A generally pro-Windows 8 but fair commentary that makes some good points and offers some hope for the Desktop's future:Windows Blue won't be the end of the Desktop UI
In recent years we have seen the over-consumerization of computers, in particular the shift from desktop PCs to tablets and other portable devices. Everything seems to be all about mobile today. But is mobile and touch the future of computers ?
...it's obvious that many consumers used a tool which they barely knew anything about. Having been a computer consultant and programmer for so long, time after time I find myself again and again suggesting to consumers I deal with that maybe they should buy a book about Windows and learn a little more about and what the software can do.
I realized the average consumer bought something he or she didn't fully utilize -- the PC exceeded need. Then along came MP3 players, smartphones and tablets. Consumers didn't need a keyboard, they simply touched the device. They didn't have to learn all the complexities of a full blown PC. Finally, people started buying what they wanted all along. Something designed to do a specific task, and that is it.
I do think this -- that PCs are too complex for many users who simply want to surf the Web and check their e-mail. That' i what tablets are for and one reason they've become so popular.
What I object to is being compelled to deal with an interface that I find both esthetically abhorrent and functionally inferior because Microsoft wants to appeal to such simplistic uses. Give me the choice, upon the first boot of a new device, to decide which UI to live in -- and if I choose the Desktop, then banish the Modern UI from my PC completely: I do not want to be assaulted by this abomination every time I want to launch a new program.
So, for consumers, maybe Windows could do away with the Desktop. But as far as businesses are concerned, to do away with the Desktop could mean the loss of millions, if not billions of dollars. But wouldn't Microsoft recognize this? I can't speak for the company, but I venture a guess of yes. So how does one create a totally new operating system that solves the needs of the consumer, while satisfying the needs of businesses? The answer, merge a new operating system into the existing one and have the best of both worlds. That is what Windows 8 does.
Never underestimate the capacity of a company that's strongly placed in a market, to be contemptuous of its customers and ignore their firmly and clearly stated preferences. I remember Blockbusters used to tout this "3-day rental" policy, where it turned out that if you rented a video at, say, 10PM Wednesday night, it was due back by noon on Friday -- on the brilliant theory that 10PM to midnight on Wednesday was "one" day, then Thursday was another day, and midnight to noon on Friday was a "third" day. You could have the video for barely a day and a half and that would be considered "3 days" when, practically speaking, there was only one day when you could watch it (the middle day).
What keeps organizations in line is the marketplace, the possibility of failure -- which needs to be allowed to occur. Blockbusters' idiotic, bullying policy helped to alienate its customers and they started looking for alternatives. Eventually management rescinded that policy, but by then the dam was collapsing and it was too late to stop it from emptying out. They might even still be in business today had they not been such nearsighted, arrogant morons -- at worst it would have bought them time to establish a solid foothold in the fast-growing streaming market before Netflix claimed it. Today they have a presence there but nobody knows or cares about it.
That aside, the writer of the linked piece evidently has an appreciation of business and, I believe, can come to understand that ultimately the Desktop and Modern UI's must be split from each other such that the twain shall never meet. The Desktop is clearly a second-class citizen in the Windows 8 world, and its users are never allowed to forget it. Metro gets in the way repeatedly to shock the senses and slow things down, both functionally and psychologically. Business users must ultimately get "our own" OS. Whether down the road that OS will be Windows, is up to Microsoft to decide. I'm not holding my breath.
Edited by JorgeA, 02 April 2013 - 11:22 PM.