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Windows 8 to launch on Oct. 26 with new hardware in tow

post #1 of 27
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It was revealed during Microsot's annual sales meeting that the company's next-generation operating system will hit shelves on Oct. 26 meaning new hardware will shortly follow including the Surface tablet.

Microsoft's Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky made good on a promise from Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller who said Windows 8 would see release sometime in October, reports Electronista. A subsequent post on the company's dedicated Windows blog detailed the meeting, describing upgrade tiers and purchasing options.

Windows 8 will debut in 231 markets covering 109 languages on launch day and existing users of the ubiquitous OS can upgrade to the revamped software online for $40. According to Microsoft's website, all PCs running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 qualify for the $39.99 upgrade with the option to add on Windows Media Center for free though the operating system's "add features" option.

Wednesday's announcement also portends the imminent release of tablets, PCs and Ultrabooks running the one-OS-for-all software when Microsoft announced as much during the Surface unveiling in June.

Windows 8
Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky announces Windows 8 launch date.
Source: Microsoft


Microsoft's Surface will likely be one of the first Windows 8 examples on offer when the OS debuts as the device marks the Redmond-based company's first foray into the tablet hardware market. Initially, a stripped-down ARM-based iteration called Surface for Windows RT will roll out before a more full-featured Intel version dubbed Surface for Windows 8 Pro hits stores later this year.

It is unclear what features are missing from Windows RT but Microsoft is claiming the new OS is meant to reflect a "PC+" era where all devices run identical operating systems. This is counter to Apple's "post-PC" era which describes multiple devices running software tailor-made for specific tasks, an example being OS X for laptops and iOS for iDevices. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner claimed that the iPhone maker's view future computing is incorrect and instead believes in a "ond-OS-fits-all" approach to OS coding. Interestingly it appears that Windows RT skews toward the "post-PC" model.

Apple is looking to release its own next-generation operating system with OS X 10.8 later in July, and while no specific date has been set a launch should be imminent as the company seeded the Mountain Lion gold master last week.
post #2 of 27

$40 for which one of about a dozen versions?

post #3 of 27

I have only 2 Windows boxes and both are running XP. Our company has a few Windows servers though.

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post #4 of 27

Windows 8 is the bravest thing Microsoft have ever done, and it will be very interesting to see if it ends up like another Vista. It's a sure bet that businesses will stay well clear of it, but home users will probably end up with it without realising it when they buy a new computer. Whether they like it or not will be very important for the future prospects of Surface and Windows Phone...

 

Who'd of thought Microsoft of all companies would do something so crazy?

post #5 of 27

Sorry, I don't have a lot of confidence in MS...I will never, ever buy an MS product ever again! :)

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It is unclear what features are missing from Windows RT but Microsoft is claiming the new OS is meant to reflect a "PC+" era where all devices run identical operating systems. This is counter to Apple's "post-PC" era which describes multiple devices running software tailor-made for specific tasks, an example being OS X for laptops and iOS for iDevices. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner claimed that the iPhone maker's view future computing is incorrect and instead believes in a "ond-OS-fits-all" approach to OS coding. Interestingly it appears that Windows RT skews toward the "post-PC" model..

It takes a lot of nerve to say something like that - given Apple's success in the Post-PC / PC+ market vs. Microsoft's. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft backpedals in the coming months.

Besides, the entire premise of "all devices running identical operating systems is nonsensical in terms of Microsoft's strategy. Windows RT has some substantial differences compared to Windows 8 - not the least of which is their inability to run the same software. So I guess the Microsoft version is "it's OK to have completely different, incompable versions of the operating system, as long as they all have 'Windows' in the name".
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

$40 for which one of about a dozen versions?

I don't know, but it's interesting that MS has decided that they have to follow Apple's model of low priced upgrades. That will undoubtedly have a big impact on Microsoft's financials. Instead of $129 to $299 per upgrade, they'll get $40 per upgrade (although Apple's $20 covers every computer in your house, so MS is still much more expensive). They will make up some of the difference in volume, but since there's really no compelling reason to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8, I don't know just how successful that will be.
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post #7 of 27
This is a joke! - "tablets, PCs and Ultrabooks running the one-OS-for-all software [from] Microsoft".

RT is far different and won't run desktop apps, plus the convoluted cluster fk of various home, regular, pro, server, Metro and "standard windows" UI, et al flavors make this MSFT's typical large caldron of confusing crap.
Edited by FreeRange - 7/18/12 at 2:57pm
post #8 of 27

So, Oct 26th... After the date that the next iPhone will already be shipping, let alone announced.

 

The price is starting to be right.  It's priced that way to get the comet's tail of consumer machines upgraded... however, they won't until they buy new laptops... and half of those will be... iPads.

 

Businesses won't upgrade quickly because Win8 is way too much change and that will drive a 2 year verification and stability check.  By that time Win 9 will be out (or the company will be evolving to iOS as their 'desktop' OS;-).

 

This is a critical time.  I'm at a small company now, just leaving a huge company... both were 'supposed' to be on Win7 by now... neither one has started the migration.  If Win8 doesn't drive migration so 50% of corporate PCs aren't on it by 2014 (and MS Surface isn't north of 5% of tablet sales), it will be a failure, and one leg of Microsoft's triad of profit engines (OS, MS Office, BackOffice)  will snap off.

 

When I say failure, I'm meaning a net drop in segment revenue year over year... From asymco.com, it looks like 20Billion a year is what MS makes on Windows in revenue... that's about 500M license sales and upgrades in a year.   Good luck with that;-).   I don't see that happening.

 

 

btw, who ever spell checked the article did a lousy job... type it up on an iPhone? 


Edited by TheOtherGeoff - 7/18/12 at 2:58pm
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Sorry, I don't have a lot of confidence in MS...I will never, ever buy an MS product ever again! 1smile.gif

Then Don't... It'll still remain the best selling/most used desktop OS existent.

Anyway... Bring On The Innovation... The desktop OS experience has been far too stagnant for far too long.
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post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


Then Don't... It'll still remain the best selling/most used desktop OS existent.
Anyway... Bring On The Innovation... The desktop OS experience has been far too stagnant for far too long.

Thanks, I won't! :)

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

So, Oct 26th... After the date that the next iPhone will already be shipping, let alone announced.

 

The price is starting to be right.  It's priced that way to get the comet's tail of consumer machines upgraded... however, they won't until they buy new laptops... and half of those will be... iPads.

 

Businesses won't upgrade quickly because Win8 is way too much change and that will drive a 2 year verification and stability check.  By that time Win 9 will be out (or the company will be evolving to iOS as their 'desktop' OS;-).

 

This is a critical time.  I'm at a small company now, just leaving a huge company... both were 'supposed' to be on Win7 by now... neither one has started the migration.  If Win8 doesn't drive migration so 50% of corporate PCs aren't on it by 2014 (and MS Surface isn't north of 5% of tablet sales), it will be a failure, and one leg of Microsoft's triad of profit engines (OS, MS Office, BackOffice)  will snap off.

 

When I say failure, I'm meaning a net drop in segment revenue year over year... From asymco.com, it looks like 20Billion a year is what MS makes on Windows in revenue... that's about 500M license sales and upgrades in a year.   Good luck with that;-).   I don't see that happening.

 

 

btw, who ever spell checked the article did a lousy job... type it up on an iPhone? 

 

WART, WEIGHT,  WOFFICE,  WWW....AWFUL!  And don't forget the Surface{s) -- that's two DumbAss tablets?

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post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


Then Don't... It'll still remain the best selling/most used desktop OS existent.
Anyway... Bring On The Innovation... The desktop OS experience has been far too stagnant for far too long.

If they don't make configuration of wifi easy, well, it is destined for the big FAIL.

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


Then Don't... It'll still remain the best selling/most used desktop OS existent.
Anyway... Bring On The Innovation... The desktop OS experience has been far too stagnant for far too long.


Wrong... Microsoft's desktop experience has been far too stagnant.

OSX, Linux (Ubuntu, etc..) has been doing just fine.

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamC View Post

If they don't make configuration of wifi easy, well, it is destined for the big FAIL.


That's one thing that still keeps me shaking my head when I'm working on Windows-powered laptops.  The way Microsoft handles their wireless authentication at times is sheer confusion.

post #15 of 27

Here's the deal as I understand it:

 

1)  WEIGHTOS  will be released on Oct. 26 -- for pre-install on new pcs and for upgrade on existing pcs

 

2) Sometime later, WARTOS  will be released concurrently with the WARTsURFACE

 

3) WARTWOFFICE will be pre-installed on every WARTsURFACE

 

4) WARTWOFFICE will be a pre-release, as WEIGHTWOFFICE won't be available until sometime in 2013.

 

5) WARTWOFFICE and WEIGHTWOFFICE are different packages as they run on different hardware; assumably, are a different code-base... and WARTWOFFICE only includes WARTWORD, WARTExcel and WARTPowerPoint

 

6) Sometime in 2013 WEIGHTWOFFICE will be released for purchase or upgrade for machines running WEIGHTOS  and  Windows7OS

 

7) Sometime in 2013, the WEIGHTsURFACE may be released... If so, it can only run WEIGHTOS  and WEIGHTWOFFICE

 

8) I wouldn't even want to consider trying to match up WEIGHTOS  and WEIGHTWOFFICE deviants... and PreWeckwisites

 

 

Whew!

 

 

I think I got that right... at least, that's the way Barbara Walters described it on the TV... (or maybe it was the Swedish Chef).

 

 

Program... Program... Get yer Program here... Can't tell the players without a Program!

 

 

Mmmm... I wonder If MS would allow Apple to sell Pages, Numbers and Keynote for the WARTsURFACE?


Edited by Dick Applebaum - 7/18/12 at 4:29pm
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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

$40 for which one of about a dozen versions?

 

The $40 upgrade is a limited time offer. The price will go up after the release date.

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Windows 8 is the bravest thing Microsoft have ever done, and it will be very interesting to see if it ends up like another Vista. It's a sure bet that businesses will stay well clear of it, but home users will probably end up with it without realising it when they buy a new computer. Whether they like it or not will be very important for the future prospects of Surface and Windows Phone...

Who'd of thought Microsoft of all companies would do something so crazy?

I would have used the word reckless. They are sitting on 20 and doubling down.

I do expect it to be the best/fasting selling version of Windows but that's due to the excessive user base. The new price point will certainly push that even more but I think it would still sell better than Win7 if it had been at the Win7 price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

This is a joke! - "tablets, PCs and Ultrabooks running the one-OS-for-all software [from] Microsoft".
RT is far different and won't run desktop apps, plus the convoluted cluster fk of various home, regular, pro, server, Metro and "standard windows" UI, et al flavors make this MSFT's typical large caldron of confusing crap.

That's why I think it will fail. It's too much pretending it's all the same when it's not and pretending it's the best the both of world when not idealized for either.

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post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I would have used the word reckless. They are sitting on 20 and doubling down.
I do expect it to be the best/fasting selling version of Windows but that's due to the excessive user base. The new price point will certainly push that even more but I think it would still sell better than Win7 if it had been at the Win7 price.


That's why I think it will fail. It's too much pretending it's all the same when it's not and pretending it's the best the both of world when not idealized for either.

Do you really think people will upgrade from XP, Vista or Windows 7 to Winows 8? What's the incentive... It's Windows7 (once you work round the Metro bolt-on). Usually MS can count on a large number of pre-install on new machines... But in today's business climate an declining PC sales...

It is smoke and mirrors... there is no ability to run Windows apps on WART -- and there are no Metro apps to speak of to run on Windows. They're exactly the same -- except that they're completely different!
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post #19 of 27
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Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Do you really think people will upgrade from XP, Vista or Windows 7 to Winows 8? What's the incentive... It's Windows7 (once you work round the Metro bolt-on). Usually MS can count on a large number of pre-install on new machines... But in today's business climate an declining PC sales...
It is smoke and mirrors... there is no ability to run Windows apps on WART -- and there are no Metro apps to speak of to run on Windows. They're exactly the same -- except that they're completely different!

I think the same type of early adopters will get it again. I think there will also be plenty of the same illegal installations to test the OS, perhaps on a separate partition, drive or machine. The $40 just helps push over people on the fence.

I have a love/hate relationship with the OS. Not because it's not competent in what it does well but for what it does so poorly, most of which is just being what I think is an unfocused, convoluted Homer Car mess of an OS.

I don't think it's overall better than Win7 from the customer's perspective. They want something they understand that can make there life easier and better. There are great unpnning changes like making the NT kernel cross platform and efficient enough for their embedded devices but that's not something the customer will "experience."

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post #20 of 27
Whatevs, Dudes! Oct 26 w2012, I was .. Not there! Well maybe. If the winter surf is not up. Like I sez, Whatevs.
post #21 of 27

The last number suggests Windows 7 has been used by more than half of PC users while a little less than half of  users are still on Windows XP. The problem is if these windows users had refused to upgrade to Windows Vista and/or Windows 7 which actually are not that far off from Windows XP looks and feels, can you imagine these same people jump ship to Windows 8 where everything is totally brand new, GUI , paradigm and all, even for merely 40 bucks?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


It takes a lot of nerve to say something like that - given Apple's success in the Post-PC / PC+ market vs. Microsoft's. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft backpedals in the coming months.
Besides, the entire premise of "all devices running identical operating systems is nonsensical in terms of Microsoft's strategy. Windows RT has some substantial differences compared to Windows 8 - not the least of which is their inability to run the same software. So I guess the Microsoft version is "it's OK to have completely different, incompable versions of the operating system, as long as they all have 'Windows' in the name".
I don't know, but it's interesting that MS has decided that they have to follow Apple's model of low priced upgrades. That will undoubtedly have a big impact on Microsoft's financials. Instead of $129 to $299 per upgrade, they'll get $40 per upgrade (although Apple's $20 covers every computer in your house, so MS is still much more expensive). They will make up some of the difference in volume, but since there's really no compelling reason to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8, I don't know just how successful that will be.
post #22 of 27
The last time there was this much discord over an impending Windows release, the product was Windows Vista.

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post #23 of 27
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

The last time there was this much discord over an impending Windows release, the product was Windows Vista.

Windows what? What Vista? What what?

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post #24 of 27

My spare computer came with Vista. After a virus I reloaded it and dual booted with Ubuntu. Ubuntu isn't perfect but it is amazingly faster than Windows Vista in everything it does. It is even faster than my Mac with a much better processor.

As much as I hate Microsoft, and I've proclaimed it here, I would be tempted to get Windows 8 just to get rid of the crap that is Vista. It would be like paying a mobster for protection. If I pay the $40 they will promise to leave me alone. If it's possible for me to wait for reviews of it to get that low price I'll wait. Somehow I don't trust that it would be an easy switch. Would everything work out of the box? With Microsoft that would be a miracle.

By October I might find that I don't need Vista that much. Right now my company requires me to use their web site to log my field work time and do training. It only works well with Wndows. It doesn't play nice with Safari and won't play at all with Firefox or Chrome. Linux is out of the question. If I'm really lucky I won't be working for them by October.

Microsoft has a chance to succeed in the internet world and make their name better known. It could create a cloud based Office platform that works for everybody. If they came out with a competitor to the Adobe suite of programs and made it work for Android, iOS, OS X, Linux, and Windows, they would grow their business in a big way. Adobe has a similar option with a monthly or annual subscription for downloaded programs. An all cloud based system with fast servers would be amazing.

Any time a company excludes other operating systems from its programs it is missing the opportunity to expand. In the past hardware exclusive programs were a way to protect one's brand. Today with so many competitors it is more harmful than good.
 

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Do you really think people will upgrade from XP, Vista or Windows 7 to Winows 8? What's the incentive... It's Windows7 (once you work round the Metro bolt-on). Usually MS can count on a large number of pre-install on new machines... But in today's business climate an declining PC sales...
It is smoke and mirrors... there is no ability to run Windows apps on WART -- and there are no Metro apps to speak of to run on Windows. They're exactly the same -- except that they're completely different!

I think that the entire industry is facing a major problem - there's no longer the impetus to upgrade anything (either hardware or software) that there was a decade or two ago.

Hardware has become blazingly fast. For the average user (leaving out a very tiny number of scientists, graphics professionals, etc), even the cheapest hardware you can buy today is more than fast enough. More to the point, your 3 year old computer is probably still more than fast enough. I remember back in the 90s when after a year or two of software upgrades, you NEEDED a faster computer just to get your work done. That's no longer the case. My 6 year old MacBook Pro does everything I want it to with only modest delays.

On the OS side, there's no compelling reason, either. Windows 3.1 sucked and millions of people stood in line for Window 95. Windows 95 sucked (but not as badly as 3.1), so people were eager to upgrade to Windows 97. Then XP, and so on. But the fact that almost half of the users are still using XP supports my thesis - they have a system that's good enough and don't see any compelling reason to upgrade. (this is, of course, combined with the fact that upgrades on Windows computers can often be problematic).

Non-OS software? There have been very few innovations in the past decade. It's all about adding more features and more bloat (and, fortunately, the computers are more than fast enough to handle it, so it doesn't hurt much). Be honest-when was the last time you used a feature in Word or Excel that wasn't present in Office 97?

In the end, purchase cycles are going to drag out. People will buy new computers when they absolutely need to (old computer broke or kids going away to college and need a computer) rather than feeling compelled by their needs exceeding the capability of their old computer. Until someone creates a new paradigm, that doesn't change.

There is some hope:
1. Apple's market share has been increasing rapidly. That suggests that if people see a reason to spend money on computers, they will do so. Apple has managed to create the message in people's minds that their life will be better if they add an Apple computer to their life. if someone can create a compelling vision, the market will respond.
2. Microsoft apparently recognizes that simply 'more features, more bloat, etc) won't cut it any more. Whether Windows 8 will catch on or not, Microsoft took a chance. They have apparently decided that the entire UI needs to change to create a compelling need for people to buy. I think the premise is correct - they need to create a compelling need for change. I do not think Metro is the right way to go, but I could be wrong.
3. As computers have gotten faster and more powerful and software more bloated, we're still left with a significant number of people who are baffled by computers. If you had asked me 15 years ago, I would have predicted that by this time, almost everyone would be comfortable with computers, but that's not the case. My mother wouldn't let us buy her a new computer because she was afraid that something would change and it had taken her years to learn how to simply do email and writing books on the computer. She's not a stupid lady - it's just that some people adapt to change faster than others. I know people in their 40s and 50s who are still scared to death of computers - even though they've had them almost their entire career. One person in particular is hopeless-I'm constantly being asked to help with even the simplest things. it is entirely possible that Microsoft is right and that a Fisher-Price interface will appeal to a significant number of people.

In the end, it's all about creating a compelling need for people to upgrade and I'm just not seeing it. I don't think it's a coincidence that PC sales are falling. While the iPad might account for some of that, I think the above reasons are at least as important.
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post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


<...> . Then XP, and so on. But the fact that almost half of the users are still using XP supports my thesis - they have a system that's good enough and don't see any compelling reason to upgrade. (this is, of course, combined with the fact that upgrades on Windows computers can often be problematic).
<...>

 

 

Microsoft users follow the "good enough" path, just because this is the way Microsoft formatted them ... until they divorce from Microsoft, wanting for something better than the "good enough" ....


Edited by umrk_lab - 7/19/12 at 9:22am
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I think that the entire industry is facing a major problem - there's no longer the impetus to upgrade anything (either hardware or software) that there was a decade or two ago.
Hardware has become blazingly fast. For the average user (leaving out a very tiny number of scientists, graphics professionals, etc), even the cheapest hardware you can buy today is more than fast enough. More to the point, your 3 year old computer is probably still more than fast enough. I remember back in the 90s when after a year or two of software upgrades, you NEEDED a faster computer just to get your work done. That's no longer the case. My 6 year old MacBook Pro does everything I want it to with only modest delays.
On the OS side, there's no compelling reason, either. Windows 3.1 sucked and millions of people stood in line for Window 95. Windows 95 sucked (but not as badly as 3.1), so people were eager to upgrade to Windows 97. Then XP, and so on. But the fact that almost half of the users are still using XP supports my thesis - they have a system that's good enough and don't see any compelling reason to upgrade. (this is, of course, combined with the fact that upgrades on Windows computers can often be problematic).
Non-OS software? There have been very few innovations in the past decade. It's all about adding more features and more bloat (and, fortunately, the computers are more than fast enough to handle it, so it doesn't hurt much). Be honest-when was the last time you used a feature in Word or Excel that wasn't present in Office 97?
In the end, purchase cycles are going to drag out. People will buy new computers when they absolutely need to (old computer broke or kids going away to college and need a computer) rather than feeling compelled by their needs exceeding the capability of their old computer. Until someone creates a new paradigm, that doesn't change.
There is some hope:

1. Apple's market share has been increasing rapidly. That suggests that if people see a reason to spend money on computers, they will do so. Apple has managed to create the message in people's minds that their life will be better if they add an Apple computer to their life. if someone can create a compelling vision, the market will respond.
2. Microsoft apparently recognizes that simply 'more features, more bloat, etc) won't cut it any more. Whether Windows 8 will catch on or not, Microsoft took a chance. They have apparently decided that the entire UI needs to change to create a compelling need for people to buy. I think the premise is correct - they need to create a compelling need for change. I do not think Metro is the right way to go, but I could be wrong.
3. As computers have gotten faster and more powerful and software more bloated, we're still left with a significant number of people who are baffled by computers. If you had asked me 15 years ago, I would have predicted that by this time, almost everyone would be comfortable with computers, but that's not the case. My mother wouldn't let us buy her a new computer because she was afraid that something would change and it had taken her years to learn how to simply do email and writing books on the computer. She's not a stupid lady - it's just that some people adapt to change faster than others. I know people in their 40s and 50s who are still scared to death of computers - even though they've had them almost their entire career. One person in particular is hopeless-I'm constantly being asked to help with even the simplest things. it is entirely possible that Microsoft is right and that a Fisher-Price interface will appeal to a significant number of people.
In the end, it's all about creating a compelling need for people to upgrade and I'm just not seeing it. I don't think it's a coincidence that PC sales are falling. While the iPad might account for some of that, I think the above reasons are at least as important.

 

Excellent points!

 

I believe the feature-creep bloat applies to others in addition to Microsoft -- Adobe comes to mind.  I never used any Autodesk or Avid desktop applications.  But, Adobe, Avid and Autodesk, at least, have attempted to release subset apps for iPad and iPhone -- testing the waters or keeping some skin in the game.

 

If the primary goals of the post-pc era are:

 

  • simplicity
  • useability
  • mobility
  • instant on availability
  • low hardware requirements -- power/battery, RAM, SSD, GPU, CPU...

 

Secondary goals might be:

 

  • interoperability with full legacy documents
  • accessibility to those documents (cloud)
  • portability of changes to documents from the pc era and the post-pc era devices
  • compatibility

 

It appears to me that we should be more concerned with the documents and data that we create and maintain -- than with the applications and apps we use to do so.

 

Using Office and iWork as an example, the applications/apps can be used to create simple documents that are quite compatible and can be moved with ease among OS platforms and pc-era and post-pc devices.

 

Where we seem to get into trouble, is when we create more [overly?] complex documents that depend on features only present in this application (pc-era) or app (post-pc era).  When we add this complexity we ale defeating the goals, and limiting the portability of our documents.  

 

Microsoft has already proven that Full Office/Full Windows is unworkable on the tablet form factor... and I suspect they will reinforce this proof [in spades]  in the 2012-2013 timeframe -- with release of Windows 8, Windows RT, Surface RT, Surface Pro, Office 2013 RT, Office 2013 Pro.

 

 

What's the answer?   

 

It certainly won't be found by dragging all the warts [pun intended] and legacy baggage from the pc-era computers into the post-pc era devices... Though that would suit Microsoft just fine -- hence that's what they are trying to perpetuate.

 

 

Lat's take a different perspective -- let's look at the documents -- the work-product of the pc-era applications.  Consider MS Word on Windows 7 -- a known entity.  If you [could] analyze the documents that are created with Word, they, likely, could be classified as (these are my arbitraries * -- you define whatever suits you):

 

  • Simple -- letters, notes, lists, etc
  • Intermediate -- brocheres, outlines, charts, tables
  • Complex -- formal letters, forms, simple publications
  • Specialty -- books, theses, papers, business forms, markup, bids

 

Now (since this my post) I will assign some arbitrary * percentages to the types of documents created by Word users:

 

  • 45% Simple -- letters, notes, lists, etc
  • 30% Intermeduate -- brocheres, pictures  outlines, charts, tables
  • 15% Complex -- formal letters, forms, reports, simple publications
  • 10% Specialty -- books, magazines, theses, papers, business forms, markup, bids

 

* Likely, MS has this information or could survey Word users to gather it

 

 

Now that we have this information, we could make some useful observations, like:

 

  • 75% of Word documents are Simple or Intermediate
  • 25% of Word documents are  Complex or Specialty

 

Knowing this, we could analyze the components/features in Word and assign them to the various groupings:

 

  • 75% Simple or Intermediate
  • 25% Complex or Specialty

 

  • 45% Simple
  • 30% Intermeduate
  • 15% Complex
  • 10% Specialty

 

Similarly, we could go through the Word UI, menu by menu, drop-down by drop-down, control by control... and assign them to various groupings...  we certainly know where markup and bibliographies fit.

 

 

OK, having done all that, it would seem to be a valid approach to take a machete and start hacking away at the Office code and UI elements to deliver a product that satisfies both the advantages and limitations of post-pc devices and will handle 75% of the Word documents.

 

 

"deliver a product that satisfies both the advantages and limitations of post-pc devices and will handle 75% of the Word documents."

 

A worthwhile goal?  Microsoft isn't [couldn't or wouldn't] going to do that... likely for reasons: political, financial, difficulty, propriety, practicality...

 

 

We can all understand the reasons why not:

 

  • it will reduce the importance of my product/division vis-a-vis other products/divisions
  • satisfying 75% of the documents is not satisfying  75% of the users (maybe more or less)
  • if one important customer needs a feature...
  • having birthed a feature, it's like killing or disowning your own child
  • it will cost too much
  • it will reduce the perceived value of the product
  • it will reduce income
  • it wil help the competition
  • ...

 

 

So what's to be done?

 

 

Here's what I'd do:

 

  1. Build an end-all mondo document that uses all the features in Word (a pretty big undertaking, in itself)
  2. Assign all the various components of the mondo document to one or more groups (Mmm... Word or other Office applications may be great tools for this)
  3. Rather than take a machete to hack up the Word code and UI -- use a surgeons scalpel, instead -- separating components (code and UI) but keeping them intact as self-contained modules
  4. Define the mondo Word document and circumscribe/encapsulate each component (outline, chart, bibliography, etc.)
  5. Identify which components you want  to [realistically can]  provide on post-pc devices through 2013-2014

 

 

Now here's the interesting part -- set some rules.

 

  1. A Word application or app should not be a single core (RAM-load Menu Display)
  2. Rather it should be a grouping of modularized [code and UI] components that are designed to specialize in various word features (charts, outlines, etc.)
  3. Word, whether on the desktop or a tablet/phone must recognize every mondo Word document component.
  4. The New Word (application and app, alike) need not be capable of handling  every mondo Word document component.
  5. New Word will identify, to the user, components of documents it cannot handle -- with, say, a gray box instead of the content
  6. New Word will do no harm to components of documents it cannot handle -- it will ignore them and/or pass them through untouched

 

 

So, we have the possibility of a post-pc device being able to handle any New Word document -- it is just limited in what components can be displayed in detail and changed.

 

As needed, and as post-pc devices evolve (more power, RAM, SSD, etc.) additional modules can be added -- but they will be loaded as used... You probably don't need to see a bibliography while you are working on a chart...

 

On the desktop, with adequate resources, the various modules will be loaded as used or preloaded by user settings or defaults... Kind of a RAM disk.  New Word will have all the power at your fingertips -- it will just be easier to use, as menus features that apply to what you are currently doing will come to the forefront.

 

 

That's what I'd do!

 

 

Can Microsoft do it?   Will they?

"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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