It’s been 8 months since the release of Windows 8 and I have for the most part have been able to place it low on the to-do list. There are 2 reasons for this one is it’s confusing interface and secondly it has not been received with enthusiasm in the market place.
However with Windows XP support ending soon I have to decided to address it and discover if it is something end users would like and or need.
The first thing you encounter with Windows 8 is it’s initial screen, see below
This is Windows 8 new interface and is designed to be a touch friendly interface for mobile devices eg tablets. As the goal of this discussion is to discover what sort of upgrade path Windows 8 might for XP users I will not discuss how this interface works.
To get to the traditional desktop use press the DESKTOP panel.
The traditional Start button at the bottom left is gone and if you press the start key it justs alternates between the 2 screens shown above. It is a simple task to recreate the Windows 7 user interface by using 3rd party tools but I have to wonder why this was not built in.
The reason for this dual personality is to allow for tablet computing but why not market these as 2 different products. The answer for this is not clear Microsoft former windows head Sinofsky has described this dual interface as a “no compromise” approach, giving users the best of both worlds, “seamless” switching between Metro and the desktop, an “amazing” touch experience, but also an experience that works with mouse and keyboard.
However this feels more a of a compromise and I would think it’s no coincidence that this dual personality approach fits nicely with Intel’s new line of UltraBook’s the half laptop / tablet I have blogged about previously.
As we can see Windows 8 after 8 months occupies only 5% of the market place with XP still at 37% but shrinking however it is estimated it would take approx 3 years for Windows 8 to overtake XP. Clearly there has not been a rush away from XP and many people and companies are happy with it.
In terms of performance and Windows 7 and 8 perform much the same .
For the traditional keyboard and mouse user there is not much new in Windows 8. While Windows 8 is a major release for Microsoft most of what is new about it is in it’s tablet features.