A Completely Different Thought-centric Approach to the highly disputed 'Windows 8'
Windows and a proposed direction
In light of all of the grumpy Windows 8 posts defending the start screen, hating on it, and giving suggestions to improve it, I would like to propose something. I'm not going to argue a point that Windows 8 needs something or doesn't have something else. I would just like to make a call for a rehash of thought for a moment, so hear me out.
The traditional desktop, as we know it, came about around the 1980s (not really going for specifics). Its primary function was productivity, there was no Facebook to check thus, there was no need for all of the little wafer tablets etc. nor was the technology anywhere close to tablets at this point. So computers ran as primarily and literally ‘desktop computers' because of the lack of portability and the fact that they sat on your desk.
Then laptops became all the rage with the rise of mobile computing and the growth of the Internet. Everyone could work on the go with a laptop as everything you could find in a desktop, you could find on a laptop (minus some higher processing power which kind of hindered the use of a laptop until now). And since the rise of the laptop we've had a number of mobile computing improvements and shifts around computing in general, these include mobile smartphones and tablets of all kinds. The laptop at this point has pretty much completely ousted the desktop. And people don't really need a desktop anymore. For example, now the average joe uses his computer for casual web browsing and simple things like word, powerpoint and excel. These things don't need the computing power or productivity power that a desktop can offer, thus the computer could even be slimmed to a tablet for joe's usage case.
So the point of that was the explain the fact that primarily these days, people can get by with a laptop for all of their larger productivity, which puts people at ease when they need to be on-the-go and gives them a comfortable all in one package when working at a desk. Then other people who don't need all of the functionality that comes within a laptop, or the copious amounts of programs that it can run it, get things like tablets, because they are touch friendly, which makes them very comfortable to use in places where the laptop might be a bit obtrusive and they're generally a lot lighter than most laptops.
Where Windows 8 comes in with all of this is, in my opinion, is Microsoft could make a great case and say that Windows 8 is productive. Lets look at Surface Pro really quick. This machine can run all of the programs your laptop can, which makes it just as productive, and it's a touch based OS which is generally more friendly to the tablet style form factor which it accommodates. But there's also the little kickstand and keyboard cover that lets you get even more productive due to the relationship people already have with the keyboard and mouse. The Surface Pro is a mobile computing machine.
The Surface Pro is a mobile computing machine.
All of the advancements up to this point have all been in a mobile direction. Ever since the desktop pretty much was left on the desktop we've moved further and further away, Laptops, smartphones and tablets. All of these being centered on the one main idea that is mobile is better. Now this all was generally inevitable due to the shrinking size of the components of a computer year after year, and mobile computing is awesome and important. We can do almost everything away from the desktop now.
But where Windows 8 leaves everyone behind is where the computer began. The desktop. The desktop on Windows 8 is a mess, and I'm not talking about the software desktop that takes after its Windows 7 counterpart. I'm talking about all of those all in one screens that sit on your desktop. Windows 8 is a touch based OS that was made for smaller more portable screen sizes. With less of a focus on productivity, they've attempted to cater to the vast majority of the market that the ipad is grabbing. We've all been talking about the fact that opening up more than two apps side by side in Windows 8 is a pain, but that's because you won't need to.
So its high time that I introduce my thought on this so here it goes. I propose that there should be four solid operating systems that Microsoft offers:
One being Windows phone 8. It’s you’re highly portable phone OS that runs like a smartphone should and is the most mobile you can get.
Then we have Windows RT. This is a horrible name for an operating system that is basically a tablet. In my opinion this operating system should take the design language of metro like Windows phone, Xbox and Windows 8 have but needs a new look. Windows 8 and Windows RT are two completely different things and are easy to confuse, not to mention RT is just Windows 8 with its balls cut off (to be blatant). Regardless, it is Microsoft’s tablet operating system with just a little more functionality ported into it than Windows phone 8, in the form factor of a tablet which gives is the mobility of a tablet.
Then we have Windows 8 (Pro?) which is basically a mobile operating system that has a little less productivity focus than its Windows 7 counterpart but in turn the operating system becomes much more simple and navigable. Anyway, this is the mobile productivity machine. From your lap to your desk to the couch you can do real work on this machine no doubt.
Now, due to the lack of a completely productivity focused machine, I believe there is an opportunity for Microsoft to come in and announce a new product and OS. This would be the desktop revival, some sort of crazy productive mother lord that not only is more productive in computing power but in UI fluidity as well. There is a lot more free rain when you can consider an operating system static, like the size of the screen can be much larger, almost 400% larger than your 15’’ Macbook which will give the desktop a whole new meaning. If you could literally do all of your productive work at your desk. This could be a large monitor that you could swivel from your typical desktop setup looking straight at the computer to a completely flat surface in which you would do all of your daily tasks. Actual application windows would be useful! They could be splayed all over the screen like papers on a desk, maybe the keyboard is a separate application and you could snap it to separate applications so you could type a few things on lets say word, and without changing the entire screen just turn your chair a little and move to the other side of the screen where you have the internet open, maybe Wikipedia. Maybe there’s an opportunity for Wacom to get in on this as well, using a pen to write straight on the screen, the possibilities are endless for this OS. If executed perfectly, Microsoft could really pull together a wonderful family of devices, the mobile phone, the casual RT, the mobile productive, Windows 8 Pro, and the Static and completely productive centric OS.
Now I know that Microsoft is relatively ready to make this system because that is what Surface was before it was the portable Windows 8 machine. The original surface could be the perfect solution to Windows 8 itself.
Thanks for reading this, I know it’s really lengthy but I’ve been building up the thought on this for a while and really wanted to put it all out there. And give me some thoughts!