Yesterday Microsoft Gave a demo of the next Windows operating system .. Windows 8 at ‘D9’. During this demo the new immersive UI was displayed with a look and feel that seemed to be a mash up of several of their consumer products from WP7 to XBOX, to even the Media PC. From what I could glean it look like Microsoft had come up with a good mix of new world and old world design to not only give those who are not power users the simpler touch capabilities while allowing a reversion back to the fuller OS to do our day to day. The fact that you could take the tablet, undock it and it becomes immediately useful as a touch device and when required dock it back again and get full access to your applications for design/development/accounting and any other business process where touch does not seem practical, for me at least is an immediate win.
I could see businesses excited by the concept as well given the magnitude of MS based infrastructure. Now the capability to continue using the Exchange/SharePoint/Office dynamic and mix in Lync and allow the user to become portable merges in the best of both worlds.
What is funny is to read the posts that are put up on the message boards, and postings after articles where there seems to still be an issue with the duality that will be windows 8. Microsoft has always been about choice and what is (chuckle if you must) a more open development environment then Apple. The fact that we have so many tool choices, languages, IDES from text editors all the way to what I would say is the best development environment out there (Visual Studio). There is a legacy of applications that work on windows, retail, internal business, shareware, OSS and the like that will still work when windows8 comes out. Not allowing this would be the death knell of the OS since it would become a 0 sum game for any organization in choosing their hardware and software stack. Again let me reiterate the number of applications that would have to be updated/converted would be insurmountable. If application had to be completely rewritten and could not run in the commodity hardware why would one choose to say with the product.
I for one being a developer, mostly influenced by the Microsoft stack am grateful that this duality will exist. My customers investments in technology will still pay dividends and they can be assured that their products will continue to work.
I am so excited about the future of the platform now, and see finally that the vision of the Tablet/PC becomes the tool marries the best of both worlds that I signed up immediately to the Build conference in Anaheim in September. I am not going to mark the end of IPad’s, or Android devices. I believe with the total number of consumers that there is lots of space for several choices but I think moving forward especially from an Organizations point of view the decision of hardware/OS got a lot more interesting.