Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Best Argument: Windows right
Squarely in the right direction
Ed Bott: There are a billion PC owners in the world. If you think they're going to toss their systems in the trash and replace them with tablets overnight, you're dreaming.
If, on the other hand, you think that people worldwide will be using an increasingly diverse variety of computing devices over the next 5-10 years, you've got a much firmer grasp of reality.
That's the vision of Windows 8, which replaces the traditional PC core and user interface with a lighter, faster alternative that should work comfortably on small, medium, and large devices, with or without touch capabilities.
The biggest improvement in Windows 8 is that it's simpler overall. That makes it better for developers, businesses, and consumers alike.
Windows Vista was the wrong direction: bigger, slower, overly complex. Windows 7 was a much-needed course correction. Windows 8 is aimed squarely in the right direction.
Direction is more of a death spiral
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Microsoft sees Windows 8's Metro interface and applications as the future. When I look at Metro, I see gaudy colors, boxy designs, apps that can either run as a small tile or as full screen with no way to resize or move windows. Where have we seen this before? Windows 1.0!
If Metro was just a tablet interface, I might pass it -- except that Android and iOS already have better, more usable interfaces. Besides, bread-and-butter Windows users already know the Windows interface. Sure, you can use a more Windows' like interface, but Microsoft really seems to want everyone to move to Metro.
Windows developers can't love this either. After years learning .NET, WCF, WPF, etc., now you have to learn WinRT and Jupiter/XAML? And since you'll need to rewrite your app for the more traditional Windows-style desktop, your workload has doubled.
Microsoft is headed toward another Vista-sized fiasco.