Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Strong Windows 8 prejudgements are silly... For now.

It is hard to escape it, the blogosphere is full of premature yet fairly strong Windows 8 opinions. The relatively influential tech blogger Chris Pirillo has already said that “It'll be worse than Vista” (http://tinyurl.com/7ttvous). And there’s a tonne of “Windows 8 sucks” videos, posts, and comments out there. What is making seemingly intelligent people jump to early conclusions? I simply don’t know. Maybe bias. We are all biased and anyone who claims they aren’t, are lying.

As a Windows, Ubuntu, and Android user I do have a bias towards those OSs. I made a choice to use them, and even if I don’t intend to I occasionally feel the need to defend that choice.

However guys, let’s keep it in perspective here!!!!

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is just that, A PREVIEW! It gives us a hint of what Windows 8 editions will be available but not of the capabilities of said editions. Given that this new version of Windows will run on more hardware than ever before let’s not jump to wild conclusions about it being dead on arrival by assuming that all editions will do all things for all people.

Let me suggest the following set of functionality for the various editions of Windows 8:

  • Windows 8 ARM edition: Pure clean Metro UI with no Aero desktop, tablets running this version of Windows will go head to head with the iPad.
  • Windows 8 Starter: Metro UI biased edition suitable for netbooks. Access to the Aero desktop will still exist but only after changing settings. This makes sense on small netbook screens.
  • Windows 8 Home Basic: Metro and Aero combined, this makes sense as plenty of laptops and all in one desktops with touchscreens will probably come with this version.  
  • Windows 8 Home Premium: Same UI functionality as above, extra functionality will not involve the UI.
  • Windows 8 Professional Plus: Aero biased version of Windows, Metro will be there but it won’t be set up to have access to Metro apps right away.
  • Windows 8 Enterprise: No Metro! Just Aero, this is what the Enterprise market demands.
  • Windows 8 Enterprise Eval: NA.
  • Windows 8 Ultimate: Everything, this will closely match the Consumer Preview and you’ll be able to choose what you want. Aero, or Metro. You have everything!
This is just a scenario, I’m not claiming to be right. Nor do I have any insight into what Microsoft will eventually do with Windows 8. But guys, I think this scenario is more realistic than some of the articles that people are putting out there like Windows 8 being the final nail on the coffin for Windows in enterprise (http://tinyurl.com/82xfkcp). I don’t see that happening any time soon.   

There’s no denying it, Microsoft has a fair bit to do and they will have to make sure the different editions of Windows do exactly what the customer needs. Tough job! But I am not ready to say that Windows is now doomed.

Let’s reserve the strong damming opinions till it gets released, at that point shoot away. For now, we simply don’t know what each edition of Windows will do and how well they will do it.


  1. I have had a Windows computer since 1992 ( 3.1 ) and been a beta tester all the way back to Windows 95, but this is the first time I have had to relearn and rethink doing so many "normal" Windows tasks, it's almost like switching to Linux or OSX, so that is why all the fuss online. Besides, if MS didn't want our feedback then they shouldn't have released it to any and everyone.

    1. Hi Jim,

      I agree with you on the feedback, the whole point of releasing betas is to test. To say that Windows 8 is unintuitive in places, and that it lacks cohesion between Aero and Metro is perfectly fair. Other over the top comments may be a little silly.

      Also notice that I choose the word “silly” :) I didn’t want to offend by claiming that people criticizing Windows 8 knew nothing about the subject. Quite the contrary. I think some of the people who have been the most vocal are power users, and I understand exactly why. If you are very familiar with something a change will hurt productivity.

      It reminds me of the whole ribbon UI thing, I HATED it! I truly did despise it when it came out, but going back to an older version of MS Office without the ribbon now feels like travelling back in time to a much darker era. I am glad Microsoft shoved the Ribbon down out throats :)