Microsoft showed off a first look at their new Operating System yesterday…what have we learned:
1) It’s called Windows 8
2) It looks awesome
3) It’s going to be a huge shot in the arm for Windows tablets
4) It supports my theory…
The video above shows how it will look on a tablet / touch pc. It looks very smooth, easy to use, fresh, modern and Windows Phone-esque.
I can see this really catching the eye of the masses and getting them rushing to the stores…there are SO many people who want a tablet but don’t like iPads for whatever reason. Some simply dislike Apple while for others it’s more of a practical reason…I count myself as one of the latter.
- My home machines are Windows
- My Office machines are Windows
- My mobile device is Windows
- All my content is Microsoft based
To me, putting another OS based product (be it iOS, Android etc) in the middle of that just wouldn’t make sense. It would make things more difficult around content migration & access, syncing etc and also wouldn’t be a completely immersive user experience for me.
If this takes off as well as I think it will then it won’t be a boost just for Microsoft, but also all their OEM hardware partners. They’ll suddenly start shipping 100,000’s of new hardware devices not just to consumers…but also to Microsoft’s stronghold – Enterprises.
Organizations with 100’s to 1000’s to 10,000’s + of users will now be able to provide them with tablet devices that can be fully managed with existing tools of the enterprise, thing such as:
- Active Directory
- Roaming Profiles
- Organizational Groups/Units
- System Center Config Manager
- BitLocker to Go
This is going to kick start corporate tablet sales in a pretty amazing way. Yes, there are iPads in businesses right now but they’re few and far between, not fully approved of (in many orgs) and certainly not the friend of the IT dept. This will Flip the Script like Gangstarr and really usher the tablet into the mainstream consciousness.
That said, I’ve already had people complain to me that they don’t want that UI for their regular Desktop and they were very happy when I told them you can switch back to a Windows 7 style Aero desktop. I think MS need to make that clear just to be safe.
As for my prediction – here it is:
On the Desktop – Windows 8 will be much more for the consumer.
MS have discovered just how difficult it is to get business to move from XP to Windows 7 and I think that, for the companies that make that leap, they will be happy to stay on Windows 7 for quite some time. Do Microsoft really want to start the upgrade battle again in a little over a year? As a partner I can say that I’d rather not…I’d prefer to spend our time and resources on introducing other technologies such as Office 365, System Center, Sharepoint etc.
So I say that Windows 8 will be predominantly consumer focused to compete with Apple & Google and that Microsoft will return their full focus to the Enterprise desktop with Windows 9. By that time, Windows 7 will be 6 years old and companies will/should be ready to move…
There will of course be new features for business customers but I don’t think it will be anything like we saw in Windows 7.
Be interesting see how I fare with that prediction!