Why I think Microsoft Might Be Onto Something…

We are getting close now to the reveal of Windows 8 and Windows RT. I, for one, am excited. I have started to warm up for the RT (Metro) interface, and I am looking forward to the more lightweight Operating System that will hopefully feel like a little speed-up on my quad-cores. They are by no means slow, even my five year old one, but I will not pass a possibility to speed it up a little bit.

Oh, there are enough negative sounds about Windows 8 / Windows RT already. But one thing I have learned through the times, is to just rely on your own experiences.

But one thing that I really in some sadistic way enjoy, is reading the negative responses from people who only know about the theoretical stuff, if any, and not had any hands-on experiences yet with any system. Can Windows RT’s interface really feel bad? Sure. I don’t think so, but it can be. I might curse at my screen for days and days. Who knows.

The only thing I know is that change is sometimes good. And the computer experience needs a change. Apple started this with the introduction of iOS, which is already 5 years old. Microsoft adds now to it.

What I like about it is that the major computer interfaces are now both showing more identity. I think it is a bold move from Microsoft to move away from the desktop interface in Windows RT. It might be betting on the wrong horse, but we will find that out once the race has been run. They do dare to give themselves more identity again, and that is something Microsoft hasn’t done for a long time.

What I think is a major element from the RT interface, is the no-BS design. It is flat, simple design, but effective. Although people might have some adjustment issues at first, from a usability perspective, this is a very smart move. Not only for the OS itself, but applications are now able to shine more on their own interface.

But also the ability to see the status of your most important elements on your device without having to open them up would be something that, I think, will soon be copied by both Google and Apple in their mobile devices. One of my issues with the iPad is that I do see that I have notifications, but cannot directly see what they are. Sure, it is not a major hurdle, and I still love my iPad, but I think it is a smart design element.

I, for one, would not go for the Windows 8 Pro tablet, which will, besides the RT interface, also include the desktop. Working with the iPad now for some years, I notice that touch is not a natural user interface for me for a lot of things.  Working with Photoshop, Illustrator, web editing tools and database servers, touch is simply too insecure a pointing device.

But what I am looking forward to is that all devices can work on a single platform. Sure, on my desktop I will mainly run the desktop itself, with all its applications. but it will be good to have a tablet that is able to directly communicate with my computer, and also my phone. This is my only problem with the iPad; it refuses to really be an integral member of my network at home and in the studio. I have to do too many steps to use it, to make it print, to access files on the servers…

So, maybe Windows 8 / Windows RT might not be an overnight success, I share the opinion that it absolutely will endure, and show that even without the cloud in-between, it is good to have one major IT-device-platform.

But, we’ll see what happens.

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