Windows 8 Can’t Seem To Please Some People…
…Or at least the blogosphere would have you believe this. Did Microsoft try too hard to please everyone and end up pleasing no-one?
Was this really the issue? Or are we still in the midst of a major evolution of the Personal Computer?
Evolution of the PC
The question of what actually constitutes a PC is a challenging and evolving one.
There are a plethora of devices, platforms and factors to examine: –
Portability, BYOD, virtualization and remote access are just a slew of other requirements and factors changing how our work / productivity and personal computing devices are being reimagined.
Somewhere in this mix landed Windows 8 with the incredible Metro UI and apps, Live Tiles, touch oriented UX and a farewell (at least temporarily) to the Start button.
The Warptest POV
The 1 critical thing wrong with Windows 8 was not the missing Start Button or any singular feature; it was the act of treating consumers as square pegs to be hammered into round UX holes.
Do I believe Windows 8.x is a failure? No I do not and Windows 8.1 demonstrated that Microsoft was willing to listen to consumers. Already Windows 8.1 allows users to choose whether they boot to classic or Metro desktop and we have the new Start Button.
But what could have been? Windows 8 could and should have been designed around one simple concept: responsive design.
Websites that respond to the devices they are viewed on and adjust accordingly to suit the device.
Surely an Operating System made for Desktops, Laptops, hybrid Laptop-Tablets and Tablets should be capable of offering the user a similar experience?
With the expected release of Cortana for Windows Phone next month one has to ask, why no Cortana for Windows 8.x too? An intelligent, responsive, interactive guide shaping our User Experience could only have helped.
Users could choose the defaults based on device or allow Cortana to guide them to optimal UX for their use case. In a nutshell, the true responsiveness of responsive design in this case would be to consumer needs.
With the expected improvements in Windows 8.2 (or whatever it will be called) one hopes the first post-Sinovsky era Windows update will reflect an increased responsiveness to user needs.
I’m looking forward to this update, how about you?