Windows 8 – will it live up to the hype?

After so much hype (it seems like forever) the full launch of Windows 8 is almost here. Will it live up to expectations?

In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve used Microsoft products since I was 12 (depressingly 25 years ago now) and have grown up with them from DOS and through all the versions of Windows since.  Even today, I only use Windows on my desktop and laptop devices.

However, where Microsoft lost me was in the mobile device space.  I used to really like the simplicity of my Nokia Symbian based mobile phone.  But then phones became “Smart” – so I turned to one of the first Windows Mobile phones.  I tried my best to like it, but it really played hard-to-want.

So I had to give up, tried a few options over the years and am now very happy with my Google Android based Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note tablet.  I know many other Microsoft desktop supporters who have also turned to Apple or Android devices as their mobility solution.

The question now is – will that change?  Windows 8 looks promising, the interface is engaging, devices look thin and sexy – but will we shift off what we are now used to?

This is a revolutionary release from Microsoft, not just an update on a familiar user interface, so it will take some time to get used to.  It might be called Windows, but it really doesn’t look like Windows.  Maybe it should have been called Tiles?

For consumers, many will consider the availability of Apps to be a key decision point when choosing to buy.  As Google found when they took on Apple, it takes time to build an App store that genuinely competes – will enough developers embrace the Microsoft platform to get the growth it wants?

From a business perspective, will Windows 8 be embraced across the board?  Is it the right experience for older workers who are used to the Start button, and their keyboard and mouse?  Will the IT team find it easy enough to provision, support and manage?

Marketing information and a quick play with the first range of devices haven’t given me enough information to fully form my opinion yet.  It’s possible that Windows 7 may still be the best option for workers who currently have a desktop or laptop.

But for those who aren’t tied to a desk, Windows 8 looks like it could finally deliver a fantastic Microsoft experience on the go.

About David Reiss

Product Marketing Manager, Networked ICT Products
This entry was posted in Mobility, Trends, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Windows 8 – will it live up to the hype?

  1. JCDNZ says:

    I’ve ordered my MS Surface and can’t wait for the Nokia Lumia 920 so I can re-home my iPh 4S.

  2. Hopeful skeptic says:

    I look forward to your report of how this new OS actually performs….and whether its another ‘vista’. I think devices are in the shops, and i expect you to report back shortly on how it all hangs together.

    Paul Muckleston nailed the proposition during an interview with TV3 firstline this morning when he said ‘my friends that have ipads also have a PC and a Mac, now all they need is one device’. Simple and true.

    People will get used to the new stuff, and updates will fix the rest, W8 won’t be allowed to not meet the requirements of users. This is a new era I think, and like you I’ve installed Windows ME, Vista etc and am highly skeptical.

    • David Reiss says:

      Unfortunately I don’t think that review is going to be until early next year. Most of the devices we’re seeing now are consumer and/or for the RT version of Windows 8, or devices that are a hybrid of some sort.

      Similarly to the first Android devices, I don’t think we’re going to see the best Windows 8 has to offer until the corporate grade devices are released. Slim enough to be taken anywhere, but powerful enough to be all things to all people. I agree, it really is a nice concept.

      But it’s going to be interesting to see who gets on board the revolution. I have a colleague who has been using Windows 8 since it was in Beta and he wouldn’t go back. But he found it took a couple of weeks to really get used to it.

  3. says:

    could you explain the difference between Windows 7 (x86), Windows 8 (x86) and Windows RT – I don’t think there is a good understanding about what software can be run on which OS. I quite confused.

    • David Reiss says:

      Hi Philip,

      You are right, there is a lot of confusion. Windows 7 was released over 3 years ago, and has been shipped with new PC’s since then. However, a lot of businesses are still using Windows XP (which is 11 years old), but will need to before April 2014 when XP goes end of life and will no longer be supported by Microsoft.

      Windows 7 is an evolution from XP and Vista, and still functions the way you would expect Windows to. For example, it has a Start button which brings up the available programs to run.

      Windows 8 is revolutionary, with a completely different user experience, such as introducing touch-screen functionality, and is arguably more comparable to an iPad than a Windows PC.

      This article articulates the differences between the Windows 8 versions fairly well:

  4. says:

    cheers – i think a few ‘home’ SOHO customers who don’t get this explained to them at purchase time will end up very annoyed. Watch for the enterprise exec who buys one on a trip to the US and A and brings it back to his IT boffins to install VPN client, LOB software and Outlook. Nothing will work! He’ll drag it around meetings for the first few days, get sick of it, then his kids will get an early Xmas pressy, but exec won’t swap out home ipad cos he finally knows how to use it.

  5. Madhan says:

    Hope that Windows-8 is not plagued by viruses! I guess that is in my wildest dreams!🙂
    Most of the touch based devices have very small screen sizes. Will the release of Windows-8 trigger the production of touch based devices with bigger screen sizes?

    • David Reiss says:

      Microsoft have made big improvements to security in Windows 7 and even more in Windows 8. The security improvements, however, may still need to be augmented with a specialist anti-virus solution to be completely safe.

      Regarding touch screens you are right – the “traditional” tablets, which are effectively laptops with screens that can swivel around and use a pen – are starting to have touch screens that work with both pens and also fingers.

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    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your helpful information. Thank you for the post. I’ll definitely return.

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