I quickly saw Windows 8 developer preview in one of our IT-support person’s test laptop and we had a quick discussion about his experiences with it, and he showed some of the features available in it already. Start menus and different views look totally different from the current paradigm of windows – and seem to bring in the aesthetics of Xbox 360 and Windows Phone now also to the desktop.
Software makers will have interesting challenges while adapting their programs into the new Windows UI and user experience, as it is a radical change to the usability nightmare of modern Windows applications. Though the regular desktop will be available also in the Windows 8 – it will be interesting to see what kind of new programs will be born also on Windows platform to support the new paradigm. For many the radical breakthrough will be too much.
Will the same user experience fly on laptops, desktops, tablets and on Windows phone?
It could. Initially I was hesitant to even think that it would work, but after seeing it live, I have some hopes for Microsoft to actually be able to pull it off. Biggest problem will be porting and rethinking applications – and user experience in applications. Depending on what kind of leadership Microsoft will and can show, independent software developers will either follow the lead – or not.
Apple taught thousands of developers to think in new ways with iPhone and then on iPad, and eventually similar ideas might find their way also to the desktop OS X. They seem to have pulled it off quite well, but then again Apple has always been very strict on Human Computer Interaction — and people have followed their lead. Windows ecosystem is different. Much more like wild wild west.
All and all I will be keeping an eye on Windows 8 developments – as it will in anycase be something new.