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I had my first cup of coffee when I was 25 and that was it.

It was a cold rainy day, early morning, in the desert. I was on a training exercise with the Army and we had stopped our jeep for a break. One of the guys fished out a small gas stove, a tin pot and made Turkish Coffee with cardamom. He offered me a small glass full of coffee and a heaped spoon of sugar and I took my first sip. The rest as they say, is history.

As a Manchester boy, I grew up in a house where a nice hot cuppa tea was the staple. Usually PG Tips. Coffee in the 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s in England was Nescafe if you were lucky, and had no attraction at all.

After tasting my first strong, black, rich Turkish coffee I knew I needed to try more real coffee, and nothing with foam, frothed milk, syrups, flavourings; just shots of the good stuff. I tried espresso and I was totally hooked. Suddenly I was in a meaningful relationship with ground, brewed beans.

Luckily I lived in Israel, a country which takes its coffee seriously. This maybe one of the few issues the whole Middle East can agree on.

Over the last few months I’ve graduated from grinding store-bought coffee beans to getting interested in home roasting.

Home roasted coffee - software tester 1

Software Testing and Coffee Roasting?

As a software tester I approach new projects with research; online and word of mouth. I discovered that for the “hobbyist” the best start is to either use a pan on the gas or better a popcorn popper. As I’ve written in the past, testing is improved when it becomes like kata.

Of course, the beans are everything. I planned the following: –

Keep a note of all tests and test results: I used Microsoft Office for this (see the table below)

 

  1. Make a list of available green (unroasted beans)
  2. Test the quantity of beans in the popcorn popper that produce optimum results
  3. Make sure all beans are bought equally fresh (as much as you can) and stored the same way. Fresh = flavor.
  4. Define optimum results: evenly roasted, the coffee bean oil still present on the beans, no burnt taste. All beans ground for 11 seconds in the same Bosch coffee grinder.

The popcorn popper has a functional constraint, after 3 minutes or if overloaded it would overheat and shut down until it cooled off.

Bean

2:00 min

75 grams

2:30 min

75 grams

3:00 min

75 grams

2:00 min

150 grams

2:30 min

150 grams

3:00 min

150 grams

Kenya AA

Sumatra

Costa Rica

Colombia

Brazil

Ethiopia

Why do I mention these constraints? The last time I roasted I was in a hurry and overloaded the popcorn popper. It subsequently shut off to cool down at 1:45 min. The beans were under roasted so I siphoned off half into my cast iron skillet, turned on the gas and roasted half in the skillet for another minute and the rest in the popcorn popper when it cooled down and would restart.

The Warptest POV

If the popper is science, using the skillet is an art. You are roasting the curve of the bean against the flat skillet. It heats up to a higher heat and roasts quicker. You need to keep the beans moving and flip them over to get an even roast.

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By comparison, using the skillet gave better results. You can see exactly what’s happening in the skillet whereas the popcorn popper has a translucent, orange cover.

As for the beans, I got a better espresso from the Kenya AA but, that’s always been my favorite. Family and friends have been treated to espressos, cappuccinos, iced coffees and the ubiquitous Israeli Hafuch when visiting.

My plan is to finish the Sumatra and order Puerto Rican or Colombian green beans next and keep on testing. One thing, home roasting is seductive in its own way. I’ve found myself on Amazon and specialty coffee sites absentmindedly pondering 5kg bean roasters and bulk coffee grinders.

When I find my perfect roast I’ll be sure to let you know.

Deadpool Has A Lot To Teach Us About Startup Management

Yes, Deadpool. The hit NSFW superhero movie from Marvel. Actually, much of the incredible success of the movie is due to these 10 secret tips.

Pay attention because these habits need to be learned, internalized and applied. Superhero startup management here we go…

With thanks to Marvel & 20th Century Fox for the Trailer

SPOILERS AHOY!

If you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want certain parts spoilt for you then turn back now.

 The 10 Successful Startup Habits of Deadpool:

  1. To quote the merc with a mouth, “Maximum Effort”. A successful product will not invent, build and launch itself. Get ready to work hard.
  2. Compromise can be the most R-Rated phrase you’ll hear. There was major pressure to tone down the movie but the cast and crew stuck to their guns. When people tell you to compromise, ask yourself if this matches your vision or product values.
  3. Break the 4th wall. Deadpool is notorious for his often hilarious conversations thru the 4th wall. In your case this is all about knowing what your customer expectations are.
  4. Testing, testing, testing. Our hero starts off in a white hooded romper, moves to spandex and chooses “Deadpool” over “Captain Deadpool”. Whether A/B, beta or product testing, it’s crucial to apply the results to building your best product. TESTING = SUCCESS.
  5. Give your fans what they want. The movie delivered everything the fans wanted and they loved the movie for it.
  6. Superhero team-ups rock! Deadpool encounters Colossus & Negasonic Teenage Warhead of the X-Men and later asks for their help. You can’t do everything yourself. Get help when you need it.
  7. Have a plan. Eat, breath and live it. Our hero wants payback from Ajax for his disfigurement and various other evil acts. He hunts his way up the bad guy food-chain with an enviable clarity and purity of purpose. Build your roadmap for delivering your product. It may change on the way but can you implement as decisively as Deadpool?
  8. Count your bullets. One of the two big fight scenes in the movie sees Deadpool with only twelve bullets and counting down as he goes. In your case, resources. Plan how you are going to use your resources and expect the unexpected.
  9. Branding. Is your product branded in a distinct manner? Deadpool chooses a red costume,” … so the bad guys can’t see him bleed”. Also the product marketing for the movie was almost too much with special clips for Australia Day (for Wolverine star, Hugh Jackman), Valentine’s Day, post-production clips and an ingenious billboard emoji ad. How will your product stand out?

    Deadpool - emoji billboard

  10. Own your mistakes. Wolverine (X-Men Origins) gave us a different Deadpool and it was awful. The new movie had several jokes mocking the earlier interpretation.

 

The Warptest POV

The merc with a mouth has a lot to teach us, if we are willing to listen and learn. Remember though, this is R-Rated so choose carefully who to see this with.

Make sure you have a pen and paper to take notes for your startup because it’s not every day you encounter a guru / sensei / ninja of startup wisdom like Deadpool:

Deadpool - the tem tips summarized

If you catch anymore Startup tips from Deadpool, I’d love to read about it in the comments.

(Disclaimer: no mercs, super-villains or henchmen were harmed in any way while writing this post.)

The World of Testers Has Something to Learn from James Bond…

CAUTION: SPOILERS ahoy. If you haven’t seen SPECTRE yet, you may not want to read this post.

It’s that time of year when we roll out the same tired, old arguments:

  • The Agile purists try to drive a stake thru the role of QA Manager.
  • Outsource companies say having in-house QA is redundant.
  • The Crowdsourcers agree but say crowdsource beats outsource hands down.
  • The Automated Testing purists take potshots at the Manual Testing crowd for the huge investment to provide test coverage that their scripts grant faster.
  • The Manual Testing purists snipe back at Automated Testing for ramp-up time and a several other alleged flaws.

Testers Arguing - James Bond

Don’t get me wrong, there is validity to multiple points of view and the testing industry like any requires challenging to grow and evolve but regurgitation is just that, the absence of new points of view on the same, weary subjects.

So, Where Does James Bond and SPECTRE come into it?

Here come those SPOILERS… turn back while you still can.

In the new James Bond film, SPECTRE we find Bond and MI6 assailed by the threat of obsolescence. HUMINT (Human acquired intelligence) has been declared redundant and a senior Whitehall official “C” is pushing for a unified ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) effort between 9 major nations, all under the umbrella of a shiny, hi-tech National Intelligence Center. Obviously, “C” will be the one running this multinational NSA like organization and the 00 Section is to be shut down because “C” sees no need for men like 00 agents in the field when tech can do all the work.

Testers James Bond SPECTRE

Meanwhile, Bond seems to have gone rogue, hunting a shadowy, criminal enterprise connected to his past. Faster than you can say “Goodbye Mister Bond” we discover this is SPECTRE and they and their leader, Franz Oberhauser (Bond’s pseudo foster brother) are the ones poised to take control of this unified ELINT center once it goes live.

Oberhauser or (redacted, I’m not going to spoil everything) Blofeld, is a staunch believer that pure ELINT will grant him control over the world.

Nutshell: SPECTRE, Oberhauser and “C” are the purists of automation that advocate replacement, obsolescence of eyes / hands-on testing. Real testers are not needed in their world. ELINT akin to automated testing can do it all (which is ironic considering the sheer number of armed henchmen SPECTRE employs, not even considering their assassin du jour, Mr. Hix).

Bond, M et al rely on Q to provide their automated solutions but acknowledge the world for what it is. Neither approach alone can get the job done. Only a holistic mix of an agent licensed to kill with tech backup will work just as only a holistic mix of both testing types will work. However, this is not the crucial lesson testers need to learn from James Bond.

The Warptest POV

Several years ago, I heard a kickass Marketing Professional talk about blogging to early stage Start Ups. The point he made was to blog about your niche, NOT you or your product.

Reading a post on a QA Outsourcing company’s site deriding in-house QA with the conclusion that you are better off taking their services is ridiculous and counter-productive. (You know who you are..)

Sometimes testers are our own worst enemy. These regurgitated arguments don’t benefit us. If there is nothing new to add to these issues, then let them lie.

Instead of the ability to evangelize a holistic approach, best practices and provide tailored testing solutions to suit each product, this reflects an immaturity in parts of our industry.

We need to do better because at the end of the day it’s all about ROI and demonstrating that testing is a mission critical investment. My hat is off to those testers who share, engage, encourage others and build a sense of community. This is clearly the way forward.

ARC Welder Is Google’s New Emulator…

… and it runs from Chrome on the Mac, Linux, Chromebook or PC. After Installing the Chrome App Launcher you are then going to need to install the ARC Welder (Android Runtime for Chrome; the only prerequisite is you have Chrome browser v41 or higher.

ARC Welder - Chrome App Launcher

ARC Welder - install app from play store

After that all you need to do is click on the App Launcher > click on the ARC Welder icon > select the APK of the app you wish to use and away you go.

ARC Welder - setup

The user can configure ARC Welder based on orientation, form factor and several other variables:

ARC Welder - configure

The Warptest POV

ARC Welder is a great testing tool for a first look at an app. It is limited to one APK (App) and is no substitute for either a true emulator or installing on a phone or tablet.

It was able to use the laptop webcam for some apps (e.g. Instagram) but not for some others. So let the buyer beware, you may experience bugs with your app.

For testers who have limited access to devices, are interested in UI testing or who write test cases without spec this is a great tool for getting a look at what may be an incomplete app.

One more use case is for when you want to demo your app easily to a big screen or projector, you can do it from ARC Welder.

I’m currently looking at ways to use this in concert with Automated Testing tools that run in Chrome.

Google managed to release this for just about every major OS that Chrome is available on. I’m sure other Devs and Testers out there would love a similar tool from Apple that runs in Safari on Mac or PC but I’m not holding my breath.

If you can think of other good use cases for ARC Welder I would love to know them.

Bug Reporting Is As Much An Art As A Science

… As a result sometimes running a refresher / brainstorming session on best practices in bug reporting for your team is a must.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the testers and the person presenting can benefit hugely from the interaction.

The Primer

Embedded here is a primer presentation I use for this refresher on aspects of bug reporting I want my team to focus on:

The Warptest POV

Whether you are working with onsite developers or offshore, the need for sound observation and good bug reporting is critical.

A bug not reported or not reported properly will never get fixed. If your bug reports don’t give objective analysis or stress the severity / cost to the end-users then the bug may never get fixed.

So maximize your testing ROI and make sure every bug discovered and reported gets a fair chance a being fixed.

Do you refresh your bug reporting skills at least once a year?

Google Project Zero Is a Project…

…where Google discovers security bugs (not exclusive to their own software or technology) and once they notify the owner of said software the countdown clock begins.

Once 90 days ends Google will as threatened reveal the bug publically.

google project zero - site

Screencapture: from the Google Project Zero homepage

The idea behind this is to encourage a safer internet for all but there are inherent questions when it comes to Google and Microsoft.

Vendetta

The long running feud between Google and Microsoft has displayed a variety of outright hostile behaviors: –

  • Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign.
  • Google’s repeated blocking of apps like Google Maps or YouTube from making it onto Windows Phone (after working in collaboration with Microsoft to develop the app).
  • Google’s attempts to shut down ActiveSync in favor of their own CalDav and CardDAV.
  • Microsoft’s GMailman Ad.

These and many more reflect the harsh competition between the two companies in many areas:

Search, Location, Online Productivity Apps, Cloud Storage, Mobile, Mobile Apps, Operating Systems, Browsers and more.

Forget about “Hello I’m a Mac and I’m a PC”. This isn’t just negative marketing but has reached a point where users are being affected.

Get a Mac Ad courtesy of YouTuber LukePuuk

The Warptest POV

The main concern is that this situation seems to be only escalating and the consumer may benefit long term but could be harmed in the short term… DO NO HARM .. remember that?

The whole issue is exacerbated by the resounding absence of any Google security bugs in the same database. One would assume that the only thing better than outing your competitors bugs is showing how well you fixed your own. Unless you subscribe to the ludicrous notion that somewhere software exists with zero bugs.

Testing is not about “outing” bugs as an act designed to extort fixes or embarrass your competition because let’s face it Google, you are giving the finger not to Microsoft but to Windows users when you publicize a bug that the fix is not entirely ready for.

Will this encourage speedier solutions or compromises in testing and deploying the bug fix? Won’t the compromises just lead to regression issues? The goal shifts from fix the bugs to fix the bugs in time and not in a good way.

So come on Google, it’s time to remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Don’t be that guy.

It’s time to reexamine the paradigm for Project Zero and realize that every time Google publicizes one of these bugs they become part of the problem, not the solution.

Google Project Zero - With Great Power

Comic cover art and quote with thanks to the incredible Marvel Comics

As a tester and a consumer, I may not be pleased to learn that Microsoft hasn’t patched these issues yet but I’m seriously <redacted> at Google over this. There are lessons here for Google and Microsoft that clearly need learning.

Google should continue to test for security issues but if you are going to threaten others with a ticking clock shouldn’t the time frame match a real estimate of how long it would take to develop, test and deploy the fix? I doubt that all bug fixes at Google receive the same arbitrary timeframe.

How about you? Do you think Google needs to dial it back for the sake of the consumer?

 

Zombie testing applies…

To a state of mindlessness in the tester where certain scenarios or observations are missed.

Sadly, it can be incredibly infectious in the workplace.

When does this happen?

This can happen for a variety of reasons but let’s examine a special case where names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty:

Elizabeth Bennet was a testing manager and was discussing web application testing with Darcy and Catherine, established members of her team.

She asked about cross browser compatibility testing and was greeted with a variety of the usual trollish comments about Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer - zombie testing

One of the many examples of this kind of IE trolling

Elizabeth felt Darcy was especially annoying on the subject but suppressed her irritation and scheduled a test session for the team to test the web app cross browser.

Her suspicions were confirmed when they discovered a variety of hereto undiscovered defects in IE.

Elizabeth sat with her testing team and asked each tester what web apps they work with and on which browsers. No one on the team actually used IE and once again Darcy piped up confidently stating that the “lame” browser had such little market share it wasn’t relevant to test.

George the Product Manager was passing by and heard Darcy. He was quick to jump in and correct this misconception and stated that he was glad Elizabeth had decided to correct this oversight as many of the company’s end-users were IE users.

Bingley the web app Developer was building a new version based on all the new defects found.

Darcy came over to Elizabeth privately to apologize for his mistake and asked for responsibility for testing this in future.

Elizabeth was pleased and agreed but only if they pairwise tested the next version.

The Warptest POV

Testing requires a variety of skills, some of which I’ve addressed in the past but a tester cannot afford to compromise their objectivity by bringing their prejudices into the workplace.

Doing so may leave them open to being infected with the kind of zombie testing mindlessness mentioned in the story above.

pride prejudice and zombie testing

Image with thanks to Amazon.com

In a nutshell, good testing is not zombie testing and it’s worth asking yourself if there is a product or technology you have a blindspot or bias against.

The question you need to ask yourself is if you don’t use it for your own work, will you even think of including it in your testing efforts?

So check the pride, check the prejudice and stow the zombie testing.

 

Regression Testing…

I recently discovered that some team members needed a basic run through of the ideas behind this. With this in mind I used the incredible new Office web application, Sway to create a presentation that I could use to get across the basics.

Sidebar: Sway

Sway is available to anyone with a Microsoft account (which also means you have free Outlook.com OneDrive and Office.com) it comes with a strong Warptest recommendation.

This is not Powerpoint online (again you can find that in Office.com) it is clearly still in beta but allows the creation of simple, elegant presentations that can be shared or embedded.

Sway - regression testing 101

If you don’t know about the free, yes FREE version of Office.com then check it out ASAP.

Regression Testing 101

The Sway presentation works better with the accompanying talk but the core ideas behind the Regression Testing 101 talk are:

CIR- regression testing 101

 

The Warptest POV

After running through two sessions on regression testing the issue is refreshed in my mind and clear to the testers who needed the extra information.

Sway makes for an easy to use tool for creating elegant visual presentations online.

Clearly the benefits of creating presentations and training talks are two-fold: for the person giving and receiving the information.

 

 

Testing Isn’t Always Easy…

Once upon a time, in a testing lab far, far away was a young tester who sat each and every day testing his company’s apps.

(For the sake of argument) let’s call our tester Bill.

Bill was young and relatively new and had been assigned what he thought was the most repetitive and boring of all test plans.

However, Bill was not deterred and each day he would start anew and add every single problem, flaw, defect or bug in function, UI, UX, Load, Stress or against spec he could find to the company bug tracking system.

Bill’s greatest joy was adding these bugs to the bug tracking system and assigning severity. As Bill was still learning his job he was concerned not every bug would be fixed and so he marked each and every one as “critical”.

Bill Learns A Tough Testing Lesson…

After several days Bill was drinking his coffee and thinking how many times the Developers had come running over to talk to him about his bugs and strangely how many times they left with a grumpy look on their faces after claiming the bug was a feature, or worked according to spec, wasn’t critical at all or simply only happened under the rarest of conditions.

Bill was a little confused and didn’t really understand the negativity about his bugs or their severity.

Just then, Bill’s boss, the QA Manager walked in, gave him a big smile and sat down with his double espresso opposite Bill.

“So Bill, I hear you’ve been keeping our Developers busy with lots of bugs, right?” Bill’s boss gave him a huge grin.

“I guess so…” Bill replied.

“Well, I wanted to talk to you about the fact that I’m pleased that you are so dedicated and I know the bugs are all important but are they really all critical?”

Bill thought about this for a moment.

“How do I know?”

Bill’s boss sipped his espresso, “Well Bill, ask yourself what does the bug do to the App, to the user or to the system it’s running on. Once you look at the impact you can get a better idea of severity. Do you know why I’m telling you this?”

“Umm” Bill scratched his head, puzzled.

Bill’s boss put his finished espresso down, “If we mark every bug as critical then the Developers won’t take the really critical bugs seriously because we overused the definition and made them drop new work to fix some bugs that could wait. Luckily the Product Owner and I discuss the bugs and he sets priority with the R&D Manager but we need to check the spec to be sure if something is a bug or not as well… You know the story of the boy who cried Wolf right Bill?”

Bill nodded.

“As you get more experience you’ll learn not to be the boy who cries bug and be more confident about what severity each bug is. Today we are going to test together and see whether we agree on each bug or its severity. Let’s see how the Developers respond to that.”

From that day Bill worked harder than ever to learn what was and wasn’t a bug and to report each bug with the right severity. The QA Manager continued to be happy with Bill’s work, even had Bill train new testers and the Developers would treat each bug reported by Bill with seriousness.

… and they all worked happily ever after.

The Warptest POV

Learning how to write bug reports other than the uncompromising brevity derived from using Twitter also involves knowing if your observation is truly a bug and how to define its severity.

So the next time you are about to hit save on that bug, think of Bill and just review what you are reporting.

(This Grim tale is based on past, real life events. Names have been changed to protect the innocent).

 

What Can Twitter Possibly Teach Testers?

When working with testers who are still learning (all of us, right?), one of the challenges is finding a common language between testers and with Developers. This came up today and sparked this post:

This is especially important when it comes to writing test cases and reporting bugs.

In an age of “You had me at …” it’s crucial to get the point across rapidly and efficiently without compromising the information.

So.. Twitter Huh?

Twitter with its 140 character restriction on tweets is a natural teaching tool for anyone who needs to learn the discipline of brevity.

Twitter logo - testers

The thing is when reporting a bug it’s important to remember that you are imparting a story; a story that allows the Developer to know what should be fixed and under what scenario(s).

Imagine an ALM that was built on Twitter functionality: –

  • User stories, spec, test cases and bug reports all limited to 140 characters
  • Hashtags to make all of the above searchable by keywords.
  • Groups and Lists based on teams (e.g. QA, Dev, Product, Sales) and team members with usernames prefixed by the Twitter @.
  • Retweet, favorite or Direct Message (DM) other users.
  • Attachable images and URL shortening.
  • Trending subjects based on traffic within the ALM.
  • Analytics (of course).

The Warptest POV

As you read this keep one eye on the Agile Manifesto and see how Twitter Teaches Testers in an Agile manner. If you don’t see it, then it’s time to reread the manifesto:

agile manifesto - testers

The beauty of this method is not just the brevity but the rapid manner that it allows your testing to progress as everyone gets onboard with this manner of communication.

Obviously, there are exceptions, intricate or complex issues that require greater detail but the rule of thumb is,

“If you can’t sum up your bug or test case in 140 characters then it might be more than one issue.”

Does this speak to you? Feel free to offer your own experiences and ideas on the subject.

 

 

Passwords Are The Air That Our Digital Persona Breathes…

We use passwords to secure our computers, mail accounts, social networks and more.

Some of us go the distance and use two-factor authentication with whichever applications will support it but how do we know if our passwords are strong?

For those of you still using 123456 or QWERTY or even Password as your passwords stop making me cry in despair.

cry 1 - despair - passwords

For those of you using your children’s names, dates of birth or a combination thereof stop, just stop.

Stop - strong passwords only 1

The fact is good security (digital or otherwise) is always one step behind the hackers, social engineers and criminals but you can still make it a bit tougher.

Strong Passwords

Many web apps will check your password for you when you register for strength but are they really using the most robust techniques?

Microsoft Research is here to help with their Telepathwords. The site allows you to safely type in your intended password and the predictive engine combines with a rather incredible rating mechanism at individual character level to tell you if your password is strong or not. On the way if Telepathwords detects a known weakness in your password it will explain what you are doing wrong

e.g. substitution of letters for equivalent special characters @ for a, $ for s etc. is a no-no. This technique which used to be considered strong is easy game for hackers

Telepathwords - strong passwords

I was impressed and a bit surprised that some of my passwords weren’t as strong as I expected. (Yes, I’ve changed those now) and the name Telepathwords fits, it was as if the site was reading my mind as I typed!

The Warptest POV

I’ve recommended security solutions for your personal data, PC and even Android devices in the past. This is another and extremely important aspect of maintaining strong security. Your passwords are the last line of defense you have between an attacker and your personal data on your Smartphone, PC or in the cloud.

Microsoft Research features strongly here because of the amazing innovations they create. Telepathwords is another great tool to add to your box of tricks and gets a strong Warptest recommendation whatever Smartphone or Personal Computer you are using. Go there now and test out your passwords.

Let me know after you have tested it whether your results were as expected or not.

Remember passwords are like toothbrushes because both should be changed about every three months.

Windows 9 Is Coming…

… with it no shortage of rumors about Windows “Threshold” (the alleged codename for Windows 9).

The latest rumor is that a Developer Preview will be released on September 30th. The blogosphere is already running wild with leaked images and rumors of what’s in, what’s out and pricetags.

Windows 9 Is Coming - Meme

Rumors And Expectations…

The other main rumors (some from frequent and reliable online leakers) seem to revolve around the following: –

  • Cortana will be integrated into Windows 9: the incredible AI personal assistant winning hearts and minds on Windows Phone 8.1 will become a part of desktop, laptop and tablet users’ experience. If you are about to make a Clippy joke I suggest you find the nearest person you know with Windows Phone 8.1, try Cortana and then go and weep in the corner at not owning a phone with this on yourself.

  • The return of the Start Menu / Start Button: as mentioned in previous Warptest posts, Microsoft has over the last two years become more responsive to consumer input and this should make a lot of users very, very happy.
Leaked Windows 9 Desktop

Leaked Windows 9 Screen Capture – courtesy of Softpedia

  • Metro New Windows UI / Desktop / Apps are the chocolate to Classic Desktop’s peanuts: get ready for Windows 9 to hybridize the two desktops for a winning User Experience.
  • Goodbye Mr. Bond Windows RT: rumors of the demise of Windows RT in favor of Windows Phone ROM for smaller tablets. Possibly the end to the fragmentation of Windows with this and the already released Universal Apps for Windows.
  • Stronger Cloud integration: this is a pretty safe bet as Windows 8 already brought us Cloud integration with a slew of features. Now it’s time to see if Windows 9 evolves into a cloud-centric OS and whether this will include Desktop anywhere thru the Cloud based on user login.

The Warptest POV

The rumors and expectations are exciting but it’s time for Microsoft to make good on past mistakes, big mistakes that need to be rectified.

  1. Testing and compliance: since Windows XP we’ve been plagued with bugs, problems and frustrations which eventually turned out in many cases to be 3rd Party testing failures. Microsoft and Windows 9 need to ensure that all hardware, drivers and major 3rd Party software work properly. From a consumer point of view this means backwards compatibility too. No more WiFi, sound or graphics card drivers that sort of work. This means that Microsoft needs to work better with the software and hardware industry to define and enforce standards of testing, transparency for results and compliance.
  2. OEM Bloatware: consumers are sick of getting new computers that works slower than expected because the OEM took a working OS and added applications and services that most users don’t want but need a computer tech to disable or remove. As above, Microsoft time to put your foot down with the OEMs.
  3. OEM Images: when a consumer buys a new PC they should get Windows 9 updated to the last major upgrade of the OS. There should be no PCs being sold with Windows 8 still, this is pure laziness and poor procedure on the part of OEMs in not updating the image of the OS they mass install.
  4. Marketing: Windows 9 needs to regain lost ground and needs to understand that offensive marketing against the competition isn’t going to cut it. A new understanding of consumer and business needs from the Operating System, a coherent pricing/sales strategy and a positive story for Windows 9 are needed. Windows 9 has to fight an uphill battle unhindered by the occasionally curious Marketing efforts here.

I have high expectations of Windows 9 and have already provisioned a Virtual Machine to test the Preview when released on September 30th. Whether this will be the full version or not waits to be seen but this may be the culmination of Steve Ballmer’s One Microsoft legacy combined with Satya Nadella’s vision for Microsoftif Microsoft creates a coherent release strategy that produces a stable, well-tested OS that supports existing hardware and drivers, reins in the OEMs and delivers a solid marketing message.

Windows should not inherit the every odd number curse from the Star Trek Movies but that means a lot of learning from the past and as much work in and out of Development to get this right.

I for one am excited to take Windows 9 for a test run, how about you?