Microsoft is attempting to whip up a frenzy around its next operating system, Windows 8, at its BUILD conference. To me, there’s nothing to get excited about – other than the fact that Microsoft is finally catching up.
In his keynote address, Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft claimed the company has ‘reimagined Windows’.
‘From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise,’ he boasted.
Windows 8: what’s new?
My colleague Ben Stevens is won over, but I have to wonder what Microsoft’s ‘reimagining’ of Windows will actually deliver? You have to dig deep on the company’s website to find the answers. One thing that’s new is a Metro style interface, which is ‘built for touch’, but equally at home with a keyboard and mouse.
This is essentially just technobabble for ‘Windows 8 will run on a tablet PC’. Some limited tablets have run Windows 7 but with limited success; Windows 8 aims to turn the company’s fortune around on this new class of device.
Given the dominance of Apple’s iPad in this market, you’ll forgive me for not getting too excited about it; it’s hard to see how this new operating system (OS) will help to set tablets aside from the iPad where others have failed.
Further making inroads into the tablet market, Microsoft says there’ll be apps to support Windows 8. Again, I can’t help wondering what Microsoft can deliver that Apple hasn’t already. As ‘new’ ideas go, it has yet to fire my imagination and as previous conversations have proved the traditional PC is far from dead.
Building on Windows 7’s success
One thing Microsoft is keen to stress is that the new OS builds on the success of Windows 7, and that those who own Windows 7 won’t be starting again from scratch.
This is a wise move by the company and it’s good to see Microsoft building on the best of Windows 7 – namely its ability to run on less powerful hardware. The company says Windows 8 will run on devices from 10-inch tablets to all-in-one PCs, and it’ll run all day from a single charge.
These are bold claims indeed, but (as a previous post by my colleague Rene Lopez has proved) there are still a vocal number of people out there still hankering after Windows XP. Windows 7 has certainly outstripped Vista for popularity but there are still some who have yet to be convinced; Microsoft faces an equally tough sell with Windows 8.
Microsoft’s reimagining of Windows makes perfect sense; tailor made for tablets, closer integration with the cloud and all day computing on a single charge. For Windows, it is a reimagining but for me it doesn’t seem all that imaginative.
For me, Windows 8 smacks of Microsoft catching up with the competition rather than giving us anything new to get excited about.
Do you agree with Sarah? If not, make sure you read the other side of the debate, argued by Ben Stevens: Microsoft shows off Windows 8. Stop the press
Are you looking forward to the launch of Windows 8?
Not sure - I'll have to check it out for myself first (37%, 368 Votes)
No - Windows 8 doesn't appeal to me (36%, 358 Votes)
Yes - I want a Windows 8 PC/laptop (18%, 179 Votes)
Yes - I want a Windows 8 tablet (10%, 98 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,003