Sunday, 26 August 2012

Why Windows 8 won't be a success...

I wanted to post about this for a few days now, but never found the time.

All the hype these days is about the Windows 8 release... lots of lengthy posts all over the internet, and endless debates. My simple and humble opinion is that this new OS by Microsoft will not be well received, for the following reasons:

1. It tries to cater for the needs of the desktop and the tablet users at the same time. This is not possible with a single user interface, simply because the dimensions of the screen are different, so the use patterns are different. This is the single one and main reason why not only Microsoft, but anyone cannot design one single OS that will be efficient both for tablets and PCs.

2. The tiled interface is not very efficient for office use, has too high learning curve, so businesses won't be adopters, there goes a huge part of the revenues.

3. The power users won't be thrilled as a lot of screen space is wasted, so that's another part of the market that won't buy.

4. Finger interface makes no sense in managing a server remotely.

5. The screen will get very dirty if you try using it with fingers... I know this reason sounds silly, but doesn't help.

Under different circumstances, I would say the new OS will be a flop, but given the mighty Microsoft advertising machine which is already at work, I will say that they will manage to convince a few people to buy, and it won't be a total disaster. It might make a few sales in the tablet market, which is clearly its target market, although even there, it has a hurdle to overcome: it is not free (compare this to Android). In any case, I think Windows 8 will go down worse that Vista did.

On a relevant and a bit more philosophical note, I dare say that the only reason Microsoft is creating this OS is  to compete in the tablets market, I mean it is obvious by the UI design that this OS will offer better usability to the tablet users. And at the same time, they try to have the benefit of having to maintain one OS only, for both desktop and tablet users, and the need for applications to be developed for one OS only, this is why they are selling the same OS to desktop/laptop users.

I believe it would have been better if they made 2 partially different OSes for these 2 different markets, perhaps with the same underlying (i.e. non UI part) core, and then offer 2 different SDKs or UI platforms or whatever, for developing the UI parts of the applications. I think they will realise this and Windows 9 will be based on this model, and it won't be long before it arrives. They just need to see the low sales numbers to be convinced, just as it happened with Vista.

Personally, I'll skip Windows 8, just as I did with Vista, and I never regretted it. However, everybody has a different taste and I am sure some people will like the new OS, which is perfectly fine. Diversity is always good!

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