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Windows Blue To Confuse Market Next Summer?

Windows 8 is one confusing operating system. It has two wildly different interfaces and, for hardware, two vastly divergent approaches with Intel and ARM.

Now Microsoft is going to befuddle us all more next summer if rumors of Windows Blue are to be believed.

This new OS is kind of a cross between Windows RT and Windows Phone. The idea is to have one OS that spans phones and low-end Windows machines, one that supports the Win RT apps store style of software development and distribution.

The bigger goal is to have something that can better compete with iPad and Android. Good luck with all that.

Posted by Doug Barney on 12/07/2012 at 1:19 PM

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Dec 9, 2012 80s Rocker

Another negative article about anything MS from Doug Barney. Maybe he should go write for the verge or other Apple fanboy sites. I have not seen one positive article about Win8, WP8 or Surface come from Doug. And that is interesting because there is a lot of good to say about the Surface and Win8. Does that mean either is perfect? No, but the first iPad wasn't perfect either. I use my Surface everyday, and my nephew who is an Apple fanboy even says Win8 on Tablets blows Apple away. I think Doug is working for the wrong magazine and I have stopped taking anything he writes seriously.

Fri, Dec 7, 2012

Wasn't Windows Phone 8 a 1st stab at merging the Windows Phone kernel with the Windows 8 one? Bye-bye CE architecture. So a further merger of the models at the app store level seems a logical progression. As a .Net programmer, I imagine creating an app for Windows 8 RT/Windows 8 Phone then migrating it to Windows 8 will become a cinch. Windows 8 shipped 40 million copies out of the gate. Even if it's a poor seller by Windows standards, it will be a large market somewhere in the 3-digit millions. The genus here is any developer might as well push out an app targeting all 3 platforms. As the owner of a Windows Phone 8 device (best thing since sliced whole wheat bread), I can say the only thing holding it back is it's missing a couple of apps I'd like to have (2 exactly). But I must add the quality of the apps (probably due to Microsoft's best of breed development tools) are FAR better in stability, user interface, and overall polish than their Android counterparts I left behind (won't miss all those forced closes). I'd also like to see the Windows 8 apps match the polish of the Windows Phones apps because the store on my Windows 8 convertible is pretty sad.

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 james United States

CSRT4, have you actually tried it with a mouse and keyboard? I couldn't disagree with you more that it requires touch. I have both a touch enabled laptop and a traditional one. The transition is smooth (especially once you learn a few key keystroke shortcuts). Windows Phone is all touch enabled and feels intuitive with touch. So does the "formerly Metro" start interface. My point is unless you are spending all your time working outside the desktop, mouse and keyboard are just fine as it was in Win 7. You can also click things with a mouse like you do with your finger :-) If you don't have touch, you simply use the mouse and keyboard. If you have touch, you find yourself doing that more. Both are acceptable use patterns.

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 Kenneth USA

Those having a hard time using a mouse and keyboard with Windows 8 may want to reserve that “S” word for themselves since my 11 year old grandson can navigate it just fine. Great having options and the ability to use the OS with whatever hardware is available. Has given new life to my 6.5 year old Dell laptop that came with XP. Don’t restrict others from enjoying because of your lack of ability.

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 cSRT4

It reminds me a lot of Vista in that it's being sold completely improperly. Vista was sold with 256MB of RAM. Vista took a GB setting at the desktop. It was destined to fall. Win 8 is being sold without touch screens. It is destined to fail. You try operating your phone with a mouse. Win 8 should not be sold unless it has a touch screen. Utter stupidity in thinking it would be good in the eyes of consumers having to use a mouse to maneuver through. Utter stupidity.

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 Jeremy Minnesota

Window 8 isn’t the next Vista—it’s the next Windows 3.1. Since early PC days, there have only been DOS and Windows based application. This year with Windows 8 marks the start of the third evolution of PC application platforms with Windows Store apps. While you might not like the change in the Start screen, the new platform’s inter-application sharing and touch compatibility is here to stay.

Just like when Windows 3.1 was released, it wasn’t uncommon to shell out to DOS to run your application. In fact, some didn’t even bother loading Windows on startup, reserving this for when a new Windows application was needed. It’s the same thing with Windows 8. You “shell” to the desktop to run traditional Windows application or stay in the Start screen to run 3rd generation apps. Eventually, traditional Windows applications are going to drop off just like DOS application of the past. In its path will leave applications that are optimized for cloud connectivity and storage that no longer rely on local resources that are OS and device depend.

If history tell us anything, Windows Blue is probably nothing more than the 3.1 version of Window 3.0 we have all come to remember.

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 james United States

I am so tired of the media propagating the myth that Windows 8 is confusing. True, the RT version is completely different from traditional Windows. However, for those that run desktop applications, enterprises and the like, there is no option to go for Windows RT. Therefore, you get your traditional desktop (very similar to Win 7) albeit without the start button, which fades quickly from memory once you understand how to launch programs, etc... Then you get the new interface/start page that you can learn over time (and by the way is not that difficult again once you learn the charm and settings approach). People need to view it as Windows 7 with an option for touch friendly interface. Most of the hardcore work is done in desktop mode and feels just like Windows 7, users will embrace this over time, but with constant "reminders" of how new and confusing Windows 8 is, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Windows Blue promises regular updates and will clean out some of the non-intuitive parts of the OS overtime. If you've ever used a Windows Phone for example, I'd be interested if you are also "confused" by this, one of the easiest and rich environments I have seen and used on a phone. Stop complaining, and start using it and all the "confusion" fades quickly away, the same way it did moving from Win 3.1.1 to Win 95

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