Microsoft and Windows 8: An Interview with Brad Sams
One of the best sources of Windows news online is Neowin.
As part of my never ending curiousity about how professionals feel about Windows 8, I reached out to Brad Sams from that website.
Brad is the Senior News Editor for Neowin.net. He is also a Financial Consultant to Fortune 200 companies and an MBA Student. Brad has been writing technology based news for over four years and is obsessed with the convergence of technology in the corporate environment.
The following is a transcript of our interview.
Onuora: Brad, thanks for agreeing to the interview. Tell me, how did you get started with blogging and writing about Microsoft products?
Brad: I got started blogging back in college, it started with a personal website and I was then later picked up by Neowin. I have been writing for a little over four years. I have been writing general technology news over the past few years, with the emergence of Windows 8, I have shifted focus to cover those details for our readers. Microsoft, in general, has always been big at Neowin and I am continuing to focus on that genre to keep our readers happy.
Onuora: Out of all the features you have come across that might make it into windows 8, which ones do you think are the most exciting?
Brad: There are many features that look promising, history vault, the new UI, portable workstation, I think the best features have not be uncovered yet. To say one feature is my favorite would be to limiting, I am excited to see the new features with the new UI and watch Microsoft step outside of its comfort zone with Metro.
Onuora: I personally love windows 7, what do you think were the deficiencies if any that windows 7 had? What do you think needed to be addressed in windows 8?
Brad: There are not many shortcomings with Windows 7, it has been selling in large numbers and is comparable to Windows XP in terms of stability. Saying what Windows 7 should have had is a bit hard as things have changed since it first launched. I hope to see in Windows 8 seamless integration with the cloud.
Onuora: What do you think about the potential for Cloud Computing integration in Windows 8? Where do you think that could go?
Brad: Decentralized computing is the future, local storage is quickly moving away for offsite replication. It is only a matter of time before the consumers realize the power of cloud vs local storage. Having everything you own available anywhere at any time is a powerful thought, but then again, security remains an issue too. Windows 8 will start this conversion to the Cloud, take a look at this question when Windows 9 is about to hit the store shelves. I hope to see Windows 8 bring Cloud a bit closer to reality, but it will be slow adoption by the consumer for fear of data privacy.
Onuora: Do you think that the Kinect will play a major role in Windows 8?
Brad: I hope so, Kinect is an extremely powerful tool and is tagged with a low price point. The barrier to entry is minimal for the amount of potential the product has. Take a look at any of the Kinect homebrew projects. The ability to help those with disability and finally remove our dependence on the mouse is harbored in the Kinect.
Onuora: What’s your take on the amount of time between OS refreshes from Microsoft? Do you think 2012/2013 is about right or early?
Brad: This is a tough one, releasing a new OS takes time, to get it right takes even more time. The product should be released when it is ready and demand is high, not when a competitor releases a product. An innovative product trumps an upgraded process any day of the week.
Onuora: From an enterprise perspective, what do you think Microsoft need to do with windows 8 to compel weary IT managers and execs to (once again) open up their wallets for an os refresh?
Brad: This will be a very hard sell. Most corporations skipped Vista and are going directly to 7, the only way Microsoft could compel corporations to switch to Windows 8 is if they can show the cost savings of the new platform.
Onuora: What mistakes do you think Microsoft have to avoid with Windows 8?
Brad: Don’t go Apple, Apple has its own unique niche in the market, don’t play the eye candy game but bring new functionality to the table. Make the process take fewer clicks to get things done…in the business world there is a saying “clicks are currency”, don’t make a new process take more interfaces to complete.
Onuora: What are the top 3 things you would like to see in Windows 8?
Brad: Cloud integration, Kinect integration, and a tablet OS that truly bets iOS.
Onuora: What’s your take on Steven Sinofsky’s project management style?
Brad: I won’t comment on his style as I have never worked for him, you only get to see about 5% of his “management style” from the outside.Project management is not easy, especially on scale that Sinofsky currently resides over, let the shareholders decide if he is doing a good job or not.
Onuora: What are some of the most common misconceptions/ignorant comments about Microsoft that piss you off?
Brad: It is rather annoying to see people say “Microsoft copied Apple” or copied anyone, If companies didn’t copy each other, our user experience today would be massively different. If we held true to that, Apple would not have the App store as Microsoft came up with the idea.
Our thanks to Brad Sams for his time.
You can see more of Brads writing at Neowin.net