Windows 8: Tablet > Desktop
Windows 8 is getting closer and closer to its public release and I’m excited. So I thought I would take a moment to discuss how Windows 8 is different and a serious flaw I’ve seen in it.
The biggest difference between Windows 8 and Windows 7 is really just the addition of a more or less reinvented Start button. Instead of a little window with different options the start button will bring you to the Metro interface to interact with all the stuff that’s there. The metro interface itself is the big thing with Windows 8, it is the harbinger of the touch interface which will then bring Windows to the tablet market.
The tablet market is big right now, and it’s only going to get bigger. Although there are very little competitors in this market right now, Google’s Android, Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. With the introduction of Windows I have no doubt it will fly past Android and the Fire as well to compete head to head with the iPad. Why do I say that? Well Windows has one massive thing going for it, and that’s the huge user base it already has. That’s millions of people that already know how to use it, so instead of getting an Android tablet or even an iPad they’re going to get a Windows tablet- because that’s what they’re used to.
Now taking a couple steps forward into the future of personal computing I want to tell my image of how it will look. Instead of everyone (or nearly everyone) having their own laptop to browse the web and watch videos, etc etc. they will have a tablet. These tablets will have just as much juice behind them as laptops nowadays do, maybe more even. Laptops will basically stop being useful because your tablet will be able to do almost everything a laptop could do. Now, for those things a tablet couldn’t do, say professional work or school assignments then you move over to the desktop to do those. So, wrapping it up, everyone will have a tablet to do most of their stuff, professionals and schools will have super-powered desktops to handle the big stuff, households may also have one of these to share.
Now with that thought process in mind Windows 8 is very exciting, because it’s literally the desktop on a tablet, so until we get to the point explained above you’ll still be able to do things on a Windows 8 tablet that you may not be able to do on other tablets. But here’s the flaw, the Windows 8 desktop experience has been crippled. Not in a fatal way, but crippled nonetheless. Tablets demand simplicity and larger buttons for fingers and mobility. Desktops with the precision of a mouse and the generally large space for things like processors, CPUs , and other innards like that, desktops can just handle more also because of this they stay in one place. But with Windows 8 Microsoft is merging the mobile space and the stationary space is a weird way, instead of making the desktop version similar to the mobile version they seemed to have just fed the desktop to the mobile and treat the features of desktop computers as some sort of app or after-product when, at least on a desktop, it’s doing to be the most important part.
A quick example: in the Metro start menu you move left and right to access different apps, on a phone or tablet this is as easy as sliding a finder across the screen. On a desktop computer you’ve got to drag with your mouse, which isn’t really the most elegant of solutions, although you could also scroll with your mouse, but that’s confusing since you scroll down to move right and up to move left. I suppose though, we can imagine future mouses to have a more touch interface, similar to trackpads, which may be able to handle the touch interface of Windows 8 a little better. We will have to see about this though, as it comes down to the discretion of whoever makes the actual computers, and not necessarily Microsoft.
Windows 8 is a big step in the right direction for Microsoft, and Metro is absolutely awesome, but they may have gone just too far with it, either that or they have to be open to some changes down the road. 8 definitely offers a lot of great features but whether the crippling of their core product is worth it or not, we’ll have to see.