Feb 292012
 

I’ve been running the Windows 8 developer build in VMWare Fusion and while I like some of its more ambitious features, I soon realized what I liked probably won’t appeal to anyone who currently uses Windows in their core setup. What I liked was Metro, with its multitude of gestures and enhanced sharing options. I spent very little time in the true Windows environment which, unfortunately for 90% of future users, is going to be where they will spend their time. Taken as a whole it struck me, as it did several people, as a stapling of a touch UI on top of Windows 7. Now that the Consumer Preview is available and the “first look” reviews are streaming in, the criticism of the Two OSs, One Cup device approach is continuing to stick in craws. From Engadget:

Now, as we creep closer to a likely release near the end of this year, we can’t shake a sense of doubt. Windows 8 still feels like two very different operating systems trying to be one. The potential is hugely alluring — a single OS to rule both the tablet and the desktop — and with each subsequent version we keep hoping this will be the one that ties it all together. Sadly, as of the Consumer Preview, we’re still seeing a lot of loose threads.

As it stands, Windows 8 is a considerably better tablet operating system than any previous version has managed to be. However, it’s still a clumsier desktop OS than Windows 7. That’s a problem Microsoft must fix before release.

Microsoft needs to enter the world of touch-enabled devices. Microsoft is due for a refresh of its desktop operating system. For the company to provide the same answer to two different questions is not the approach that Apple is taking, and I don’t think it will bode well for either endeavor.

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