They did this with XP and called it Tablet PC...
Windows 9 rumor mill heating up, heading for an April 2015 arrival « Ars Technica
Perhaps the "Start Menu" will simply be a Start Screen that doesn't take up the entire screen (similar to the mockup below)?Quote:
So what'll be in Threshold? The two things Thurrott says are a way of running Metro apps on the desktop and a reinstatement of the Start menu. Our sources say that's only sort of true, and that it won't be the Start menu as such but rather something new. Start menuesque, perhaps, but not a literal Start menu.
I think start menu is just in the enterprise sku if the rumor mill is true.
Would it be so hard to include it in both SKUs as an option so *shock horror* people can choose what they want to use?!
If it means I get my Start Menu jump lists back I'll be happy :p
The arrogance MS showed in some of the Win8 UI design decisions is where they really wound people up in the last year or two. Maybe that's the Sinofsky influence but what Windows always gave you was flexibility, if you want a limited experience and being told what to do and how to so it you go for Apple (and so it proved with 8.0 flopping and 8.1 giving some choice back)
The phone / RT platform sounds a bit odd, will developers really go for yet another OS if MS do a clean sweep on mobile again after WP7.5, 8 and RT unless it's app-compatible with a least one of them?
It should have been a set of features automatically enabled upon the presence of a Touch-screen and user's should have been able to enable/disable that feature on non touchy-feely devices. We had a similar arrangement with Windows 7 with Mobility Centre - It was automatically enabled for certain devices and not enabled for others..
Hopefully, MS will listen to consumers this time and design some form of SM that is practical and functional, Doesn't need to look like its predessors, but update it for Win9/Modern whilst keeping Win7's functionality.
Its already happening, all my mates and lot of work collegues / famley have all switched to OSX in the last 2 years. Im seeing it more and more, and The Register reported last week that 25% of Cisco staff now run Mac OS, and that corpoate adoption is gaining base due to the effect of liking iPads, Google have somthing like 42,000 staff or 9x% running Mac OS. Microsoft are being attacked on all sides at the moment.
I'm wondering if there's anything MS can do now to distance any future version of Windows from Windows 8. And I'm not certain a "Windows 9" release will revive Microsoft's fortunes. I'd give up of any real hope that the start menu will be properly fixed. At least in the consumer space they are too tied in to Metro - XB1, Surface, Phone.
Microsoft's problem is the two markes, business and consumer, it successfully brought together in Windows XP (in fact the trend started before Windows 3.1 as consumers bought PC's instead of Amiga's and ST's) is now splintering again. Microsoft are left with a single product that used to satisfy the needs of both markets and it now needs to decide which of the two are more important or completely split the OS. Windows 8 would suggest they're choosing the consumer space over their bread and butter business space.
A year's a long time in IT. What will consumer IT look like in April 2015? Is there a large enough space between Android and iOS, given another year of developments, for Windows? Also can business afford to wait another year for MS to get their act together? With XP support now over, business are probably looking at future developments more closely now. What is the road map once Win7 support is up? A another year is a long time to wait to see if MS have a suitable answer.
I wonder if there is anything Google can do to Android in the next year or so to make it more business friendly? I'd say the timing would be perfect for it.
Even the Windows Phone 8 version of Metro is different to the Windows 8 version (and better by a long shot). Metro does not belong on PCs, Windows 8 was a gamble that everyone would move to tablets and mobile devices and whilst the update of such devices has increased, Microsoft have been given a sharp lesson that the desktop PC still has it's place and needs to be catered for. Hopefully Windows 9 will be a culmination of those lessons into a product that doesn't suffer from mobile schizophrenia as my non-touchscreen box under the desk tells me to tap and swipe the screen for the billionth time...
They need to make the following changes really:
1) Restore the desktop to the #1 top spot in terms of importance. In Windows 8 it feels like it was tacked on for legacy reasons instead of being the forefront of the product (as it should be).
2) Scrap the store's abysmal interface and go back to making the UI quick and easy to use. There is nothing wrong with a package manager style system in Windows (well overdue in fact) but the Windows Store is just clunky and awful for browsing through.
3) Unify the Mobile and Desktop marketplaces. If I buy an app on Mobile, I'd expect to be able to use the desktop variant of the app as well.
4) Metro must die. It does not work on desktops, the only possible use I can see for it is using Metro apps and live tiles as widgets. Exclusive full-screen apps harm productivity and are a waste of screen space with vast tracks of emptiness. Metro really is a jump backwards from the current Explorer interface with multiple windows on screen showing information ready and available in front of your face. They need to come up with something better.
Its interesting to look at where MS makes its money: Where does Microsoft make money? (Updated 2013) - Tanner Helland (dot) Com in relation to where it seems to be concentrating its efforts.
Nearly half of MS's money comes from its Business division alone which makes me question this drive to go for the consumer dollar. Windows is now third in line behind the servers division (as the report says, this is the first time that this has happened). Personally I think its too late for MS in the consumer area, Andriod and iOS got on the boat at the right time and I can't see MS making a huge dent into this as I believe that consumers are too far down the road of their chosen eco-system to make jump to MS in big enough numbers.
MS need to concentrate on where is making the money and keep businesses happy before that starts to slide as well.
Could we be heading towards a more splintered desktop - as in the variety of competing micro's of the 80's? What do business computers need? Word processor, spread sheet and a web browser? The only thing keeping corporates tied to Windows is Active Directory IMHO. Will other's make a play into this area? Is there more that can be done with a Google Chrome style device?