My Windows 8 Dream
After listening to the most recent Vergecast where there was a heavy focus on the various pieces of Windows 8 news coming out of Mobile World Congress, my mind started to wander through what my dream or ideal Windows 8 usage scenario would be. The reason I have decided to put these musings into text is because I listened to Josh's own speculation and had some stark differences of opinion.
First, let me talk a little bit about my current PC usage (Windows 7) scenarios that I follow on a daily basis. In my day job I work as a Web Developer at an agency. When I come into the office in the morning I start/wake up my work PC (Lenovo ThinkPad) and use a number of applications to get my work done. These applications include, but are not limited to:
- Eclipse (Text/Code editing, version control plugins, validators, etc)
- MS Office (Outlook, Word and Excel)
- Photoshop (I am often given designs via PSD which I need to open up and tear into on my own to isolate assets)
- Various browsers and web debugging tools (Firefox, Chrome, IE, various plugins and standalone tools)
- Pidgin (My IM client of choice)
- VMware Server Console (For doing development and testing in legacy environments)
- As you can see, there are a lot of things going on here in my daily work life. I am not necessarily tied to the Windows 7 platform, as I could indeed do any of these things on Mac OS X as well. Windows 7 is simply my desktop OS of choice.
After I finish for the day, I go home where I have my personal Windows desktop PC. I use this PC for the following:
- Gaming (both Steam and non-Steam titles, most recently BF3, SWTOR and a few others)
- Video consumption (mostly websites serving up Flash video content)
- Music listening (Spotify)
Additionally, I sometimes work on side projects and freelance work. To work on this, I use the exact same tools listed above but on my home PC instead.
As I mentioned, these are all my current PC usage scenarios and applications. From here, I start envisioning my dream uses of a Windows 8 Tablet PC.
Upon reaching the office in the morning, instead of starting up my trusty old ThinkPad I would take my Windows 8 Tablet out and put it on a dock on my desk. This would connect it to my keyboard, mouse and large monitor. From here I can load my usual Windows 7-style desktop and work with the same apps I do today. Perhaps on my lunch break, though, I decide to take in a bit of entertainment. At this point I can undock the tablet, switch back to Metro and play a game or watch a video in that environment. Once it's time to get back to work, back on the dock it goes.
Fast forward and I am once again at home. Although I am again docking the Tablet to use with my keyboard, mouse and monitor on my desk at home, this dock is really where the "dream" part comes into play.
The dock I have at home would differ from the one I have at work. At work, it simply serves as a charging station and port replicator to utilize my various peripherals. At home, it would do the same but also have some sort of high speed interface connection (think eSata or Lightpeak) to connect the tablet to the discrete NVIDIA or AMD graphics card living in the dock itself. This would now turn my Windows 8 tablet into a full fledged PC gaming machine. Perhaps the dock could also have some additional storage and whatnot if need be. I could now navigate to the Battlefield 3 or World of Warcraft (just for the sake of arguments, I don't play WoW anymore) icon and get my game on.
Once the midnight oil has successfully been burned, I could again pick up the tablet and work on some email, shopping or light reading from the comfort of my bed.
To summarize these scenarios:
At the Office - Windows 7 (productivity)
At Home - Windows 7 (gaming, entertainment)
At the Office - Windows 8 Desktop (productivity)
At the Office (lunch break) or perhaps on the train to/from home - Windows 8 Metro (entertainment)
At Home - Windows 8 Desktop (gaming, freelance develoopment) or Windows 8 Metro (entertainment)