Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

Summary: There's good news on the Windows 8 front: Microsoft may be learning from its more nimble units such as Xbox and Windows Phone 7. The bad news: It's unclear whether this Windows 8 mashup can result in a coherent user interface.

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There's good news on the Windows 8 front: Microsoft may be learning from its more nimble units such as Xbox and Windows Phone 7. The bad news: It's unclear whether this Windows 8 mashup can result in a coherent user interface.

The weekend was abuzz with Windows 8 possibilities. For starters, Windows 8 may incorporate an Office ribbon, a handy little navigation tool. That tidbit comes as a Windows 8 start screen looked downright Windows Phone 7 and Xbox-ish. Toss in some Windows Live hooks and it looks like Microsoft is borrowing a lot of existing features to craft something new.

Of course, these Windows 8 builds are early. In fact, you shouldn't take them all that seriously. Who knows what will wind up in the real Windows 8. Microsoft isn't talking anyway.

Todd Bishop at GeekWire put it best. Windows 8 has a hint of Office, a dash of Xbox and an ounce of Windows Phone. That's what happens when you have a massive company trying to thread every phone, laptop, desktop and tablet needle with one operating system.

Given that these features come from units that largely run independent of each other you have to wonder how this user interface will come together. Perhaps, Windows 8 will offer personalization. Pick you tiles. Pick your ribbon. Pick your Kinect connection.

Where's the glue?

If you zoom out a bit the Windows 8 talk comes along as Fortune ran a story about how Microsoft has lost its way. Former employees say Microsoft is too insular and can't innovate. The conclusion: CEO Steve Ballmer has to go. And while we're at it let's break up Microsoft to be more nimble. Sound familiar? That same storyline runs almost every quarter.

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Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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  • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

    so these people is either confusing everybody or totally out of the box (or nuts?)... thanks for this article!
    jaime.gibertoni@...
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      @jaime.gibertoni@... <br>Yes these are just alpha builds. MS is just tinkering with the UI (as anyone would do)<br>Personally I think Ribbon in the explorer in a good idea. It exposes a lot a functionality and it's more intuitive.It's not too different from the menubar as it autohides.<br>I don't see why the different UI paradigms cannot coexsist .mouse and keyboard for desktop , touch for phone/tablet . motion for TV .<br>Where did Larry get the idea MS is going to mashup all these experiences into one
      g@...
      • Internal battles, my friend, internal battles...

        If you follow the common thread, you see an internal battle between two groups.

        First the most successful one: Office which has switched their whole experience to a touch centric Ribbon, although since there's no Word or Excel for iPad or Honeycomb, we can't be sure that in practice, this interface works in touch-only environments. It looks like it could, but again, we don't know for sure.

        Second group: Zune / Surface / Courier / Windows Phone team. So far, they have created several interesting touch centric, but only one mass market product (WP7) which hasn't been that successful on the market place (at least compared to Office).

        Neither one is game changing, much like iPad team was for Apple (lets remember that was the original product developed and the iPhone was just a mere second thought).

        Ironically the (full) Windows side was supposed to lead the way, but apparently it carried too much legacy burden to move fast enough. So now it's been pressured by both groups to follow suit. Which road should it take? I think the final solution was to take both roads, just in different segments. SoC and ARM slates will take the WP7 route and Intel/AMD PCs will take the Office route, what they call the "TwinUI".

        Let see if this is the actual route and what the final outcome will be.
        cosuna
  • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

    *yawn*

    It's kinda obvious you've never actually used Windows before.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      -DLL Hell is gone
      -Taskbar is better than the Dock (which is why Ubuntu is using it too)
      -The kernel isn't insecure
      -Notice how OSX is getting more Malware now that it's getting marketshare?
      -Registry is not garbage.
      Michael Alan Goff
  • Suggested feature for Lion...

    @shellcodes_coder <br>Dude, I hope they install a grammar checker in Lion for you.<br>"Dock is far more better than ugly taskbar." <br><br>You should try formatting your text in Microsoft Word. I hear that there is even a version for Mac.
    dazzlingd
  • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

    @shellcodes_coder

    "and get rid of DLL hell"

    Maybe time to brush up on your .NET, eh? The DLL issues are slowly fading away.

    "viruses"

    There's malware for every major platform. 'tis a problem everybody has to deal with.

    "registry garbage"

    Actually, the registry itself is garbage. I say it's time to get rid of it altogether.

    "How about a more secure kernel?"

    The kernel itself is rock solid, hence why malware these days tends to be the kind that takes advantage of poorly coded applications. I haven't heard of anything that gets to the kernel level in Windows 7.

    "have heard they will finally make a good implementation of Expose in Windows 8 that means it will take them 11 years to make a proper implementation of Expose."

    You can actually do something similar in Windows 7 right now. It's not as cool looking, but you can click on a window that is showing up while switching tasks with alt+tab, which will switch to it instantly.

    "forget Lion, it will be light years ahead"

    In coolness, perhaps, but dunno about in market share.
    CobraA1
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      @CobraA1
      .NET? haha, I do windows programming in C++ (RAW code execution) that's a language for kids and BTW am a game developer and in our work we have to use all windows specific apps like 3ds max and visual c++. BTW when Microsoft fixes all those faults let me know, guess what that will never happen. Yes Windows will be ahead in market share but if you have use OS X and Linux, can you tell me which is the worst operating system out of three? it's def Windows
      shellcodes_coder
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      "I do windows programming in C++ (RAW code execution)"

      Actually, if you want raw code execution, you should try assembler.

      "that's a language for kids"

      -1 for thinking that .NET is a language. You can actually use C++ to develop .NET applications.

      "BTW am a game developer"

      Your knowledge of languages is pretty terrible for a game dev.

      "BTW when Microsoft fixes all those faults let me know, guess what that will never happen.'

      When you find and fix all of the faults in your games, let me know :).

      "but if you have use OS X and Linux, can you tell me which is the worst operating system out of three?"

      Your opinion is noted, and rejected. There isn't really any objective way to measure the "goodness" of an operating system.
      CobraA1
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      @CobraA1
      At least someone someone is being objective and logical.
      mgaul
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      @CobraA1
      Your post and others were "flagged" because those posts are actually informed, sensible and (God save us all from the ios and linux fanatics) pointed out some things about ms products that are good (of which there are far more good products than bad). Some people- donnieboy, et al- merely post comments out of hatred of all thing ms or simply out of ignorance. Viruses because windows is inherently insecure, for example. The fact is that windows has been proven in test after test after test... ad infinitum- to be the most secure OS in existence and mac os the least secure, yet ms-haters really don't care about actual facts when it's so much easier to just rant about things they don't understand! But I do give Apple credit for one thing at least- they make some of the coolest toys around! But, toys are for children, not adults. And my post will surely be flagged by one of the no-nothings posting here.
      c'est la vie!
      xplorer1959
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      It seems [b]both sides[/b] are flagging one another.

      ~

      @xplorer1959
      Duly noted and flagged.
      LTV10
  • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

    @shellcodes_coder <br><br>DLL Hell? Really? Are you still using Windows 98?

    Viruses? You might want to look into properly using a computer and browsing the web responsibly. Malware has become a user issue more than anything now since Vista's UAC, and x64's kernel level protection. PEBKAC is not a Microsoft issue. It's yours.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      @modicr

      From your link:

      <i>Things are better with Windows 7</i>

      It went from "DLL-HELL" to "in some unusual cases it may still be possible to have issues with versioning." Don't think that qualifies as "back".

      Myself, I haven't seen DLL Hell since the dark, dreary VB6 days.
      SlithyTove
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      I don't buy it. The article you linked to doesn't mention any other OS but XP, so what I'm supposed to take from it is beyond me. DLL Hell went away after 9x went away.

      Maybe by some off chance, the author had a case, but I just haven't seen any cases myself in years. Sorry.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

    @shellcodes_coder
    To all the fan boys: yes I do use Windows because am a developer and the only reason I still use Windows is because of the programs that we use in our work which are specific to Windows and that really sucks. Neither OS X nor Linux users are affected by viruses and worms, only Windows is. If you don't know the difference between virus, worm, trojan then it's time to go and learn. Microsoft don't listen to their customers, see what happened with Vista and how they screwed customers. They had to fix it and come up with something new so that they can compete with OS X. Market share, that's funny, but Windows is worst OS, even Linux is far more better than Windows
    shellcodes_coder
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      @shellcodes_coder,<br>"Neither OS X nor Linux users are affected by viruses and worms, only Windows is."<br>Although there is less chance of virus and worms on Mac OS X, maybe it is not the most secure OS, at least that's the Charlie Miller POV. Here is one of his comments,<br>"Because Snow Leopard lacks fully-functional ASLR, Macs are still easier to compromise than Windows Vista systems, Miller said. Snow Leopards more secure than Leopard, but its not as secure as Vista or Windows 7, he said. When Apple has both [in place], thats when Ill stop complaining about Apples security.<br>Based on the results of the Pwn20wn events, maybe he is right. Hope to see Mac OS X Lion steup with their security features. BTW, if Apple is not vulnerable to viruses, why they have this advise on their Mac OS website?<br>"Security Advice<br>The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, antivirus software may offer additional protection."<br><br>"see what happened with Vista and how they screwed customers"<br>From what I saw, lot of people didn't liked Vista because it was slow, something that was fixed with SP1. Interesting that a Arstechnica compared Mac OS X with Vista on Photoshop, and Vista was faster. So, how do you call an OS that was slower than Vista, in your opinion, the worst OS?<br><a href="http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2008/10/adobe-cs4-review.ars/5" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2008/10/adobe-cs4-review.ars/5</a><br><br>And there were the Pwn20wn events from 2008, where Mac OS X was hacked in less than two minutes, while Vista stood a lot longer.<br><a href="http://dvlabs.tippingpoint.com/blog/2008/03/27/day-two-of-cansecwest-pwn-to-own---we-have-our-first-official-winner-with-picture" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://dvlabs.tippingpoint.com/blog/2008/03/27/day-two-of-cansecwest-pwn-to-own---we-have-our-first-official-winner-with-picture</a><br><br>My point is that there is no completely secure OS, and all are trying to the their best security and peformance wise.
      dvm
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      @shellcodes_coder You are blinded by fanboyism. I can run Windows without any antivirus software except for the default built-in protection and not get infected. I'm sorry but in 2011 if you get infected, regardless of the OS you're using, it's simply your fault for being unforgivably ingenuous.
      anothersmartguy
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      @shellcodes_coder <br><br><I>Neither OS X nor Linux users are affected by viruses and worms, only Windows is.</I><br><br>That's bull and you know it. Malware today is most a user issue. PEBKAC. It can't just sneak onto users systems like in the dark days of Windows XP. It just can't, unless you have some click happy user running wild and care-free, it just doesn't happen. Users running an x64 copy of Vista or 7 are protected by both UAC and kernel level protection. Not to mention the safety features of IE8/9 that XP wouldn't allow.<br><br>Also, the Mac platform does have malware for it, and so does Linux, but considering the nature of Linux users (Desktop users anyway - Android is another issue, one which invalidates your statement above), is unaffected by this crap.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Microsoft's Windows 8: Can a mashup of various features work well?

      @shellcodes_coder

      "If you don't know the difference between virus, worm, trojan then it's time to go and learn."

      Not that it matters, considering any of them can be a major security and integrity risk. It's also the case that malware authors have been creating malware that can use several methods to attack systems and spread themselves to new systems. The distinction between the different types of malware isn't as useful as it used to be.

      "Microsoft don't listen to their customers . . . They had to fix it . . ."

      Umm, fixing it [b]is[/b] listening to their customers. Would you rather they not fix it?
      CobraA1