After so much hype (it seems like forever) the full launch of Windows 8 is almost here. Will it live up to expectations?
In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve used Microsoft products since I was 12 (depressingly 25 years ago now) and have grown up with them from DOS and through all the versions of Windows since. Even today, I only use Windows on my desktop and laptop devices.
However, where Microsoft lost me was in the mobile device space. I used to really like the simplicity of my Nokia Symbian based mobile phone. But then phones became “Smart” – so I turned to one of the first Windows Mobile phones. I tried my best to like it, but it really played hard-to-want.
So I had to give up, tried a few options over the years and am now very happy with my Google Android based Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note tablet. I know many other Microsoft desktop supporters who have also turned to Apple or Android devices as their mobility solution.
The question now is – will that change? Windows 8 looks promising, the interface is engaging, devices look thin and sexy – but will we shift off what we are now used to?
This is a revolutionary release from Microsoft, not just an update on a familiar user interface, so it will take some time to get used to. It might be called Windows, but it really doesn’t look like Windows. Maybe it should have been called Tiles?
For consumers, many will consider the availability of Apps to be a key decision point when choosing to buy. As Google found when they took on Apple, it takes time to build an App store that genuinely competes – will enough developers embrace the Microsoft platform to get the growth it wants?
From a business perspective, will Windows 8 be embraced across the board? Is it the right experience for older workers who are used to the Start button, and their keyboard and mouse? Will the IT team find it easy enough to provision, support and manage?
Marketing information and a quick play with the first range of devices haven’t given me enough information to fully form my opinion yet. It’s possible that Windows 7 may still be the best option for workers who currently have a desktop or laptop.
But for those who aren’t tied to a desk, Windows 8 looks like it could finally deliver a fantastic Microsoft experience on the go.