I’ve had multiple discussions, been involved in some Facebook commenting and done some reading and have come up with some thoughts and I’m just curious what others think. For those of you SharePoint readers, this will be a slight deviation from my usual posts.
Windows 8 – Personally, I like it. I’m glad to see Microsoft moving forward in their UI and making some bold changes. I’ve tried running it on my 13 MacBook Pro but run into lots of problems with freezing. Fortunately this issue seems to be limited to Macs and hopefully it won’t be the case when it RTMs. If not for the freezing I would more than likely be running it exclusively on the laptop. Overall it seems to run quicker than Windows 7, some of the Apps are very handy. However, with all changes, there are some pros and cons.
– Same OS can be used on tablets and desktops. No longer to you need to buy your word processing app for your desk and then again for your tablet (if you are running the Intel Surface), we’ll have to see about Windows RT on the ARM processor.
– Microsoft is redefining the Windows UI. Probably seen as a con by some, but personally I think it’s time for a new look and UI, especially with the growth of touch devices.
– Microsoft is redefining the Windows UI. The Windows UI for Desktops/Gamers/Developers. At least for now, I would like to see the ability to choose a default UI. Use the traditional UI for desktops/non-touch devices and the new Metro/Touch UI for tablets/touch screens.
– User adoption/training. This goes back to the UI design, but such a drastic change is going to cause a lot of headaches around training and could cause some issues with user adoption.
Daily Computing Device Use and the Surface – Daily use by your everyday user; this is where I feel the Surface (with Windows 8) may excel. Many tech gurus (including myself) get way to consumed with the power of the device. Business users don’t need all the power. They need to consume information to make business decisions, they need to write emails, create documents, fill out forms, etc. as they move about. They also like their big monitors in their office when they are sitting in the office working.
So, as apps are created specifically for Windows 8, why do your every day users even need the traditional Windows desktop? Most apps can be developed to work in the new interface, and more and more applications have interfaces directly in the browser. Look at the iPad, there is nothing traditional about the UI on the iPad, yet millions of users have them. However, they also have their laptops/desktops when they want to use USB devices, hook up larger/multiple monitors, use their started applications, etc.
I think the Surface does as excellent job of taking the strengths of the iPad/Tablet devices as well as a laptop and combining them into one device. However, it may also be a flop, only time will tell. Personally, I’m excited about the Surface, hope it is released at a price point I can afford, and is a type of device I can actually replace my laptop with.
So, just a few brief thoughts from me on the direction Microsoft is taking, overall, I think it’s a direction they need to take. Hopefully it will prove to be a successful one as personal computing continues to progress.
Now, back to SharePoint 2013…