The Next Step in Advancing Microsoft's Vision
Windows 8: Courtesy of VergeiNah
Ever since Microsoft created Windows 8, things began to change, and somewhat instantaneously. I said it before, and I still believe it to this day, Microsoft was ahead of it's time in the creation of Windows 8. To base an entire operating system around touch is building a UX for the future. Almost every device we use now, are touch based, except for desktops and laptops. Until windows 8 had arrived. Now it is not only expected, but often seen as a requirement for our Windows laptops as well to have touch screens. From the Lenovo Yoga series to the Acer Aspire series (R7), there has been an influx of new devices looking to take aim at that. But there has been somewhat of a struggle from OEM's on finally hitting the mark on how to best maximize the experience of Windows 8. Enter Microsoft and their Surface line.
As many focused on the products itself within the landscape of laptops and tablets, I believe there was a more significant and intriguing statement made by Microsoft with Windows 8, windows centered around the display. The Surface and Surface 2 products (Pro and RT), were made with the goal in mind of showing other hardware manufacturers the best way to take advantage of the new Windows experience. The mere fact that the Surface products and others similar to it are difficult to define or put in a single arbitrary category, shows that with Windows 8, Microsoft has opened the floodgates to a new and uncharted territory. Windows, in its new form, can be used anywhere and everywhere. On any touch enabled surface, at any location. I can't really explain how significant this is when building towards the future, so i'll just let Microsoft's Envisioning Lab do it for me.
The Next Step
Obviously we are a far from using Windows entirely in space by using hands to manipulate the UI, without touching anything, let alone on solely touch screen displays (key board and mouse as well) as seen in the video above. But Windows 8 was the first small step, in getting to a point where computing can be achieved without the need for traditional physical hardware such as keyboard and mice. Now when this time comes when Microsoft decides to create a product that they believe shows the best way to maximize its OS (as they did with Surface), one where the traditional keyboard and mice as we know it are not necessary anymore and therefore are not included, there will be critics. To put this into perspective, think back at the iPhone. There were critics everywhere that thought a phone without any physical keyboard or buttons would not catch on, and boy were they wrong. But Microsoft isn't at this point yet, maybe (hopefully), by Windows 9 the entire infrastructure would center around touch. But for now, Microsoft may have made mice somewhat unnecessary when using Windows 8 on touch enabled devices, but keyboards definitely still are. And as they did with mobile windows devices with "Surface", I think its time they step in to the desktop field and create a product that maximizes Windows 8. What do I suggest? An all in one 27 - 30 inch touch screen 2560 x 1440 display, beast of a machine . There's actually something similar on the market right now, that is just perfect for windows 8. Feast your eyes.
Similar to Surface, I think Microsoft needs to make such a device, to get other manufacturers centered around the idea as well. If Apple had gone as Microsoft has, and made an OS for touch, the 27" iMac (with touch) would be primed to take advantage of it. I think it'll be years before Apple finally comes around and makes their desktop OS optimized for touch. One thing that makes this Lenovo AIO the best windows 8 desktop machine on the market, is the versatile hinge. Something that makes using it for touch extremely pleasant. For microsoft, not only is the technology there to build a high powered version similar to this, but with Windows RT I could see a cheaper, less powered RT version taking off in businesses and schools. And it could also simply work as a touch enabled display for external CPU's for those who still want/ need that versatility.
One thing is certain, Windows 8 is built for the future. Microsoft was ahead of the curve, and people still don't realize it. As people prefer to go back to windows 7, and would prefer to be centered around the computing experience in the traditional sense, I'm encouraging and applauding them for taking us into a new era, even though many would prefer to stay in the present. So tell me Microsoft, when does Windows 9 get here?
I'm glad that you were patient enough to read through all of this, I truly hoped you watched the videos, because they're definitely truly are interesting. Now I would like to know your thoughts on my ideas, as well as your own thoughts on microsoft's continuing goal of creating windows for devices of the future. I would love to have a great discussion! =)