Here are various thoughts I have about Windows 8:
On the name:
- I hope this “codename Windows 8″ stuff is just a joke. Just call it Windows 8. Every other OS that I can think of has first and foremost a number associated with it. In fact, I think this must just be a joke, because Microsoft is more and more coming around to the “Windows” name as the brand. Calling it Windows Flambe or Windows Azule or Windows Enchilada doesn’t help with the brand. 8.
- Now, of course, this ignores the fact that Windows 7 is a name, not a version. So implicit in my plea for Windows 8 is that it actually be version 8, not just named 8. Sorry if that is confusing, but I’m not the one who decided that Windows version 6.1 would be called Windows 7.
On the new interface:
- Looks kind of interesting, but I’m concerned about the “one interface to rule them all” approach. Remind anyone of the original Windows Mobile? Just a small form-factor Windows machine with Start menu. That seemed logical, but it turned out that it was nearly unusable. The Windows Phone 7 Metro UI is pretty cool for a phone. It would work well for a tablet. It seems wierd for a desktop/laptop, but maybe not.
- The bigger problem is that I hope Microsoft gets that standard Windows applications don’t become productive tablet applications with the addition of touch. I have a convertible laptop. It would be interesting to have Metro on it, but that will only solve one piece of what makes it nearly unusable in tablet form.
- So, unlike Windows Phone 7, Windows 8 won’t use Silverlight for the Metro UI. This isn’t surprising. Microsoft has eschewed .NET for core Windows development from day 1. OK, from day 2, because on day 1 they said .NET would be the new Windows API. It never happened. And this is just another indication that it never will.
- That said, I think it makes total sense for them to use HTML 5 and not Silverlight for Windows.
- Which begs another (future) question: what will Silverlight be good for then?
A little snarky, but I’m feeling snarky today.