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Windows 8 Microsft's "riskiest product bet"

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  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/23/ballmer-next-release-of-windows-will-be-microsofts-riskiest-p/

    Any guesses what's cooking?

    (I'm hoping it's a far more interesting reason than just updating the world's most used OS is bound to be risky)

  • User profile image
    felix9

    the only risky and 'revolutionary leap' kind of thing about ms os is the midori project I guess, but I dont think that was what Ballmer talking about.

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    I have little faith that Windows 8 will be a great product. Steve B being in charge worries me. He spends too much time ripping off everyone else's stuff and too little time creating anything new or interesting.

    All I really want from Windows 8 is for them to re-do the Control Panel almost from the ground up. The mix of Windows 95 and Vista panels is annoying and confusing. The fact that half the things are hidden in the Vista view is - again, annoying and confusing. I think Apple does it better (Linux does it far worse).

    Windows Search team needs to be fired. Get someone in who understands that when I type in a string I want the option to search all files. *.dat *.bin *.xml, etc - on Windows Server 2008 the search is beyond useless.

    Paint needs some bug fixing (Service Pack 1?), and Calculator needs to load instantly (why does this take longer than Firefox?!).

    Window's support for FTP needs to be WAY better.

    Maybe a copy of Secunia PSI built right into Windows would be kick butt. Or some kind of infrastructure for automatic updates/notifications. "One Click" never took off unfortunately.

    Windows Backup needs a lot of work. Microsoft could literally invest a million dollars into that software and still have a few million in work left to do.

    The accessibility team need to add Left Click/Right Click Keys to Mouse Keys. Or if that exists make it a LOT clearer how. Obviously with Mouse Keys the number pad is your pointer but where are your clicks!?

    Lot's of multi-monitor improvements. Moving Windows. Managing Windows. Controlling poorly written software (iTunes).

    I'd also like to see some serious infrastructure work to allow banks to give out a 100 MB card that has a read only private key on it, that people can use as a token for authentication. Or better yet invent some kind of SmartCard that can be read using a standard memory stick reader (software only).


    There are lot's of things Windows could do. But realistically with Steve at the wheel we will see a bad copy of Apple's stuff from three years ago...

  • User profile image
    Bas

    If I recall correctly, the touch features in Windows 7 were announced to 'blow you away'. I imagine we can see this sort of hyperbole in the same light.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    It'll be a bean counter's wet dream: very few changes but with a higher license fee.

  • User profile image
    elmer

    @GoddersUK: (I'm hoping it's a far more interesting reason than just updating the world's most used OS is bound to be risky)

    I would think that's what he is referring to.

    Unless it is "magical" people will be looking at the way so many skipped Vista and wonder if they should probably do the same thing with this version.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    The way he's talking, Windows 8 better be a "if this doesn't work we go bankrupt" kind of bet (the way the 747 was for Boeing way back when).

    Personally, I think it's a terrible idea. Windows 7 is just getting to the point where Windows is somewhat consistent again amidst all the various layers of UI dating back to Windows 95. We need them to continue polishing that, to make sure every last bastion of outdated or bad UI design is gone from the product before they put the next big thing on top of it. Otherwise, it'll just make the situation worse.

  • User profile image
    contextfree

    For better or worse they are still planning on using Windows as their primary tablet operating system, and putting heavy focus on that for W8. I'm one of the few people who thinks that's probably the right decision, but it's definitely risky: there will probably be different modes for slate and kb/mouse usage, but how much should they share? Make them share too much, and you risk having the interface not work with one or the other or both (the current W7 touch situation), make them share not enough and you risk excessive fragmentation and wasted resources.

  • User profile image
    exoteric

    , GoddersUK wrote

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/23/ballmer-next-release-of-windows-will-be-microsofts-riskiest-p/

    Any guesses what's cooking?

    (I'm hoping it's a far more interesting reason than just updating the world's most used OS is bound to be risky)

    That, and Windows 8 is a major release, as opposed to Windows 7, right?

    We saw the last major release and what it meant to the company, for good (great new features) and for worse (longhorn reset, compatibility, performance) so of course a major release will be risky.

    Sometimes it's like people imagine Steve Ballmer sitting late nights writing kernel code in the way they portray his direct impact on Windows. There's a lot of levels of indirection there. I haven't heard him say anything non-sensical in those clips.

    I look forward to hearing more about Windows 8 when the time is right. It looks like the company has a parallel tracks strategy, a solid evolution of Windows (Windows 7, ...) and this so-far private Midori thing (Longhorn done right?) with initial design and implementation done by the Singularity team. And of course Windows Azure, not to forget.

  • User profile image
    USArcher

    While changes in UI and kernel come with certain risks, I think the bigger bet Microsoft might be making is a change in licensing.  Now, from a business perspective...that is very risky. 

    I have a feeling they are going with subscriptions big time.  This would drastically reduce the licensing expenses to OEMs and in turn reduce retail prices.  Windows Live and auto updates may become central to such an offering.  Microsoft doesn't want to repeat the XP legacy where folks became so reluctant to upgrade.  And with the proliferation and reliance on web services, the opportunities for client apps are not the same as they use to be.  With the exception of games, tell me of one mainstream consumer app that requires or benefits from 2+ cores?  There haven't been any breakthrough applications in the consumer space for years.  No Artificial intelligence, etc.  Hence, Slate devices are probably all the PC most consumers will ever need, so Microsoft would be wise to implement a OS subscription and build loyality toward their services and for partner apps hosted on Azure.

  • User profile image
    contextfree

    , exoteric wrote

    It looks like the company has a parallel tracks strategy, a solid evolution of Windows (Windows 7, ...) and this so-far private Midori thing (Longhorn done right?)

    I'm a bit worried that it's less a "strategy" and more a rival factions thing. The Midori project still seems to be going strong right now - in fact if anything it seems to be expanding - but eventually it has to come out of incubation and become a product; will it survive the inevitable tension with the existing product teams? Look what happened to Live Mesh ... The current apparent atmosphere of cost-cutting and short-term focus at Microsoft doesn't reassure me.

    I think for it to survive they should try and find a narrower concrete use case for it soon. Not replacing Windows, which won't happen for a long, long time, but Microsoft's range of products and services is wide enough that there should be some room for a new kernel designed for distributed systems - maybe powering new services in their datacenters, maybe in their HPC/Technical Computing initiatives, maybe embedded in new devices. Then they can gradually expand to more and more things, and maybe it will become a mainstream flagship OS someday.

  • User profile image
    contextfree

    @USArcher:

    , USArcher wrote

    With the exception of games, tell me of one mainstream consumer app that requires or benefits from 2+ cores?  There haven't been any breakthrough applications in the consumer space for years.  No Artificial intelligence, etc. 

    personally if there aren't going to be any new breakthrough applications, what's the point of even thinking about this stuff at all?   we should all just quit working in computer science/programming and watch soap operas on TV on the couch all day. actually, even that would be too much effort; if I thought there weren't going to be any new breakthrough applications I wouldn't be able to even get myself to get out of bed in the morning. that's just the way I feel though, you might be right. Sad

  • User profile image
    USArcher

    @contextfree: I didn't mean to be pessimistic, applications have evolved and more compelling than previous generations.  Why think about this stuff at all?  Because in this era of commodity OSs, apps and web services, there is probably a better way to position Windows against the competition and leverage developer skills. 

  • User profile image
    Bas

    With the exception of games, tell me of one mainstream consumer app that requires or benefits from 2+ cores?

    I never get this argument. Since when do people run just one single process on their CPU's?

  • User profile image
    exoteric

    @contextfree:I think the very existence of Midori is a testament to long-term thinking. There may be some tension between native and intermediate code, if a wholesale move towards intermediate (IL), or typed-assembly (TAL) code is made. Verifiability seems to be the name of the game. I don't know where C[++[0x]] fits into this vision. Maybe there's a verifiably safe subset of C[++[0x]] that can be compiled to TAL. That would be very cool.

  • User profile image
    elmer

    @Sven Groot:Perception is a huge factor in adoption, and my experience is that business views the Rn updates of the server products as good, because they are not "major" updates, while all major updates are seen as a bad (or at least, risky) and to be avoided if possible.

    So perhaps make the next release Win-7-R2 , and push the next major release back one notch ?

  • User profile image
    contextfree

    but Win7 was already Vista R2 ...

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    My dream, Singularity. But, I think that is just too risky. But, I really want the industry puting unmanaged envirnment behind.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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