company certainly isn’t articulate enough to do it.

  3. @eyez00
    CIOs will head-off their “I need to use my iPad at Work” users with “Wait for the corporate Win8 Roll-out!”.

    At least it won’t happen at my work with the current-used-to-be-MS-only-IT manager. He got an iPhone which opened the door. Now IT-supported iPhones, iPads, and Macs are popping up all over the office.

    Still, I can imagine being force fed Slates and Windows 8 at your typical corporate environment. Employees will have to tolerate doing a full-version of Excel on a tablet. Now that’s torture. At that point I’d rather just use the Dell box with XP on it that you gave me 2 years ago and is already turtle-slow.

  4. @Joe

    Imagine being given a MS-Slate running “compatible” Win 8 Touch Edition. Sitting down at your new w/station running Win 8 Pro Edition. Going back to the family and your “cheap” Win 8 Home Edition PC or even Win 8 Student Edition, the one without a Touch UI aka Win7 with a new About box, that runs on the netbook.

    And then there’s the Home/Pro Server versions to come!

    MS have worked this “WinWin” play twice already with Cairo & Longhorn & each time scored a touchdown. Announce an all singing, all dancing Cure-All shipping Qn next year.

    The corporate buyer doesn’t take risks, buying MS wont get you fired.

    The Tech Mags run the usual “Win8 Goodness” articles. “Top 10 reasons to buy Win8”. “Why Win8 is the iOS killer”. “Is it all over for Apple?”. Cairo kept that ball in the air for nearly 10 years.

    PC makers will get told to abandon plans to ship Honeycomb tablets and take “advantage” of across-the-piste discounts on tablets and PCs. Otherwise risk paying “Full Price” on the 3 or 4 PC “versions”.

    It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t ship. The Mags will keep priming the pump. CIOs will keep saying “Wait”. PC makers will wanna keep making cheap PCs, they’re toast if they don’t.

    Certainly will work if MS buys Nokia anytime soon.

  5. “How will people using a keyboard and mouse interact with this layer?”

    Not, because it will have two UI’s, Einstein.

    On a desktop with mice and keyboard, you won’t be using a touch optimised UI, but the classical desktop mode.
    Off course, if you WANT to, you’re free to use it as it off course works with mouse and keyboard as well.

    Funny how mac fanboys have trouble thinking things through. There’s no app for thinking I guess.

  6. It’s funny how the other comment posters here also don’t have a clue about what is going on in Redmond.

    Put up your shields, because msft is lining up the ducks.
    Prepare yourself for the bulldozer that will give you the windows95 nightmares all over again.

    I advice people to do like me: sell your apple stock now that it is still high and buy some msft stock while it is still low.
    You’ll be thanking me several times in 3 years.

  7. So it’s 3 years now, is it? Glad I didn’t take you up on this “duck-setting” by investing in Microsoft over any of the last 10 years, during which time their stock has absolutely flatlined.

    Microsoft is a dying, bloated whale of a company with no leadership and no market direction.

    Unless you’re leveling me, in which case I congratulate you on the lulz.

  8. Amazing insight you have into the development of Windows 8. Do you work for Microsoft? I must have missed the “two UI’s” part of the video, because I only saw one stapled awkwardly to another. Maybe you can get your coworkers in Redmond to post more illustrative videos showing how this method works for desktops, laptops and “slates” for the next round of propaganda.

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