Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 bring plenty of useful new features to the table, and Windows 8 in particular helps narrow the bridge between conventional PC and mobile device. Unfortunately, good ideas and popular ideas aren’t mutually exclusive.
Microsoft has the right idea with Windows 8, but the wrong execution. The biggest problem areas are problem areas are as follows:
1) The perception that Windows 8 is too hard to learn and is too much like a Frankenstien monster. Critics say Microsoft tries to make Windows 8 an OS for desktop and an OS for mobile, but doesn’t get quite either of these right.
2) The tablet market is moving away from large-sized tablets, and yet Microsoft hasn’t given us anything smaller than 10-inches yet.
3) Not enough public understanding of what sets Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Windows RT from each other. Additionally, not enough understanding of why or how Windows provides a better experience for users than iOS or Android devices.
So how does Microsoft get past this? You guessed it, Windows Blue.
Windows Blue could be a second chance.
There is no saying for sure that Windows Blue will help Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 further along, but if they play their cards right it certainly could. Personally, I think WP8 is already heading in the right direction, so I’m going to focus on how Windows Blue can address Windows 8 problems.
Issue 1) Perception is a problem, but what can Microsoft do with Blue to change it? Windows Blue needs to make switching back from Windows 8’s desktop and Windows 8’s modern UI as simple as possible. If possible, it also needs to port over some of the aspects like task manager to the modern UI, so less hopping back and forth is needed. Other changes like creating an easy to find shutdown button on both the desktop and modern UI could be a good move.
Issue 2) We already covered this in-depth in another article, but I’ll simply say, Windows Blue needs to make 7-inch and 8-inch tablets a possibility. This can be done by making desktop less important for versions of Windows 8 (or RT??) running on smaller form factors.
Issue 3) This is a marketing issue, but Windows Blue could help. Imagine Microsoft launching a HUGE campaign about, “We value what customers think. We’ve thought about some of the hurdles with Windows 8, and we’ve improved upon them. Introducing Windows Blue” and then it could focus on what Blue ‘adds’ to the Windows experience to make it easier. Of course Start Menu fanatics would attack such adds saying “they don’t really listen, or else we’d have start bar” — still, such a move could help a little.
Bottom-line, Windows Blue needs to be GREAT, if they are going to overcome perception, marketing and other problems. Can they do it and still keep modern and other Windows 8 changes? Sure they can. Windows Vista and Windows 7 are VERY similar with a few usability and performance changes thrown in, and yet people love Windows 7 and passionately hated Vista.
What do you think Microsoft needs to do with Windows Blue? Share your thoughts below.