Windows 8 Interview: Interview with Manan Kakkar

I met Manan Kakkar in the press room at the Microsoft BUILD conference last September.

Manan is a soft spoken tech writer who writes about technology for ZDNet, Techie Buzz and my his blog Being Manan.

He’s a Microsoft MVP for Windows Desktop (2009, 2010 & 2011) and he just finished his masters degree in Information Management from Syracuse.

You can check out his very cool visual CV.

I took some time to check in with him about Windows 8.

Onuora: Thanks for taking the time, could you tell us a bit about your background?
Manan: I am an opinionated technology enthusiast from India. I just got done with my Master’s in Information Management and am looking for a job.

Onuora: I assume you’ve had a chance to see and play with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, what were your first impressions?
Manan: It’s a tablet OS. Animations were fluid, it’s going to annoy me by switching between desktop and Metro mode.

Onuora: What do you think of the Windows 8 Metro interface?
Manan: Love it. I wasn’t a Zune owner but have been using Windows Phone 7 devices since launch. I love Metro, the apps shown on Windows 8 so far are promising and it’s an excellent design framework for mobile apps.

Onuora: What do you think of the overall Windows 8 vision?
Manan: Three years ago I would’ve said they’re over achieving, today I say they’re slower than a company like MSFT should be in achieving a fantastic, coherent computing experience.

Onuora: Have you had a chance to check out the development tools – Visual Studio etc?
Manan: I’ve played around with VS for some basic WP7 coding. The tools will play a critical role in MSFT’s platform success. If MSFT can get devs to code apps with fresh ideas, they will certainly want to bring those apps to Windows Phone.

Onuora: What do you think about the development tools Microsoft have made available?
Manan: They’re a comprehensive starting point for anyone who wants to develop for the platform.

Onuora: What role do you see Windows 8 playing in the enterprise?
Manan: Windows 8 will play an integral role for MSFT. Windows 7 adoption in the enterprise was high in their latest quarter so i don’t see desktops being upgraded to W8, enterprise doesn’t work like that. They want the latest and greatest, they want the tried and tested. However, the whole Bring Your Own Device trend in enterprise is where Microsoft will do well. W8 tablets are desktops+tablets as a result, many will look at W8 tablets for entertainment & work purposes.

Onuora: What do you think about having Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 on the market at the same time?
Manan: It is time XP and Vista were phased out. They’re years behind in terms of ease of use and functions. Anyone using them is going to be low of productivity compared to what can be achieved with Windows 7.

Onuora: What would you change about Windows 8 if you had the chance?
Manan: Come up with a way that will limit the schizophrenic desktop<->Metro switching.

Onuora: What is your view on the use and deployment of tablets in the enterprise?
Manan: It cannot be avoided. Tablets are more mobile than laptops and more useful than mobile phones (the screen size). Since Windows 8 tablets are desktops as well, they can replace laptops. Enterprise should adapt and adopt rather than be rigid. BYOD is not a fad, it’s real, deal with it.

Onuora: Do you own an iPad?
Manan: No

Onuora: What do you think of the iPad as an enterprise level device?
Manan: It cannot replace the laptop or the desktop.

Onuora: Do you feel that you and your peers have had enough opportunities to give feedback about Windows 8?
Manan: Yes. We’ve been playing with this since BUILD.

Onuora: Assuming Windows 8 came out in Q4 2012, when would you recommend use and deployment?
Manan: Deployment in enterprise? No. Buy a W8 tablet, yes.

Onuora: Thanks for your time.
Manan: Thank you.

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