Windows Blue, and the Future of Microsoft's OS

MG Siegler linked to this story from Mary Jo Foley and criticized Microsoft for their confusing OS numerical scheme. But it got me thinking.

This weekend I had to reinstall Windows 7 on my 2009 Dell because the Windows 8 consumer beta I had been running expired. After six months, going back was a little jarring -both in a good way and bad.

Bad because I had to go back to the ugly look of Windows 7. Aesthetically, Windows 7 looks ancient. It’s incredible how the company’s design sense has improved tremendously in Windows 8 (even in desktop view).

It was good, though, to be back to a system that works well. Back to the file system and start menu that feel so professional, it’s like leaping ahead to the most powerful OS available.

Maybe this "Blue" is a hybrid. It’s obvious that Windows 8 does not work on a traditional keyboard/mouse machine (I could tell you that from my beta). What if the good things done in Windows 8’s desktop view could be applied to the traditional structure of classic Windows? Could Microsoft pull off two simultaneous OS releases? This hybridized OS would be advanced, but tailored for the legacy users. And Windows 8 could continue its incremental advancement towards the future of tablet-based machines.

Windows 8 was a necessary step to where the industry is now, and I applaud them for that, but it doesn’t work for nearly every user who has used their systems before. However, going back to Windows 7 didn’t feel right either. I hope Windows Blue isn’t a silly upgrade to a more polarized system as is Windows 8 now. I hope they recognize that they’re in a really good position to do something really incredible, they just need to see it.

Would you guys use a hybrid system like this; the looks of Metro(?) applied to the structure of Windows 7?