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Windows 8: One OS to Rule Them All? (Can Microsoft tackle desktop and mobile with one OS?)
PC World ^ | 12/13/2011 | By Tony Bradley

Posted on 12/13/2011 2:53:20 PM PST by SeekAndFind

Windows 8 is on the horizon. Microsoft has designed the next-generation flagship operating system with a split personality that straddles the line between the familiar Windows 7 desktop, and the flashy Metro interface used with Windows Phone 7. Can Microsoft successfully tackle desktop and mobile with one OS?

Microsoft is not new to mobile devices. It had a smartphone before the Apple iPhone revolution came along, and it was pushing tablet PCs before the Apple iPad made it cool. But, as long as Microsoft’s history with mobile devices is, so is its stubborn desire to make everything about its Windows OS.

The original Windows Mobile was--as much as it could be--Windows ported onto a much smaller form factor. Windows tablets were more or less Windows laptops, but with the physical keyboard removed and replaced by a stylus for input.

What Microsoft failed to realize, and what Apple and Google have since proven, is that the mobile experience is different than the desktop experience. But, Apple has been moving in a direction to converge iOS and Mac OS X in some ways, and Google seems to blur the line some with Android and its Chrome OS--so Microsoft apparently wants to double down with an OS that can simultaneously run desktops and tablets.

Fair enough. The Windows 8 developer preview version I have now is pretty rough around the edges, but it has some pizazz, and definitely shows some promise. It still seems sort of “Jekyll and Hyde”, though--it can either be a flashy Metro UI tablet, or it can be a Windows 7 desktop.

The allure of having one cross-platform OS is the applications.

(Excerpt) Read more at pcworld.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet; Society
KEYWORDS: microsoft; windows8; zune; zunedows; zuneos

1 posted on 12/13/2011 2:53:23 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Not again.


2 posted on 12/13/2011 3:04:36 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.)
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To: SeekAndFind

This will either be pretty cool, or massively suck. I don’t see how it could be in between.

Given their recent history with their flagship products, I’m betting this will work out pretty well.


3 posted on 12/13/2011 3:05:25 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny ("Fair share" are the last two words I hear before I stop taking someone seriously.)
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To: Psycho_Bunny

Perhaps there will be some kind of mode switch between the two kinds of layouts.


4 posted on 12/13/2011 3:07:44 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

More likely that the OS will detect the type of hardware and adjust screen size, font size, etc. accordingly.


5 posted on 12/13/2011 3:13:13 PM PST by reg45 (I'm not angry that Lincoln freed the slaves. I'm angry that Franklin Roosevelt bought them back.)
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To: SeekAndFind

With one OS? Probably not. With a common UI paradigm and API set? Absolutely - they did before, in the 2000-2007 timeline when Windows ruled (and still does) the PC world, and Windows CE/Windows Mobile was the dominant smartphone OS.


6 posted on 12/13/2011 3:17:24 PM PST by FromTheSidelines ("everything that deceives, also enchants" - Plato)
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To: FromTheSidelines

that would be cool


7 posted on 12/13/2011 3:20:20 PM PST by mamelukesabre (.)
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To: Secret Agent Man
Perhaps there will be some kind of mode switch between the two kinds of layouts.

There is. You do not have to use the Metro UI if you are on a desktop/laptop.

The cool idea is that Win 8 is far more flexible, allowing a modest version to run on phones, a more feature-rich version to run on tablets and a full-feature version to run on desktops/laptops. Even the XBox is going to use Win 8 as its OS.

The absolute merger of platforms and familiarity it will bring could be huge for MS....if they get it right.

The head of Windows Phone just moved over to Windows 8, a sign that more convergence is taking place.

With Apple's iOS restrictions and Google's Android bloat/fragmentation, there is an opportunity here for MS.

MS will set hardware requirements (similar to Apple) but allow for variations. Small tablets, large tablets, laptops, desktops, etc of all sizes/shapes/flavors will be available. All will upgrade at the same time, just like Windows does. No left-behind hardware until they reach Windows 9.

8 posted on 12/13/2011 3:20:46 PM PST by Erik Latranyi
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To: FromTheSidelines
With one OS? Probably not.

Actually it will be the same OS. I recently read an article about it.

Its a major leap foward.

9 posted on 12/13/2011 3:22:30 PM PST by Erik Latranyi
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To: Psycho_Bunny
"This will either be pretty cool, or massively suck. I don’t see how it could be in between."

I'm kinda hoping they hit it out of the park. The more these guys battle for domination of the integrated "cloud" universe the more we, as the consumer, come out. Plus, it would be cool to have a universal interface across all my digital devices.

10 posted on 12/13/2011 3:47:26 PM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity

I want the kinect on my desktop.

so i can slide windows around and even have just plug and play beyond four screens.


11 posted on 12/13/2011 4:14:33 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: SeekAndFind
I'm getting tired of having to do a major upgrade (or get a whole new PC) every couple of years just to run the latest software. I have a WIN7/64 machine, but I still use an XP Pro PC that I will not upgrade (it runs fine). MS's "threat" of not allowing DirectX 10 for XP will not get me to upgrade.

I see my self moving to a game console in the near future for home use. $250 for a PS3, a $20 USB KB, a $20 USB mouse, a wireless connection, Gmail and Google docs: I don't need much more. Plus, it'll play new games far past a point in time where upgrading a PC to run new games can be done.

12 posted on 12/13/2011 4:24:17 PM PST by jeffc (Prayer. It's freedom of speech.)
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To: SeekAndFind
I'm really looking forward to Windows 8

I design some powerful applications using Excel and VBA. Having Excel on a tablet will be amazing.

13 posted on 12/13/2011 4:30:19 PM PST by FatherofFive (Islam is evil and must be eradicated)
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To: SeekAndFind
I don't know... Long time Linux (Ubuntu, Red Hat, other distros) user here. I've used the KDE and Gnome window managers on multiple distros. For the past several years been using Ubuntu (Gnome). However, in the last couple of releases they've tried to converge their UI between desktop and netbook/tablet (ie. small form factor). It isn't working out.

So in most ways that count, Ubuntu is already there, doing this, and it stinks. The basic OS is great, it is the UI that has problems. Ok, the "unity" interface isn't bad on my Asus eee PC 901. But on my desktop, it is less than satisfactory. I've got everything backed up, and an old test system running Mepis Linux (with KDE 4.5) and I'm about ready to switch my main desktop over to Mepis - the unity thing is that bad.

I wish MS luck - it is a modest technological challenge, but a huge human-factors challenge. Win 7 isn't too bad (just not my everyday OS). Hope they don't blow it with 8. But then, lately they've been running about every other major release toggling between good and terrible so I'm not holding my breath.

14 posted on 12/13/2011 4:51:20 PM PST by ThunderSleeps (Stop obama now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: FatherofFive

There’s some other cool stuff in there too. I’m looking forward to Powershell running as a web service, for remote system administation.


15 posted on 12/13/2011 4:57:40 PM PST by tacticalogic
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To: FatherofFive

We used to have a saying around the office, “Excel is not a programming language”. It came about because a few folks in the office, that were pretty good with Excel, would compare their Excel abilities to the work of the software developers that created the software for the equipment we sold or proprietary software used internally for inventory control, warranty tracking and other purposes. Then one day the IT guy sent around an Excel workbook that was actually the game Pac Man recreated using VBA in Excel. Even though Excel isn’t a programming language, it took all the fun out of saying it…


16 posted on 12/13/2011 5:02:16 PM PST by Usually_Disappointed (I think the tree of liberty is getting thirsty...)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Now phones and tablets are powerful enough that it’s certainly a possibility that you could be using Windows 8 on all of them.

I’m uncertain about the need to do so. If I’m using my phone and want to word process, is it really necessary that I am able to do more than just type at that point?


17 posted on 12/13/2011 5:07:16 PM PST by Jonty30 (If a person won't learn under the best of times, then he must learn under the worst of times.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s bound to happen sooner or later, it’s not a certainty it will be Microsoft. Could be Android moving to PC machine.


18 posted on 12/13/2011 5:10:47 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (To Obama, bipartisanship is giving the opposition the opportunity to do as they are told. (WGensert))
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To: Usually_Disappointed
Then one day the IT guy sent around an Excel workbook that was actually the game Pac Man recreated using VBA in Excel.

I'd like to see that.

19 posted on 12/13/2011 5:14:29 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (To Obama, bipartisanship is giving the opposition the opportunity to do as they are told. (WGensert))
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To: Jonty30
I’m uncertain about the need to do so. If I’m using my phone and want to word process, is it really necessary that I am able to do more than just type at that point?

Probably not, but you might want to be typing into a Word template you developed on your desktop.

20 posted on 12/13/2011 5:17:31 PM PST by tacticalogic
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To: SeekAndFind

Ash OS durbatulûk, ash OS gimbatul,
Ash OS thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul?


21 posted on 12/13/2011 8:42:03 PM PST by Altariel (`)
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To: ThunderSleeps
So in most ways that count, Ubuntu is already there, doing this, and it stinks. The basic OS is great, it is the UI that has problems.

IMHO, the UI/graphics (and drivers) has always been one of the biggest shortcomings of Linux compared to Windows.

22 posted on 12/13/2011 9:42:47 PM PST by MCH
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

23 posted on 12/14/2011 4:55:54 AM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: MCH
I've had good luck (recently) with drivers on Linux. By recently I mean in the last 4 - 5 years. Before that, yeah, it was very hit or miss. Last time I connected a new printer to my home network (Epson, a name brand) introducing it to Ubuntu took a few mouse clicks and it pulled down the driver from the net and was ready in less than 2 min or so. The (at that time) Win XP system needed the driver disk and lots of fumbling around to get it to recognize it. My wife's Mac (OS/X) still "loses" the handle on the printer from time to time and you have to delete it and re-install it all over again via a procedure that is the worst of the 3 systems. (manually enter raw IP addresses, guesses at queue names, then go and find a driver for it, etc.)

As for the UIs. Between work and home I end up using XP, Win7, Red Hat, and Ubuntu. Red Hat has KDE 3.x, Ubuntu was Gnome 2.x based until the Unity fiasco started. :-( Honestly, they're all pretty good UIs IMHO, some differences, but none stand out as being really great compared to the others. Unity is the most different, buggiest, and worst of the lot. Like I said, bad enough I'm going to switch OSes for no other reason than that. I could slap Gnome or KDE or another window manager on Ubuntu, but I'm just lazy enough to want to run my distro "out of the box" plus it is as good of an excuse as any to fool with Mepis again and a KDE 4.x UI, see how that works. Yes, I realize those reasons are somewhat contradictory. ;-)

25 posted on 12/14/2011 5:32:11 AM PST by ThunderSleeps (Stop obama now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: Secret Agent Man

I believe there is.

I think the biggest risk is going with Arm and Intel/x86 based processors. How will the apps work between them? Will all apps have 3 different installs? one for each x64, x86, and Arm?


26 posted on 12/14/2011 8:59:59 AM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: SeekAndFind

* WinCE *


27 posted on 12/14/2011 10:05:04 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: SeekAndFind

I went back to windows 7. I tried 8 developer edition and it was REALLY annoying. Search feature is a huge step backwards.


28 posted on 12/14/2011 10:59:47 AM PST by dubie (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.)
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