Home – New Forums Tech talk The point of Windows 8

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  • #979630
    Uncomplicating
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    There’s been plenty of talk about Windows 8 and the new touch interface, with plenty of comments along the lines of “why would anyone want a PC with a touch screen?”.

    To many of us in software industry, however, the purpose of Windows 8 has been clear for some time. The inevitable merging of technology as the mainstream desktop, laptop and tablet tend towards a single device means quite simply that Windows as we know it had to go, just as DOS and Windows 3.1 did before.

    Windows HAD to support a touch interface so that a single operating system and a single device could support traditional desktop/laptop and tablet functions.

    And wouldn’t you know it, with Win8 less than two months away, a dizzying array of hardware has turned up at the Berlin trade show that blurs the lines between laptops and tablets once more and begins to make Microsoft’s vision a bit more understandable.

    Have a look at Dell’s offering which is a tablet. Then have a look at what Sony has to offer which is a laptop.

    Whether this round of hardware offerings is as good as it could be remains to be seen, but if this iteration isn’t, one that is won’t be far behind.

    Interesting times indeed.

    #1115857
    JohnSheppard
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    Will existing applications support touch? Seems to me existing applications are the reason Microsoft sell so many licenses for their operating system

    #1115858
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    JohnSheppard, post: 129979 wrote:
    Will existing applications support touch? Seems to me existing applications are the reason Microsoft sell so many licenses for their operating system

    Touch is nothing new. XP had touch screen support and there’s a number of POS solutions that leverage that.

    A tap on a touch sensitive screen is no different to a click of a mouse. Anything that runs on Windows 7 should run on Windows 8. Our trials with the beta show some very complex software running seamlessly. Of course, quite whether a piece of software “makes sense” on a touch screen is a different matter. Certainly some of the aging stuff I’ve seen with lots of small boxes and buttons would be far better with a mouse.

    A mouse is a very precise tool; fingers are not.

    If you’re really asking whether it will run on a tablet, what MS were calling Metro until recently, the answer is no. Tablet is the new stuff.

    But then, with tablet and laptops becoming one, there’s very few reasons to specifically buy a tablet now. And this is the vision MS have had. Make tablet available via “Metro”, but make Windows like a tablet OS and run it on super lightweight devices.

    One device, one operating system and one user experience…and all Windows. For businesses that’s a seriously attractive proposition.

    #1115859
    JohnSheppard
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    Uncomplicating, post: 129990 wrote:
    One device, one operating system and one user experience…and all Windows. For businesses that’s a seriously attractive proposition.

    I would agree it’s a nice dream, but I would argue that it’s not going to happen when legacy applications are in place…with millions of dollars invested…nup, not gonna happen for many many many years…like maybe 30?

    There was a windows 7 based tablet that Officeworks used to sell, I don’t recall the brand or model. Was 6 months back. It didn’t look to bad, but when your applications are designed for mouse it seems kind of pointless.

    I think there are two things people want in a computer/operating system (well at least these are the two things I want)

    – Control
    – Consistency

    If windows 8 can deliver on that I’ll run out and buy it :) Do you think it will deliver on consistency?

    #1115860
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    JohnSheppard, post: 130046 wrote:
    I would agree it’s a nice dream, but I would argue that it’s not going to happen when legacy applications are in place…with millions of dollars invested…nup, not gonna happen for many many many years…like maybe 30?

    There was a windows 7 based tablet that Officeworks used to sell, I don’t recall the brand or model. Was 6 months back. It didn’t look to bad, but when your applications are designed for mouse it seems kind of pointless.

    I think there are two things people want in a computer/operating system (well at least these are the two things I want)

    – Control
    – Consistency

    If windows 8 can deliver on that I’ll run out and buy it :) Do you think it will deliver on consistency?

    30 years? More like 3….or perhaps even 3 months.

    This is the panacea that hybrid laptop/tablets (laplets as I’ve seen them called) “appear” to offer. Put them on your desk as a laptop and then sit on the train and use them as a tablet. The important bit is they have intel i3/5/7 chips and that means they run proper Windows and not just Metro

    And that means your legacy XP and even 2000 apps will still run just as they do today.

    #1115861
    Divert To Mobile
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    JohnSheppard, post: 130046 wrote:
    I would agree it’s a nice dream, but I would argue that it’s not going to happen when legacy applications are in place…with millions of dollars invested…nup, not gonna happen for many many many years…like maybe 30?

    30 is too many – IMO we are looking at 5.

    Steve

    #1115862
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    Divert To Mobile, post: 130108 wrote:
    30 is too many – IMO we are looking at 5.

    Steve

    Win8 is expected on October 26th. If the Berlin show is anything to go by, the unified experience is little more than a couple of months away, legacy apps included.

    The first iteration of hybrid products might not be perfect, but they will be serviceable.

    #1115863
    JohnSheppard
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    Uncomplicating, post: 130097 wrote:
    30 years? More like 3….or perhaps even 3 months.

    This is the panacea that hybrid laptop/tablets (laplets as I’ve seen them called) “appear” to offer. Put them on your desk as a laptop and then sit on the train and use them as a tablet. The important bit is they have intel i3/5/7 chips and that means they run proper Windows and not just Metro

    And that means your legacy XP and even 2000 apps will still run just as they do today.

    3months? There are billions of dollars in invested in user interfaces like MFC, winforms, WPF, etc? These are not going to change to touch…not any time soon…

    Yeah so they may run on windows 8…the point is there is no compelling reason to upgrade….none…I would guess the problem is compounded with the introduction of more inconsistancy….surely you have seen regular people try to move from office 2003 to office 2007 and all the expense that kind of thing incurs?

    #1115864
    My Wedding Concierge
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    Personally i’m pretty excited about W8. I have a W7 phone and it’s been easily the best phone I’ve ever used. I’ll be excited to upgrade to a W8 phone and have the same experience replicated on my PC.

    #1115865
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    JohnSheppard, post: 130143 wrote:
    3months? There are billions of dollars in invested in user interfaces like MFC, winforms, WPF, etc? These are not going to change to touch…not any time soon…

    Yeah so they may run on windows 8…the point is there is no compelling reason to upgrade….none…I would guess the problem is compounded with the introduction of more inconsistancy….surely you have seen regular people try to move from office 2003 to office 2007 and all the expense that kind of thing incurs?

    I think you and I mean different things when we use the word “touch”.

    For me as software designer, touch is simply a reference to the behaviour of the screen in that it responds to me touching the screen. I don’t in an way mean that legacy apps will suddenly be better designed with finger sized buttons and start doing iPad like 4 finger swipes et al. That would require programming.

    For the man in the street and small business though, Win8 with hybrid machines allows all your old stuff to run and new tablet like stuff to be used as it becomes available, whether that be an MS product or Angry Birds 2013. That seems to be quite attractive as a concept and I would guess ample reason for some to move forward.

    One could of course buy an iPad and wait for the touted Office for iPad which may be out in November.

    And on the subject of Office, I cannot help but chuckle to myself when I hear people complaining about the Ribbon. It’s just a command system and it requires learning. It’s actually quicker and requires fewer key strokes and mouse movements on average.

    Sadly, it was immediately condemned because no one likes change and lots of unhappy people got on the net and whined, so it must bad right?

    There are of course horror stories, but for most, the cost of learning the new command structure was negligible. It wasn’t as though Word didn’t allow you to enter text. But the way people go on about it though, you’d think that MS were systematically murdering their first born.

    Anyway, the upshot here is if you like Win 2000, XP or Win 7, stay where you are. If you like Office 2000, stay there too.

    Upgrading is always a matter of choice.

    #1115866
    JohnSheppard
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    Uncomplicating, post: 130167 wrote:
    no one likes change

    Well this is the fundamental issue?

    Change (and complexity..which hybrid brings) costs money…..and when it doesn’t return efficiency, or more money…whats to like about it?

    Plenty of micro/small business like to be on the cutting edge I guess, just because they are in it for fun more so than the money…but I would argue it’s not an astute decision if its money you are after…

    #1115867
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    JohnSheppard, post: 130464 wrote:
    Well this is the fundamental issue?

    Change (and complexity..which hybrid brings) costs money…..and when it doesn’t return efficiency, or more money…whats to like about it?

    Plenty of micro/small business like to be on the cutting edge I guess, just because they are in it for fun more so than the money…but I would argue it’s not an astute decision if its money you are after…

    Absolutely right. If cash in your pocket is your primary focus, spending it on something that doesn’t offer a guaranteed return may seem unwise.

    That said, having a single device rather than two sounds like it ought to help go someway to justifying the initial outlay, and there will almost certainly be time saving as there isn’t the need to move stuff from one machine to another. There’s other intangible benefits too. Customer perception can very different if you’re using the latest gadgetry, and looking the part can go along way towards closing a sale and hopefully reaping potential rewards downstream.

    I reckon working out what your hard earned lucre got you isn’t as simple as just looking at the technology in your hand.

    #1115868
    Geronimo
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    JohnSheppard, post: 130464 wrote:
    Plenty of micro/small business like to be on the cutting edge I guess, just because they are in it for fun more so than the money…but I would argue it’s not an astute decision if its money you are after…

    I think this is spot on. On the desktop, I’m running Win8, and love it. But I’m a technical giant ;), so am ok. My wife on the other hand is by no means a slouch, but really struggles with it.

    If you’re prepared to use keyboard shortcuts etc, fine. If not? No way. I won’t be upgrading my parents, and certainly if I was charged with running an IT department, I wouldn’t be keen to upgrade. It’s just too easy to get “stuck” and not know how to get back if you don’t know the special keyboard shortcuts. Perhaps SP1 will resolve these issues, and make it easier for casual users.

    #1115869
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    Geronimo, post: 130468 wrote:
    If you’re prepared to use keyboard shortcuts etc, fine. If not? No way.

    I assume you mean you’re on Windows 7.

    I’m confused though.

    Why does one have to use keyboards shortcuts?

    #1115870
    nmaric
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    All you need to use Windows 8 is a mouse with a wheel, no real need to use any of the keyboard shortcuts.

    I’ve installed Win8 a couple of weeks ago and I just love it. Much faster then Win7, faster to start and shut down, easy to navigate, new Metro apps just look great and all of the desktop/old Win7 apps work fine (and faster) in Desktop mode.
    You really need to try it. And yes, there is no Start button but you don’t really need it!

    I agree that it is a hybrid version, but Microsoft had to do something like that as not all of the ‘old’ apps are available in Metro format. It will probably take a few years to completely migrate.

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