Windows 8 is a jack of all trades, but is that something bad?
Windows 8 "No Compromises" approach has been criticized by many due to the fact that it actually, compromises keyboard and mouse for touch.
Now, before this statement results in "this has been touched so many times" comments, let me clear my point. The mouse and keyboard experience has been disrupted, the workflow has changed, it has been indeed compromised to make the touch experience better (If you ever held a Windows 8 tablet both hands and interacted with it, you will see what I'm talking about) Whomever refuses to acknowledge this compromises is just a blind fan boy.
However, it is clear that Windows 8 get all the basics for mouse and keyboard just right and some even better than the competition and previous versions.
Now, after seen the upcoming Windows 8 hardware landscape from IFA, there are really three things really clear.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Detachable keyboard hybrids is the most popular form factor.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->All, Windows 8 devices have touch.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Desktops are a forgotten form factor (besides a couple of All in ones)
The first point is very important because it signals how the mainstream is going to look like 6-12 months from now in terms of form factor. It also means most customers who buy a portable will have both, a tablet and laptop.
These facts, to my eyes, this represent a big problem for Apple and Google on the tablet landscape. They both offer a 100% touch screen oriented user experience, and a lot of their success strived on the fact that Windows, up until now, has been really bad for touch in terms of form factor, software and cost. These limitations are suddenly banishing and Windows 8 arises as a true alternative.
While Windows 8 still is neither perfect for tablets or desktops from the user experience stand point, it offers enough to cover for the basics on both scenarios and has unique advantages lacking on iOS and Android.
A purist in my opinion, is somewhat like an audiophile, the kind that bought Cowon audio players because they supported flac and had really good audio quality and they choose that option despite the advantages that the all arounder iPod had in terms of ecosystem and features.
Some purist will criticize Windows 8 for been a jack of all trades and not really mastering any of the two scenarios, however, When I look around, I see that regular people are not purist really, they like the most "little bit of everything" they can pay for, and from Oct. 26 on, been a Laptop and tablet "purist", its going to look expensive compared to what we'll have in the market.
I'm predicting pure tablets and pure laptops are going to fall into niche markets inevitably.
This is yet an other reason I think Windows 8 is going to beat the crap out of iOS and Android for tablets, and the reason why I believe they both will remain champions at the 7 inches niche, nothing else.