Windows 8: Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

Microsoft set out to build a new tablet-type interface for Windows 8 that could compete with the rapidly growing slate market that the iPad recently ignited. Microsoft’s problem was that they currently service approximately 95% of the worlds computers with their operating system, so keeping those customers happy and satisfying tablet customers with a UI that’s meant for touch is not only tricky, but was thought to be impossible.

Enter Windows 8. If you’ve read Mike Halsey’s post here on Windows8News, then you have no doubt seen that Microsoft is using a mix of Zune, Windows Phone and Media Center (Metro) to achieve their tablet UI, but interestingly, also includes the classic version of Windows which is always present. Some users, like Joshua Topolsky from thisismynext.com are intrigued by the UI, but disappointed by the addition of the classic Windows desktop. I feel that Microsoft’s “have your cake and eat it too” approach can and will work if they can get the two UI’s to work together seamlessly and from the looks of it, they’re just about there.

grey Windows 8: Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

Think of it this way – imagine having an iPad that was fully iPad, but had a mode hidden away for running a full version of OSX if you wanted it to. You wouldn’t necessarily have to run OSX or even see it if you didn’t want, but I imagine Mac users would find this “compatibility mode” an extra feature that would make the iPad even that much more useful. And desktop users need not worry. If you don’t want the tile user interface, then you can easily move to the classic mode.

I think this approach makes sense for a company that needs to stay relevant with “old school” Windows and also needs to enter the tablet game with a viable option. Windows has always been about having the choice to what hardware, drivers, software and components you wanted to use. Doesn’t it make sense that you continue to have a choice over which interface your version of Windows uses as well? With Windows 8, you don’t have to settle for one or the other, you have the option and that’s kind of the point.

Is it the right move? Does Windows 8 look like a viable tablet option while not alienating the desktop? Let us know what you guys think of the new version of Windows and whether Microsoft’s approach is the right approach.

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18 Responses to Windows 8: Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

  1. Nate Doughty June 2, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    They are so close.  IF they say waht they mean in terms of Office and other apps of that nature working flawlessly with this OS then Microsoft can and will take the tablet market.

  2. Hieu_nt_vn June 2, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Thank you, i love windows 8 :)

  3. Crs2029 June 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    i like it give me beta now

  4. Moo June 3, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    You can easily turn it off.

    • No Name June 3, 2011 at 6:48 am #

      I haven’t seen where the tiles can be easily turned off.  All I see is this guy flicking tiles all over the place and some of them look like windows 7…  that’s not a traditional desktop, that’s a virtualized desktop. 

  5. Jpr June 3, 2011 at 3:38 am #

    Any ideas of when Microsoft will make Windows 8 Pre releases available for MSDN and Technet subscribers?

  6. Seth_p June 3, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    Big mess? It looks elegant from what Microsoft previewed for us. You clearly weren’t paying attention – they were focusing on touch NUI. Like Moo said, you can easily turn it off for your desktop that’s not for touch.

    Calling something out as a complete BEEP up is pretty irrational. If you really want a mess, play with Linux. I attend their conferences yearly and they still struggle with standardization (creating internal chaos). Though if they standardize (audio/video stack, network layer, etc.), they step closer and closer to Microsoft and Apple’s domain. 

  7. Bill T June 3, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    This is what they need to do. There are lots of people still doing “work with computers”, which is be definition not looking at youtube or tweeting. I work with CAD and so on, and lets just say that finger swipes aren’t going to ever make sense. 

    If they can get both things happening (tablet and PC), and its smooth and silky, they will KILL, KILL, KILL. 

    Devil is in the details.

  8. cad-man-06 June 3, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    Heres what I’d do if I were MS, I’d make it run on everything from the Ipad to Samsung GTab and inbetween, so as soon as i comes out people would root there devices and load win8 on them. Bam instant killing…

  9. blackseed32 June 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    When your W8 tablet has stopped working, lol, How can you press CTRL+ALT+DEL. Maybe they have included as a button on the tablet =)

  10. dogwalker June 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    Damn this angers you intensely.

  11. Norman D. Robinson June 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    There was absolutely no mention of pen or inking in the entire presentation…!!!!  Where the “HELL” is the active digitizer support.  For goodness sake people…, what am I to do in a boardrooom meeting…???  Take notes with my fingers…??? Mercy…., here we go again with an incomplete solution and I’m a MSoft Fan Boy…!!! I have Bill’s picture up in my office for goodness sake. 

    I have one major request for the Redmondian’s.  “DON’T” leave out the pen/stylus input option is my major concern.

  12. leuleu June 7, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    i like it  i want  windows 8  now!!

  13. Annoymous Anonymous June 8, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    If that is Windows 8, I would stick with my XP.
    I doubt if I want such a so-called “modern” UI on my notebook, it looks so un-professional and idiotic. Even Luna and Aero is better than this.

  14. evilsushi June 12, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    I think it looks great on TVs, Tablets, and Phones… however, I am wondering how are they going to support power users.  What is this going to look like on High DPI displays or Vertical displays, or multimonitor setups.  There are a lot of details that need fleshed out before I can make a good decision.  It appears the legacy interface is just that, for legacy programs, so this is NOT just a tablet UI, this is the Windows UI going forward.  It is a big change, and untill build happens, I don’t think we can fully understand MS intentions.

  15. Figures June 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    well unless by “Classic” they mean XP style on back, which I doubt highly, it probably means back to vista style, I couldn’t care less.
    Looks like another bloated UI with many ‘features’ I don’t want and the stuff I do want is either buried even deeper or gone completely like minimize on the volume mixer. 

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