In a previous article we talked about what Windows 9 might bring to the table and how it might help make the changes between the desktop and START UI less jarring. What you might have noticed from that article though is I never once indicated that the Start UI was in danger or going extinct.
For those that think Windows 8’s “big problem” is the new UI, don’t expect Windows 9 to be any better in that regard.
The bottom-line is that Microsoft has chosen a path and is going to stick with it. Why won’t Windows 9 change course right away? Because it would be foolish.
People will get used to Metro/Start, and as time passes Microsoft will find ways to make its use easier and better. Changing back to the desktop only would prove to be the death of Windows.
Yes, you heard that right. Without the Start UI, Microsoft’s OS has no future. A bold statement, I know.
Why Microsoft Needs to Keep Doing What it is Doing
Why? First off, Microsoft’s path is clear right now:
Unify Xbox, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8 efforts under the same basic core. Create the perception that if you know one– you know them all.
As much as analysts still whine about Windows 8’s UI changes, if Windows 9 was to reverse course, you’d hear much grimmer statements.
Analysts would spout that Microsoft is drifting in the wind here with no clear direction. They would say that Microsoft is sliding downward and is no longer about innovation– it is instead about doing whatever they think will work at the time, without any clear conviction.
I could go on and on, but you get the point. When Ballmer and company started on this path, they were investing long-term on a new vision and dream. The PC was continuing to die, and Microsoft’s pie would eventually be eaten by the competition (probably Google) if they couldn’t do something about it.
Go big, or go home.
So can’t Windows 9 at least allow an optional start menu? No. It’s too late for that. Whether it was Sinofsky or not that decided on the decision, the clear truth is that Microsoft committed to locking out the old way and bringing it back would cause further analyst criticism that could be detrimental to stock prices and their reputation.
That said, I think Microsoft could get away with adding a way to log first into desktop over Metro. This would be minor and I don’t think it would cause much negative backlash.
Could I be flat out wrong? Could a few years from now the Start UI be dead? Possible, but somehow I doubt it. Microsoft has spent a lot of money on the Windows Store and this new path.
What Windows 9 will Do Differently
While my other post touched on this subject already, I want to ask readers directly: What do you think Windows 9 can do differently to win over more support? Or do they even have to?
As time passes, it is possible that users will grow used to the new UI on their own after all. Conversely, do you think I’m wrong– will Microsoft ditch the Start UI going forward?