Great article by Paul Thurrott called “What We Really Learned About Windows 8 @ D9”.
It’s really well written and makes some salient points about Windows 8 that were real easy to miss.
The new Windows 8 UI is not “touch-centric.” Instead, it’s “touch-first.” But Sinofsky and Larson-Green very clearly (and repeatedly) stated–and showed–that it works with any PC interface, including mouse and keyboard. I’ve written elsewhere about the brilliance of this approach and about how Microsoft is replicating it across even more devices with a similar UI on phones (Windows Phone Start screen) and in the living room (the coming Xbox 360 Dashboard).
The new Windows 8 UI is scalable. Sinofsky also noted that this touch-centric UI is “scalable … from about an 8-inch screen using today’s current DPI all the way to wall-sized displays.” So there you have the range of devices on which Windows 8 will run: 8-inch slate-type devices all the way up to wall-sized displays. This suggests (but does not prove) that Windows Phone will continue to be used on sub-8-inch displays, as on phones.
Windows is no longer leading when it comes to adopting new technology. This one isn’t exactly good news, and of course Sinofsky didn’t present it this way. But he did implicitly admit at least twice that Windows is no longer setting the agenda. Instead, it’s following the hardware and usage patterns elsewhere. The iPhone and iPad are obvious examples. “When we looked at what was going on with tablets, or with touch user interface, we sort of just asked ourselves, what else can Windows do?” This is not leadership, it’s following in the footsteps of others.