I’ve been playing with the consumer preview of Windows 8 for a day or two now. Most of the online commentary on it that I’ve seen has centred on the jarring shift between the old ‘Windows’ UI and the new Metro UI, which reminds me somewhat of running DOS apps in a window on Windows 3.1 back in the early 1990s.
Certainly, the shift between the two is inelegant, but that’s perhaps a price worth paying for MSFT. They now have a UI model that works on PCs, 50”+ screens and tablets, not to mention phones. For the first time, the statement ‘you know how to use this phone because you know how to use Windows’ will be sort-of true. They’ll also achieve a step change in ease of use, a crucial response to the iPad challenge.
For the media companies that I do most of my work with, the really interesting thing is that Windows 8 combines the same app-store as route to market model (flawed though it is) that’s been so energising in iOS, with the new concept of live tiles, shown in the screen shot above. You can install a media company’s app and it pushes stuff right to your home screen, right next to your other programs. Once this starts arriving by default on the hundreds of millions of PCs that are still being bought out there, that becomes very interesting.