Byte Me Article 98 – Windows 8 system is pointer to the future

Windows 8 system is pointer to the future

27 October, 2012

If you have read the first few pages of this paper you will have already seen my news article on yesterday’s release of Microsoft’s latest operating system – Windows 8.  This is certainly a milestone in the Information Technology world and one that we set the pace for years to come.

In real terms what has happened here?  Well as a fond motorcycle enthusiast I would akin the changes to replacing the steering wheel in a car with a handlebar and associated controls – it is going to change the way we ‘drive’ computers.  What can a steering wheel do?  Mostly it provides our car with direction and little else – with the exception of rudimentary controls for stereo volume and possible cruise control.

2012-10-27 Byte Me Article 98 - Windows 8

What can a handlebar do?  Well not only does it provide direction but it is also provides the throttle, the clutch, the brake (major functions, I’m sure you’ll agree) and also the rudimentary functions of stereo control, cruise control, turn indication, high & low beam and even engine cut out.  A handle bar does give greater control than a steering wheel and this is exactly what Windows 8 is expected to provide more of for computer users – control!

We grow up learning to use our hands to point to things and touch things directly; this is somewhat different to using a mouse on a horizontal surface to simulate pointing to an icon on a vertical screen.  Windows 8 and touch screens will bring back that more intuitive direct point and touch feel, but will we like it?  Certainly people that have never used a computer previously will find it easier to pick up and will adapt more quickly to the whole computing experience.

For the rest of us, well if you have been using a smart phone and navigating your way around and liking it then Windows 8 shouldn’t be such a quantum leap and should prove enticing.  If you don’t like your smart phone or have been resisting getting one, then Windows 8 may not be the best news and possibly this simply gets back to differing personality types.

My opinion is that the users’ personality type will be the biggest decider in whether the individual likes the new Windows 8 or not.  Microsoft is a giant and you have to trust that if they have invested one billion man hours in making Windows 8 more user friendly and more productive/efficient to use then surely they have got it right.  I will be assuming that they have and embracing the change – anything that makes my work time in front of the computer more productive is a good thing in my book!

So what about Windows 7?  It has been a terrific operating system and is certainly not broken.  In fact Microsoft are going to be supporting Windows 7 until January 2020 – I only hope we don’t see people using an existing computer for that long as they will be missing out on many great features and will be using a dinosaur – similar to using a Windows XP computer now-a-days.  By 2020 computers should be around 250 times as powerful as they are now (given their progress in the last 10 years) and will have gone through the Windows 8 & 9 eras so will probably be running Windows 10 and possible reading our thoughts onto the screen?

For the moment, we are still going to be supporting and encouraging the use of Windows 7 on new computers for those that prefer it while we will also be happy to supply a Windows 8 computer for the more adventurous.  We are already stocking Windows 8 laptops and desktops which we expect to be in great demand heading up to Christmas.

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 07 49 222 400.

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