While the average consumer will only have access to Windows 8 in the next few months reviews have started streaming in. They range from gleaming admiration for Microsoft to confusion and revulsion. I personally haven’t used it but I think it looks reasonably awesome despite the fact that Microsoft have made some substantial changes that the tech industry isn’t entirely comfortable with.
Gizmodo points out the significance of Windows 8 not only to Microsoft but consumers in general:
Why does Windows 8 matter? Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha. Simply, this is the first time that you will have to re-learn how to use Windows on a basic level since 1992. Windows is the most central piece of software in the world, and it is undergoing a major paradigm shift. It’s the New Deal, for PCs.
PC Mag seems to think it’s pretty great:
With each updated release of Windows 8, I feel more comfortable about its potential for acceptance among the general populace—despite the protestations of some tech pundits. True, hardcore power users lament the new OS’s inability to boot directly to the desktop, bypassing those “toy-like,” newfangled Windows 8 “apps” and Start screen. But there are plenty of benefits for those veteran PC users, too—a much faster boot, better security, and new file management tools.
Windows 8 is about the future, not the past. It introduces innovative touch input that even exceeds the iPad in some functions, such as the ability to view a second app in a sidebar and an easier way to see all running apps. The future is pointing strongly towards tablets, while desktops will remain essential tools. Microsoft is betting on its colossal base of Windows PC users to bolster its chances in this tablet-dominated future, while hoping that the drastic changes don’t alienate them. After the next holiday season passes, we’ll have an idea of whether this gamble has paid off.
The Verge has a similar approach:
My MacBook Air and my iPad are basically my fifth and sixth limbs. I rarely go anywhere without them, I use each for hours every day, and in general I’m really happy with both of them.
Come October 26th, though, I’m ditching them both. I don’t know yet if I’m buying a Microsoft Surface or a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet or an Asus Transformer Book, or something else entirely. But I’m buying a Windows 8 device as my only computer, and I can’t wait.
For the kind of work I do (a strong bias towards Microsoft Office apps) I’ve always felt that Windows would be a better fit however I’ve always preferred the hardware of Apple products. With the hardware of your general PC catching up and Windows 8 offering something beyond the drab beige box it’s becoming a more and more appealing prospect. I doubt this will this make a dent in the Apple market share as the faithful remain that way however it will be interesting to see how the business community reacts to this radically different approach from Microsoft.