Windows 8. Windows Rt. Windows Phone 8.
Microsoft is definitely on a roll. Everything started last week when Microsoft unveiled the newest version of its desktop (which will also be ported to tablets) operating system — Windows 8. It uses a new user interface, called the Modern UI. The Modern UI employs “live tiles:” an interface for applications that show updates and content in squares or in a large rectangle (tiles). Live tiles make it easier for an individual to be updated on his/her social networks, news feeds, and blog feeds, among others. One simply glances at the self-updating live tiles, and he/she is good to go.
As an aside: This is not a technology review post. I’ve never got my hands on a Windows 8 device yet so I don’t have any experience with it and can’t make a review. But I have seen blogs and vlogs on Windows 8 and have witnessed it in action.
What I will rant about would be my initial reaction on seeing and reading all those vlogs and blog posts on Windows 8: TOTALLY AWESOME!!
The first thing I thought of was Microsoft’s move to integrate a touch interface into their desktop OS. Clearly, we are heading in that direction thanks to the booming tablet market. More and more users are getting accustomed to touch interfaces, that Microsoft had to incorporate it into their OS. Of course, developers of application programs for desktops will have to incorporate touch interfaces into their application programs as well.
I’m glad that Microsoft enabled an option to switch between the Modern UI and the standard Windows Desktop UI that everyone is accustomed to. Moreover, they also enabled a touch interface on the standard Desktop UI, so users don’t really have to use a mouse or a trackpad to “point and click”. Then again, basing from the vlogs I’ve seen, using one’s finger to “point and click” the small icons on the standard Desktop UI can be challenging, so a mouse or a trackpad is still the way to go for the said user interface.
From PC to Tablet and Vice Versa
The integration of a touch interface on the Windows desktop OS will initiate a new wave of hardware designs. I am of the belief that Windows 8 will evolve the desktop PC, instead of earlier assumptions that it will totally eliminate desktops PCs. I say evolve because, instead of having a dedicated system unit that is separate from other PC peripherals (screen, keyboard, mouse, etc.), all the components of the system unit will be integrated into the screen. Say goodbye to the system unit and all those rad casings!
Laptops will be more portable and better suited for people on the go. As seen on the Microsoft Surface, tablets can be called laptops, and laptops can be called tablets. This will all depend on whether a tablet has an attached magnetic keyboard. Without the keyboard, it’s a tablet; attached to a keyboard, it’s a laptop. However, other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will also come up with designs that resemble laptops more, rather than tablets. But my bet is, people will more likely buy the tablet form factors that come with attachable keyboards since portability and convenience are priority considerations when purchasing a laptop.
Hoping for a Smoother Experience
Evidently, Windows 8 is the most dynamic yet deviating step that Microsoft has come up for their desktop operating system. I started using a Microsoft OS with Windows 98. After that, I got my hands on Windows XP. I was so delighted with XP that I stuck with it even after the release of Windows Vista and Windows 7. To count, I’ve been using XP for seven years! I tried Vista once but I never really felt attached to it. When my home computer gave up, I bought a laptop as my main computer running Windows 7 Home Basic. I’ve been on it for almost a year now. Granted, I am very satisfied with the speed of Windows 7 Home Basic, although some applications have trouble running on it, specially when I’m multitasking. In retrospect, I should have obtained a Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional instead. Honestly, the thought that there exists different editions of Windows 7 for low-, mid-, and high-end users is so annoying. Couldn’t they have just released one edition that enables everyone to access and enjoy all the features of the OS? It is this aspect of the desktop OS that I’m hoping would be addressed with the release of Windows 8. Hopefully, no more editions (although the “RT” edition has been released) that would alienate mainstream users from each other.
So that’s it! Those are my thoughts on the new Windows 8 desktop operating system. As for the tablet OS (RT) and the smartphone OS (Phone 8), those will be for another blog post.
How about you? What do you think of the new Windows desktop OS? Are you excited about it? As for me, yes, I am definitely excited to upgrade to it. I believe it’s a positive change for personal computing. 🙂