Today, Windows president Steven Sinofsky demoed the newest version of Microsoft’s juggernaut operating system. It started out as very exciting, and then they showed the rest of it…
– Microsoft showed off Windows 8’s new tablet-side interface. Like a super version of Windows Phone, the Metro UI really takes advantage of the real estate. All your favorite apps and information can be pinned to the Start screen, making the experience very glanceable and user-friendly. Bright and beautiful colors throughout, very thorough and realized touch interface. While we didn’t think Metro UI was perfect on Windows Phone, I think it’ll definitely be an improvement here
– “Hundreds of millions of PCs can run Windows 8”, meaning that there isn’t going to be much of a system requirement leap from Windows 7. If you’re running 7 on a machine that came with it pre-installed, you should have absolutely no problem running 8.
– It looks like apps are going to be super easy to add and remove. No more Add/Remove Programs + Uninstall program?
– All that legacy Windows underneath. To seemingly everyone’s disappointment, the tablet-side interface of Windows 8 looks like little more than a really good skin,
like Windows Media Center has been in the past. Sinofsky says, “[The tablet side is] not a layer, it’s Windows. It runs across hundreds of millions of PCs, and works across a vast variety of machines. It’s much more seamless than a layer, it’s not two shelves,” but we have our doubts. Enter certain apps, like Office, and all that tablet-y goodness disappears and you’re back at the standard Windows you’ve known for years. Bear in mind: you’re getting a full version of Windows here. Unfortunately, it seems as though there’s going to be some jank-tastic moments as you switch between the gorgeous Metro UI and the OS’s legacy GDI/Aero-style UI that hasn’t seen much alteration since its introduction in 1995. What a bummer. (Sinofsky says that in order to avoid looking at the ‘old house’, you’ll simply have to avoid using legacy apps.) In fact…
UPDATE: A new Microsoft-delivered video shows the transition between Metro and Aero looks pretty seamless. Unlike Windows Media Center that loaded as a separate application, all of this is handled from the 3D projections that we see in Metro. Take a look below:
– Even with a thoroughly-realized tablet mode, boot times look like they’re still going to be a struggle. A big advantage of getting a tablet with a thin(ner) client is the fact that you can boot it relatively quickly. Turn it on, wait a few seconds, start using it. iOS, Windows Phone, Android, and Chrome OS all boot pretty fast. Are we really going to have to sit and watch as the entirety of Windows loads just to access our colorful tiles? Sinofsky says we’ll have to wait until September to find out.