Windows 8 – Big Change

Windows 7 wasn’t even out the door and Microsoft had already started work on Windows 8. The idea was to completely redo the operating system. Not just a change to the shell or pretty clothing but a completely new operating system. This time the self-imposed promise is A No Compromise Design.


There are so many new life changing technologies today that Big Change is a must. Smart phones, music, movies, all of media and communication is in flux. Want a real wakeup call? Think about the fact that in 5 years there probably won’t be any US Mail or TV as we know it. No tangible wired phone option. Not only is this possible it’s probable.

Windows has not had a significant overhaul since Windows 95. Today 66% of all computers are mobile. Laptops and netbooks, tablets and convertibles, they’re all new. Storage has exploded from a few onboard megabytes to terabytes and now the unlimited cloud. Touch screens are becoming the norm with screens from a few square inches to multiples of feet.

In addition to taking advantage of these changes and providing the technology-gorged and greedy public with a Microsoft answer, it must also continue to satisfy the loyal Windows 7, Vista, and slow to advance XP customers.

Taking it to the streets


So, how does Microsoft catch up to what’s going on today? How do they tap into what’s relevant for the majority of their current and future customer pool?

If you want good feedback, if you want to make Windows relevant, turn to the students. And that’s what Microsoft did.

What’s your opinion? What features do you think need to be in Windows 8?

You’ve all seen the ads, “Windows 7 was my idea”.

On that premise, what is your opininon on what should be included in the next release of Windows?

Sky is the limit … thinking about the development platform, the usability, the visual aspects. What do you think Microsoft needs to include in Windows 8?

Can’t wait to see your comments!

The above appeared on the official MS Facebook page and you can bet the comments are piling in.

Although solid information is hard to come by, MS is sticking to that promise in several ways. First they are confirming that Windows 8 will be cloud based.

Whether they are behind on this front is not really the point here. The point is that MS is finally getting on board with Cloud based computing with emphasis being on the applications.

Pretty Package

It always starts with looks. Amazing that we’ve advanced technically as much as we have and yet it’s still all about the pictures, how it looks, the user interface. That’s how Microsoft started with the unveiling of Windows 8 to the world during COMPUTEX, at a partner preview event in Taipei, Taiwan.

This conference was on June 2nd, 2011 and was for Microsoft partners. You can see exactly what they say by watching the included video above. The next conference is due this month, September 13th – 16th, in Anaheim California, and is known as the BUILD conference.

The Guts

1)

It’s all about the apps. According to Tom O’Brien of Microsoft, “BUILD is a call to action for developers to take greater advantage of Microsofts platforms”. In other words, “we’re finally on board with the apps thing, get busy and make some for us too”. No longer will you be limited to your iPhone, Android, or other small size appliance for the convenience of applications and browser based computing. And in case you aren’t convinced, Steve Sinofsky makes it perfectly clear.

“We believe there is room for a more elegant, perhaps a more nuanced, approach,” Sinofsky wrote.
“You get a beautiful, fast and fluid, Metro style interface and a huge variety of new apps to use. These applications have new attributes (a platform) that go well beyond the graphical styling (much to come on this at Build).
As we showed, you get an amazing touch experience, and also one that works with mouse, trackpad, and keyboard.
And if you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop—we won’t even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there! This is Windows reimagined.”

Did you get that? Windows will not even load to your desktop unless you request it. It will be viewed and just another app. If you wan’t to use your PC as a tablet or with a touch screen there is no need to even load Windows. I’d say Microsoft finally understands what people are looking for. Finally Windows will be back with the pack and providing a 2012 appropriate platform.

2)

CDs, DVDs, Storage and Files. The cost of physical storage space or hard drives has certainly gone down. Now it’s possible to buy 3 terrabytes for as little as a couple of hundred dollars. However the importance of mobility and the fact that 66% of computers are small form factor as limited the size of the drive being use in the majority of computers these days. It has also caused builders to stop including CD and DVD players on tablets and laptops. With the option for large drives limited and optical drives gone it’s obvious there must be an alternative. Online or Cloud storage replaces the need for large physical hard drives. The next hurdle to hop is ISO files. In the past and even now, your copy of Windows is an ISO file on a CD or DVD. Access to the information on those discs required a CD or optical drive. Think of an ISO file as a Disk Image or full-fidelity image (digital copy) of an optical disc. In the past you would put the CD with this information in your optical drive to view or use the information.

With Windows 8 you will be able to mount this file just as if it were an optical drive.

There will also be options for creating virtual hard drives on your system and accessing them just like you would have accessed a real hard drive.

3)

Explorer-The Ribbon Copy, move, rename files, it’s all about Explorer and now Explorer has the Ribbon.


I can hear the screams now. NO! Not the ribbon! I know quite a few people who will not like the ribbon. Personally I like the ribbon and had no trouble adjusting to it in Windows Office. That was probably because I was never that competent at using the previous Office layout. Seemed like a simple drill down to me. So, the ribbon is confirmed, it’s here to stay and those opposed will just have to get used to it or stay in the past. I know many who are still using Office 2003. Old habits and all that.

Just like Internet Explorer has managed your Internet Experience, Windows Explorer has managed your Windows Experience. Copying, moving, renaming and creating files are the most used functions of what Windows Explorer does for all of us. It’s only natural that Windows Explorer receive a big piece of Microsoft’s attention in this new build.

Microsoft is promising that accessing and managing files in the new “No Compromise” Windows is going to be easier than ever before. No more problems with duplicate file names, file location, or file access. The only hitch is you’ll need to get familiar with the ribbon.

4)

Nutshell This is truly a big change. Windows will never be the same. Finally your computer will be working more like your phone or tablet. Windows will be just another application. As we have known all along, it’s all about the apps and browser. Thinking about where we are in the process of the new Windows 8, I gotta say I’m pretty excited. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with Windows 7 and think it was long over due. I’ve been using it since before the Beta. But if Microsoft had been on the ball, Vista would have been what Windows 7 is now. We would have moved to this new platform much sooner.

I especially can’t wait to see how the new face of Windows effects the hardware being used and specifically the power of the processors. Processors have been getting stronger, faster, and recently more multi-cored with each generation. I’m curious to see if the new app-based existence results in faster processors or faster systems with less powerful processors. How will this effect energy savings and battery life? What’s on the horizon for Internet connectivity,networking, and gaming? These are especially exciting times.


Tell me how you feel about these changes and what you’re looking forward to.

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27 thoughts on “Windows 8 – Big Change

  1. Stop changing things & making them worse than they were. XP was the best OS & it should be brought back. If I am forced to lose windows 7 to go to 8, I am done with computers period.

  2. I hate windows 7! I have not been able to get updates for about a month now. They say they are installing, but then say “failed”. I miss XP. It worked good for me and I loved all of it.

  3. Blah blah blah, another operating system… Wow what a shocker. In my life time i’ve only had to buy the former 6 windows piles of garbage each time touted as “the next big thing”. Here’s what we can be assured of, windows has to keep building shiny things to sell, because that’s how they make money. If nike quit making shoes they’d be out of business, the same holds true for Microsoft. The fact remains that any real useability, as per every other release, will be at an additional product to purchase. The public “look at me portability” will of course be included because having the latest “shiny thing” is part of their marketing plan to the idiots that equate technology purchases on par to the current hair style they “just must have”. I own a business and stability is paramount. I don’t need the new bigger better more unsecure, untested shiney thing. Cloud this! Why am I still using a keyboard at all? Why don’t I have my headset computer yet? My computing needs are not for the public and when they start building the privacy and security into the next thing that I need, I might consider moving from my xp. Until then… well Microsoft has gotten enough of my money and crashed enough of my computers with “updates” to rot in hell as far as I’m concerned. For what I’ve spent on computers over the last 20 years… I should have some Microsoft monkeys in my home polishing my ram chips when I’m not using them.

  4. “From my cold dead hands…”

    I still use XP and only read about the problems with each new version of Windows.

    Microsoft needs to make one excellent program for the masses, one for the geeks, and stop trying to sell us a new program every year or so.

  5. My biggest pet peave: idiots who just HAVE TO touch my computer screen. Then their nasty, greasy finger prints are there, enhanced by the glare of incoming sunlight. Eventually, I have to stop what I’m doing and get out my screen cleaner. I wont even let people near my computer once they have smudged my screen. I notice all the screens in the presentation were high-glare types. I wonder if non-glare screens will work with Win 8? Major league step backwards in ergonomics. Major league. Eye strain, headaches, etc.

    Gonna make a great market for screen cleaners and anti-bacteria lotions in small pocket-sized containers. Influenza outbreaks are going to become pandemic in a matter of days instead of weeks. This is gonna be fun to watch.

  6. This is all fine…for a toy. You can’t do any real-world work with a tablet or a phone. Most Fortune 500 organizations, and many families, have closets full of broken, slow, useless notebooks. Soon the tablets will go on top of the pile. Great toys and novelties, great for Microsoft and Apple, selling a lot of toys that do absolutely nothing of hard value, to a lot of silly people who probably don’t have real jobs OR they have more dollars than they have sense.

    XP was (is) great. Vista is an acknowledged bust. Win 7…MS still trying to squeeze some profit out of a bad idea (Vista).

    Cloud computing…Oh Yeah…think you have security problems now?! Wanna store your family photos in the cloud, fine. Storing the databases on which my livelihood depend in the ‘cloud’, not on your life. Downloading an ‘app’ everytime I want to perform a task on my computer, not gonna happen.

  7. There’s a reason people cling to Office 2003 or earlier…the ribbon sucks. I am very proficient with previous versions of Office…still haven’t found some features in the new version – and forget keyboard shortcuts.
    I don’t want my PC to be like my smart phone…it’s a big pain to use for anything except phone calls.

  8. I hope this O.S. is finished when they launch it instead of having to apply numerous patches and updates to make it work properly as they have with all previous products. Get it right the first time please.

  9. Well I have an iPad 2 & iPhone 4. They are beautiful toys in my hand. But I have to go back to my Windows for my Outlook & Office application. I will certainly go back to Windows 8, if it can give me the joy of iPad & Windows. Good luck.

  10. Love the speed and smooth interface.. how far does that extend to ‘Windows’?

    Have they managed to separate users (danger!) apps (danger!) and installed drivers (watch out!) from their putative O/S? That WOULD be an advance.

    Oh, and how do you repair Windows without a bootable CD-DVD… bootable USB device? Mm, I look forward to the explanatory articles..

  11. Id Windows 8 turns out as suggested, the there will be far more refusenicks stucking with Win7 forever than there ever were Vista refusenicks holding on to xp.

    My own guess is that in 5 years time the tablets novelty will have worn off and they will have been put away with all the other toys that the children outgrew.

    Touch,screens computers? Ever tried doing any proper work with one?

    “The cloud” is a fantasy that will stay that way. Storing 1TB of music and videos in the cloud will be phenominally expensive, take forever to up and download, and need to be stored twice so that access isn’t lost when one cloud storage company goes bust, is hacked or is down for maintenance. Why bother? Just carry a small external hard drive around for a fraction of the cost. You’ll need one anyway when you are somewhere where you can’t get wireless access.

    The ribbon will stop me from migrating to any os that doesn’t give me the option of turning it off. Why do so many people hate Apple? Because they won’t give their users a choice. There’s a message there MS. Ignore it at your peril.

    If Windows 8 has been devised with the young in mind and its all about apps and games, yet another reason for me to stick to Win 7.

  12. Although I’m in the IT industry, I regard Windows these days as just another commodity, like a car , for example. I don’t want to have to relearn how to do the same old stuff every 3 years and the Ribbon is just one example of that – at present it’s a PITA, maybe in another 2 years I’ll be used to it and then they’ll bring out the *Mobius* or some other fatuous distortion. To continue the car analogy, how would you like it if the way it functioned was reinvented every 3-5 years? [no doubt you’d crash it more often :)]
    Leave it to the teenagers to try out new trends, but leave us oldies with something consistent. Even those teenagers will be ‘oldies’ (in their own minds) by the time they’re 30 and they’ll want some stability in their lives!

  13. Windows has never launched a “Finished” product and now they are going to change the whole concept of operating systems.

    I wish they would just once stay with a product on the drawing board until it is complete then launch it instead of, “Get it out the door and we will fix it on the fly”.

    How do you fix a Paradigm Shift to a radical new concept of operating systems?

  14. I just experienced the “Back to the future” moment by watching that presentation on my iPad 😉 Can MS invent anything of their own?

  15. You make Windows 8 sound very appealing. I have been considering buying my next computer with NO operating system and using Linux, but maybe I’ll give Windows another chance.

  16. I will continue to use Windows XP Professional as long as I own a computer. I have used it for 10 years now and see no reason to change.

  17. Windows 8 has no appeal to me at all. I still use a desktop as well as a laptop and Windows 7 is fine.
    If Microsft wants to put this new OS on tablets and smart phones fine. I could perhaps understand laptops too, but a desktop is not a smart phone, nor should is have an OS built for a smartphone or tablet.
    No, I won’t use it at all, but then again I still have an old reliable XP PC too.

  18. Looks good, fascinating, but another challenge to learn how to use it. I want simple. I don’t like that there are two documents files in Windows 7, duplicates… Too much “stuff” to deal with. Now I will have to learn a while new OP. No time to learn all this an d still get my work done. Fix it so the internet doesn’t crash please.

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