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Thoughts on Windows 8

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Windows 8 Start Screen

Windows 8 has a lot to offer and is a brave move for Microsoft. It’s timing is critical as the world moves increasingly to mobile devices. I would suggest that Microsoft has taken too long to make a firm step into the mobile world as the original iPhone was released in mid 2007 and the iPad was released in the first half of 2010.

Windows 8 is almost too large a step for the average consumer, as Windows 8 is radically different from it’s predecessor. Windows’ biggest asset for years was that it was relatively boring. There was no excitement for the average joe in upgrading to a newer version of Windows. People are more concerned about what is or isn’t going to function when they upgrade than what new features the latest version of Windows brings.

Windows 7 is a brilliant operating system and this could be the biggest detractor from Windows 8, especially if the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” mentality comes into play when considering an upgrade.

The average consumer does not want to put too much thought into using a device. If it doesn’t work the way the user wants, for any reason (even if it’s the user’s fault), the manufacturer is to blame.

Windows 8 doesn’t dumb itself down. This is a noble asset, but will it work. I’ve always seen the iPad as somewhat of a toy for adults because it lacks the functionality of a full PC and this is where Windows 8 could be a winner. If one can do absolutely anything that one can do on a PC with a tablet, then one has no need for a laptop or desktop computer.

This leaves Windows 8 RT in a strange position. It doesn’t support legacy apps and all the applications it uses must come from the Microsoft Store. I think a lot of people are going to ignore Windows 8 RT devices because of these short comings.

So, what about Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro? These two can hit a serious sweet spot with the consumer as they provide a platform for a desktop, laptop and tablet that has the same user experience throughout.

If you’ve never had a Windows computer, Windows 8 is awesome. It’s an all-in-one operating system. It has the touch functionality for casual games and touch based apps and it has the classic mouse and keyboard functionality that is generally associated with more intense tasks, like traditional computer games and productivity tasks.

Windows 8 has a split personality and the question is, will the consumer see this as a psychiatric disorder or a super hero strength? As the cliche says, time will tell.

Click here for more information on Windows 8.

Writer and editor for Tech Net Africa.

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