Barney's Rubble

Windows 8 Wishes

Vendors that listen to customers tend to succeed -- and those that don't, fail. I've met many CEOs who made beaucoup bucks just doing what IT asked them to (too bad there are no kickbacks to the great admins and CIOs who come up with all these ideas).

I'm not sure if it's too late, but you, the Redmond reader, have a few things to tell Microsoft about Windows 8.

You sure as shootin' don't want another Windows Vista, nor do you want a modest upgrade to the OK-but-certainly-not-stunning Windows 7. You want a nice upgraded look but, more importantly, an eminently stable and elegant OS -- no more weird hitches!

I've been following Windows since version 1.0, and while there have been thousands of new features, there has yet to be a true revolution. Some of you want a sea change in the interface, but by far most of you want the fundamentals handled properly. While a Lamborghini is nice, a reliable diesel truck is preferred for the grind of day-to-day computing.

Reader Bruce backs me up. "They don't even have Windows 7 well done yet and now they're doing Windows 8? And they're changing the UI again? Are they totally nuts? My next tower will not be run by Windows, it will be Linux or a Mac," Bruce says.

Security is job No. 1. "The biggest problem with Windows is that it doesn't protect itself," notes reader Lou.

"Windows must not let any user software intermingle with Windows. This means that all Windows folders (like System32) must remain inviolate. The Registry must also be limited just to Windows entries. Of course, an OS is no good without applications, so there must be application interaction. However, the same logic that allows libraries could allow two separate but equal SYSTEM32 folders -- one for Windows use and one for applications to use."

Some are excited about Windows 8 running on tablets. "As long as a 'Windows for ARM' tablet can use Internet Explorer to get to Microsoft's cloud offerings, the only other thing that such a tablet would need is local removable storage -- an SD-Card slot, for instance -- and thin/virtual client access to a full Windows desktop," says regular reader Marc. "If Microsoft is smart, they'll also allow Google and others to port their applications to such a tablet, just as Apple and Android have done."

The tablet version may finally bring about a much-desired slim and stable version. "The fear is that it would be successful and many people would realize they don't need a lot of the extra bells and whistles Microsoft touts as amazing and indispensable -- just a good OS. That's the way most people feel about Microsoft Office," notes one reader.

What do you want from Windows 8? Let me know your thoughts at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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