Windows 8 Review

Redmond Channel Partner mag review of Windows 8.

My thoughts:

The real deal will be how the Microsoft Surface (tablet / desktop) — $900 — performs. This review was using a Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 rather than real Microsoft hardware. There is more to the paradigmatic shift than software. The big deal is having one device that a person carries in the field and plops into their dock when they get back to the office: one device to rule them all, one device to find them, one device to bring them all and with its OS bind them. The device will become “hobbit” forming.

Microsoft usually does a really nice job on their hardware. I highly prefer the Microsoft Trackball (that I can no longer buy — $19.95), and the Microsoft sound card. And my Windows Phone is great EXCEPT for the requirement that I allow it to put all my customers’ private contact information on Microsoft’s web site as a condition of having any contacts at all saved in my phone – that stinks big time — as does forcing me to use Zune to sync it and not letting me use it as a normal USB memory stick. They kinda missed the ballpark there, but the HARDWARE is really nice, just the management decisions are rather unfriendly. Which is likely where the “one OS to bind them” part comes in.

Windows 8 (desktop) runs all Windows 7 software. That is good. No one expects to play WoW on a tablet, but they do expect game-level performance on their PC.

Dual Use (Tablet, plus Desktop replacement) Like the dual Ubuntu/Android edition for multicore phones and tablets two years ago, the right direction.

Complete “Touch” capability is absolutely necessary, however the Leap Motion Controller may handle that need for the Surface when docked — without need to buy special high priced touch LED LCD screens. It might even be a better replacement for the mouse concept that we have used since 1990.

The likening of Windows 8 to AOL was not a wise choice in the editorial.

There may be several issues with the lack of a menu system, including the “dead ends” and locked in a “walled garden” that the editor refers to. In our experience, when we switched to the Unity Ubuntu interface, which also lacks a Start menu, our clients could not find lesser used apps. For the “search” functionality to be useful one needs to know the actual name of the app, and mostly our clients did not recall the name or were looking for new apps (example children’s games), and they only knew what they wanted to do, not precisely what it was named. Apps with high use are placed on a launcher or float as “squares” on the screen, but you cannot represent every possible app in the system that way or the clutter makes the device very hard to use. The hierarchy provided by the conventional menu structure solved that problem 20 years ago. Totally removing the option to have such a hierarchical structure to find things in will probably be problematic. Ubuntu had to deal with that mistake and so will Microsoft, eventually.

Locking customers in so that they can ONLY buy from the Microsoft Store is very unfavorable. We are about freedom, not indentured servitude. There will likely be several useful apps in the Microsoft Store, for a price, but much better coverage is provided through free market forces.

Lack of a text editor in tablet mode is unexpected.


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