Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Windows 8 - Ninth Pass: The Sales Pitch

Last week I attended one of the many official Microsoft launch events for Windows 8. Naturally I arrived with a bunch of questions I wanted to get answered but I was also very interested in how they were going to pitch the various changes I've already discussed here to a room full of several hundred IT Professionals.

If you've wasted any time reading my blog as of late you know I not a big Windows 8 fan, but despite my bias I went in with an open mind to allow them to sway my views. Unfortunately that didn't happen. While I understand the 'why' a bit better I'm still not sold on the 'how'.

It was obvious from the keynote that Microsoft believes that Windows 8 is as much of a game changer as email, the iPhone (they even gave Mr. Jobs a shout out), and even the printing press. They believe they are changing the game in terms of tablets and smartphones now being integrated together for the first time on a single platform - Windows 8. Microsoft is leading with the software of the future as opposed to the software we need today.

I agree with the premise but the implementation is where it fall apart for me. This is a good example of software driving hardware. Windows 8 is designed for the end of the desktop - a future whose ending hasn't been written yet. Microsoft believes the rate of change is going to be fast enough to justify their changes now. I agree the pace is fast but the implementation could have been done in a way that made the changes easier to adopt. From their perspective it is easier to just make the changes and deal with the fall out of user adoption. Speaking of adoption, according to Microsoft it has been low however Windows 8 has only been public for just over a month now.

It was obvious that Microsoft believes they are on the right track with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Time will tell.