Monday, May 13, 2013

Grossly Exaggerated

Mark Twain can feel Microsoft's Pain.

Mark Twain used to joke, “Reports of my demise are grossly exaggerated.”  As I read the latest technology headlines that is how you should feel about Windows 8.  It has not been a good week for Microsoft in the press but I don’t think the end is neigh for the folks in Redmond.  In this blog, I will tell you why and how our firm fits into that scheme.

Many of these issues came to a head this week when an article appeared from Financial Times.  In it, they pointed out that Microsoft is publicly admitting failure and that they are getting ready for the release of windows blue which is the possible replacement to Windows 8.  Quickly other technology blogs and sites jumped on the bandwagon and decided to kick Redmond while it was down.  Motley Fool even blamed the poor performance of PC sales on Windows 8.  

I am a new adopter of Windows 8 and I have to confess that without the special widget Classic Start Menu 3.6, I would be lost in this operating system.  This is because it relies heavily on touch screens.  This means that your 20 inch monitor you purchased must be swapped for a $600 monitor or an $80 Logitech touch pad to be useful.  Many people will find the live tiles off putting.  Finally, Windows 8 offers apps using the live tile motif and the desktop for traditional applications.  I have been using the desktop exclusively.

What this means that unless you have a surface tablet or a Windows 8 laptop your home system is going to need a major upgrade.  During recessionary times like this it is a lot to ask.  Windows 8 is a huge leap of faith that the user community is willing to adapt and once again the user community has disappointed.

All is not lost though; I find that Windows 8 is very fast.  I can download pod casts that used to take five minutes in less than thirty seconds.  The windows explorer is clean and quick with additional means of organizing files and systems.  Internet Explorer 10 fully embraces many of the features of HTML 5 and development with Visual Studio 2012 and Web Matrix 3 is clean and slick.  If you are a software developer then Windows 8 is a natural choice.

So to me, Windows 8 isn't a failure.  It is too much too soon and too early for the general consumer.  For a techie like me it is a logical extension of the Windows operating system.  This means that at E3 systems we will start experimenting with Windows 8 applications along with more adaptive web sites so that our systems can work across multiple systems.  Find out what we mean by dropping us a line. It also means that we are going to be more cautious with our user design so that we don’t shock people too much with the changes.

Windows 8 is great, if you are ready for it.  If not you are going to be in for a huge shock.

Until next time.