Shock: Windows 8 optimized for desktop tablets
Why the default user interface for desktop Windows 8 looks a lot like Microsoft's Windows Phone 7
Computerworld - Microsoft demonstrated the next version of Windows this week, and the operating system has an interface almost nobody expected or predicted.
What's going on here?
Way back in February 2007, I told you about the coming era of touch-screen desktop computing -- "an iPhone the size of a big-screen TV." I asked: "Will the desktop version of this third-generation UI come from Apple, or Microsoft?"
After four years, we still don't know the answer to that question. Apple could still beat Microsoft to the punch.
But this week we learned that Microsoft intends to ship the first desktop touch tablet version of Windows next year. More importantly, we know how Microsoft is going to manage the jarring transition from second-generation WIMP (windows, icons, menus and pointing devices) computing to third-generation MPG (multi-touch, physics and gestures ) computing.
To gently-but-aggressively transition the Windows world to the next generation of computing, Microsoft is going to do something I hadn't even thought of: Microsoft will get millions of users to interact with their touch interface without touching. Windows 8 will combine the gestures and eye candy of tomorrow's touch tablets with the clunky mice and keyboards of yesterday's PCs.
A proven strategy
When Microsoft transitioned users from DOS to Windows back in the early 1990s, they made Windows a "shell" on top of DOS, but made the Windows UI the default. (Note that the less aggressive, legacy-friendly alternative to that would have been to ship DOS with the Windows shell as an optional application.) Microsoft didn't force everyone to suddenly abandon DOS and the DOS applications they had invested in. Anyone who wanted to launch and run a DOS program could do so, but in a DOS window within the Windows shell. Microsoft's strategy paid off, and Windows adoption happened quickly.
Microsoft plans to do exactly the same thing with Windows 8. The new operating system will default to the next-generation shell -- the Metro UI, which first showed up in the Windows Media Center, then the Zune, then Windows Phone 7.
That's right. When you install Windows 8, you'll be greeted not by a "desktop" with icons, but to a "personal mosaic of tiles," according to Microsoft's demo video. These are like icons in functionality -- when you click or tap them, they launch the associated applications. But unlike icons, they display data from the applications. In Microsoft's example, the e-mail tile shows new messages. The calendar tile shows today's appointments. A "My Investments" tile displays live stock prices. A Twitter tile shows a recent tweet.
- Mozilla shelves Metro Firefox, cites user apathy toward Windows 8
- Microsoft's new lower-priced Office 365 is 'obvious preface' for iPad suite
- Researchers pocket record $400K at Pwn2Own hacking contest's first day
- Perspective: Microsoft risks security reputation ruin by retiring XP
- Microsoft plans to patch critical under-attack IE bug next week
- Microsoft reaches RTM milestone for Windows 8.1 update
- OS upgrades: Cheap is better than pricey, free is better than cheap
- No special treatment for China on XP, patches end April 8 in the PRC, too
- Microsoft ships Office 2013 SP1 the old-fashioned way
- Microsoft's 'go-low' play puts Windows revenue on the line
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- Gartner 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software See why CommVault was positioned as the #1 leader in Gartner's 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery software for the 3rd year in...
- Forrester Report: CommVault is a Leader in Enterprise Backup and Recovery In this report, Forrester takes a deep dive into the evaluation criteria, how CommVault is positioned and the features and functionality that make...
- Forrester Wave for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Read this report to see how CommVault continues to outpace its competitors and why Forrester positioned CommVault Simpana as the top backup and...
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
On-Demand Webcast: 7 Reasons to Choose VoIP
Thinking about a new phone system for your business?
Be sure to watch this informative webcast. Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA...
All Windows White Papers |