For those who argue about whether or not Windows 8 will be relevant or sought after, I think we should look at the evidence so far.
All we’ve seen up to this point is Windows Developer Preview, and from there we’ve seen plenty of judgment calls in a variety of different directions.
Some argue that Windows’ new “METRO” interface (which replaces the Start Menu) is too geared towards tablet interfaces and doesn’t work right with keyboard and mouse.
The same side of this argument says that there just isn’t anything new in Windows 8 outside of tablet-focused changes that make it worthy of an upgrade for PC users.
I’ve asserted before that this isn’t a fair assessment, since there is plenty of other new features coming to Windows 8. Not all of these features were present in WDP, but keep in mind that this pre-BETA was simply a small ‘taste’ of what to expect from the upcoming Windows BETA and final releases.
So what else is there that makes it worthwhile?
First off, shut down and restart are getting a major speed upgrade by no longer shutting down the whole session kernel and instead ‘hibernating’ it. Overall, Windows 8 is actually a somewhat faster experience from what I’ve seen so far and even runs on slightly older hardware than Windows 8.
It’s kind of funny since Windows 7 ran on hardware older than Vista could and now the same is happening with 8. At this rate, will Windows 9 run on a Pentium II? Okay, probably not but its still great that Microsoft isn’t forcing users to keep up with the newest hardware on the market.
So yes, it might be that tablets and casual users are the biggest focus from Microsoft but not the only focus by any means.
The Windows Developer Preview is actually fairly stable and powerful, especially considering its very early state of development. Additionally, Windows 8’s DP has actually received quite a bit of attention, so much attention in fact that Microsoft has revealed that up til now they’ve had 3 million downloads.
So at least 3 million developers and enthusiasts have found enough reason to at least give Microsoft’s newest OS a look.
So I realize we can’t really compare the 3 million downloads to how successful Windows will be, but it does show there is at least some interest in the platform. On the other side of the argument, many of these enthusiast downloads might have been sparked by controversy and users wanting to see if Metro was as bad as some claim (this was my original reason for downloading WDP).
I think that making a judgment call for or against Windows 8 this early in the game is nothing more than pulling out the crystal ball or making wild assumptions based entirely on opinions. I have my own opinion on how the OS will do, but I respect different views.
Personally, I think Windows 8 will target a more casual market than in the past (tablets and just every PC users), but as long as desktop mode exists it will still also be used for power users as well.
For non-casual users will there be enough reason to upgrade right away from Windows 7? Honestly, that is a hard question to answer and so we will see in time. What do you think about Microsoft’s news of having 3 million copies of WDP downloaded?
What do you think about Windows 8 from what you’ve seen so far?
To get a clearer picture of what we should expect from Windows 8, we really need to wait until we get our hands on Windows 8 BETA in February.
Rest assured that as soon as it becomes available I will be downloading it and have plenty more to say.