An ostensibly legitimate build of Windows Blue, the much-rumored update to Windows 8, surfaced online over the weekend and is currently being circulated on file-sharing sites. The leak caps a spree of Windows Blue rumors over the last few weeks, including videos in which Microsoft officials casually reference the update and numerous indications that an official release will arrive soon.
The leaked build is incomplete, marked by several non-functional features and placeholders. Nonetheless, observers have already unearthed new insights into Microsoft's strategy to remain dominant as its core PC business cedes groundto the tablet market. Many of these inferences reiterate earlier rumors, such as refinements to Windows 8's touch-oriented Modern user interface. But the build also suggests a tablet-centric mindset that has already seeded new speculation, the boldest of which suggests Microsoft will soon retire one of its most iconic Windows features: the desktop itself.
Even grade school kids use PCs to write papers, these days. Are they also considered "professionals"?
Large tiles make sense for touch browsers in tablets and smartphones. That's about all they make sense for. I was kind of hoping that Microsoft would have fixed the problem in Win8 SP1, but I can't tell if this is the fix, or if this Blue thing is Win9.
The only real benefit to the large tiles, as far as I can see, is the ability to navigate with very poor dexterity (fingers versus a mouse). The big difference is that for most things currently done by "consumers" (as opposed to "professionals") are browser driven on PC's and app driven on phones. No real reason for PC's not to have a jillion apps, other than 1 flash enabled browser takes the place of a jillion apps. I think the evolution of the PC will address this area....
It is difficult to change users perspective, even if the "new design" is better in theory. There are hundreds of reports says how inefficient / how un-ergonomic QWERTY keyboard is, dozens of "ergonomic" keyboard layout has been proposed, but vast majority of us still stuck with QWERTY. Because it is ubiquitous, we are get use to, feeling it is "good enough" and don't want to spend extra effort/time/money to switch to unfamiliar layout, in order to get theoretical "better efficiency".
I agree with Bert on this one. Even as the MS PR engine keeps trying to sell the world on how great Win8 is for everything and that all of the thing that annoy people are "enhancements", I have to believe that there are plenty of people inside the company scrambling to try to fix it while saving face.
MS can make radical changes in strategy as they did once it was clear that the Internet was here to stay and they were wrong about it.
The large icon tiles of Windows 8 remind me of the first Windows point and click GUI applications. It was a relief when the Apple Macintosh came along with a visually appealing screen that wasn't paved in big tiles. Are Microsoft's Windows 8 developers too young to remember that important lesson?
I take an almost opposite view of this, foretelling instead that Windows Blue is an acknowledgment by Microsoft that Windows 8 misses the mark. Just as rumors of a new Windows surfaced shortly after the introduction of Vista, after all. History repeating itself.
The way I read it, Windows Blue fixes what's wrong with Windows 8, making it MORE appealing to PC users. If you can take that Windows 8 start screen, full of cartoonishly huge tiles, and reduce their size to 1/4 of the current size, and potentially more than that, then clearly that becomes very similar to what most PC users have long known to be their desktop.
I mean seriously, is it that none of the trade scribes know how to put shortcut icons on the desktop or on the task bar, to launch the most used Windows applications? Do these folk really always go the the "start" button first? I don't believe it. Nor do I know anyone who does that.
Whatever hardware uses large screens that are somewhat distant from the user, and that could be desktops, Internet TVs, PCs for conference rooms or auditoriums, or any number of similar applications, would benefit from a more PC-like UI, which can be operated with a mouse, remote mouse, or similar type of pointing device. If Windows Blue makes decent use of the large screen real-estate, as opposed to what Windows 8 does, then I don't see why insist on the high drama about the "demise of the PC."
January 2016 Cartoon Caption ContestBob's punishment for missing his deadline was to be tied to his chair tantalizingly close to a disconnected cable, with one hand superglued to his desk and another to his chin, while the pages from his wall calendar were slowly torn away.122 comments