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Cloud Enablement & Operations

Windows 8 – A Single OS for All Your Devices?

Last month, for the first time, Microsoft demonstrated the newest version of Windows, “code named” Windows 8.  According to a Windows 8 article on the Microsoft site, a major goal of this release is to bridge the usability gap between the traditional PC and the tablet/mobile device markets.

The traditional icon approach is replaced with a content enabled tile for that application.  This allows for immediate delivery of content to the user, without launching the application specifically.  Another key change is the focus on designing the OS for touch applications, as well as for the traditional inputs of keyboard and mouse.

The adoption of a touch-centric UI by Microsoft is significant and tells the story of how Microsoft perceives the way people want to work.  The majority of tablet and mobile device adopters utilize them as supplements to their primary systems, not as full time replacements.  This population has to contend with multiple operating systems, vastly different user interfaces, and a slew of alternative applications.

Forcing users to interact with their tablet and mobile devices in the same way PC users interact with their desktops is folly.  Relying  on a track pad, ball, or miniature QWERTY keyboard for input has hampered the utility of those devices significantly and relegated them to the status of useful versus usable.  That is why traditional Windows OS versions are not viable on those platforms.  And, hence, here lies the success of the iOS.

Windows 8 appears to have some other potential niceties as well.  A new file system is reportedly being developed that would utilize database technologies for faster indexing, application data sharing/searching, and cloud synchronization tools.

Bridging the gap and providing a single UI between traditional PC and other device types could be the single biggest innovation for Microsoft since, well, the window.

A backlit keyboard.

Geoff Smith

Sr. Practice Director | Modern Workspace & Managed Services

Geoff has more than 30 years of experience working in all verticals and markets, from the SMB to the enterprise, focusing on the application of IT solutions that enable businesses to achieve their goals. As Practice Director of Managed Services and Modern Workspace, Geoff is focused on the development of co-sourced and federated Infrastructure Operations, Help Desk, Cloud, and Security Service Frameworks designed to optimize IT operations and drive economic value to the business.

Geoff helps develop new services and marketing strategies for the company, as well as provides strategy and support to GreenPages’ key clients. Prior to GreenPages, Geoff was the Director of Client Services for Managed Technology Partners, where he was part of an overlay team that architected a new services methodology, marketing strategy, and client acquisition model. Geoff’s professional certifications include CCSP, MCNE, and VTSP. Geoff earned a BS in Computer Science from Westfield State College.