Friday, 16 September 2011
So Microsoft's Windows 8 developer conference is now over and the world has seen alittle more of the OS that is suppose to be bringing Mobile, Tablet and Desktop computers together. Their vision is that have the phone in your pocket, the slate in your hand and the laptop in your bag all running the same software, able to run the same programs, so no matter what device you have to hand, you can do what you want. Well strictly that's not true, as the phone will be running the mouthful which is Microsoft Windows Phone Seven. But Windows 8 borrows heavily from this, so I'm classing it as the same thing, anyone that says otherwise, I don't care.
At the ipad's release alot of people complained about it running iOS instead of Mac OS X, and that it was basically an oversized iPod Touch. In away it is, but mostly it's not, but that's not the point. Microsoft are almost doing the reverse. Porting their mobile OS to the desktop market. Will it work? Not sure. Mobile devices have an update cycle of around 6 months. Bringing new features to old devices. Much like multi-tasking was updated for the iPad with iOS 4, and how my old HTC Desire went from having 800x600 video capture to having 720p recording with Android Froyo. But can you see Microsoft doing such for the home computer? Honestly I can't. Meaning that lovely new slate you brought will get left behind Android and iOS.
Also how can you have apps that work across the board flawlessly, when you have atleast two different input types? For example Angry Birds on a touch phone or tablet works great, but download it from the Mac App Store and use a track pad, and it's not quite so fluid, and just doesnt feel as good. The reverse for office software. Using spreadsheets is easy with a keyboard and mouse, but stabbing at the screen doesn't work for me I'm afraid with iCal. It's a very careful balance which if done incorrectly is going to ruin the user experience and maybe even go so far as to lose Microsoft some if it's customer base.
Also Microsoft is opening up the Metro UI, (the cool looking touch part which is basically Windows Phone 7/XBox interface,) to third parties, allowing them to customise it. Which is a little scary. For one, I don't want to have my Windows Box boot and be covered in stupid Dell or HP stickers all over the interface. And secondly, if developers can do it, it will only be a matter of time before hackers can, and then you will see stupid virus's coming along, changing your wallpaper for nude pictures, or adverts for penis enlargement. Not the kind thing you want to see when the vicar comes round for tea, and you decide to show him your holiday snaps on your shiny new tablet.
To be honest I can see the pro's, but I think their are many more cons then pro's. Who knows, maybe Microsoft will prove me wrong, and it will be great and everyone will love it, and no one will ever install Linux on a Dell again. Or maybe not....