Expect to See a Major Redesign in Windows 8

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-08-17 Print this article Print


5. Company deployments

On the IT side, it's important to keep in mind that many companies are still using Windows XP, and have so far balked at deploying Windows 7. For those firms, the best reason to be excited for Windows 8 is that it will launch next year, meaning they won't need to wait that much longer if they want the latest and greatest version of Windows. For those firms that don't like being early adopters, it's the safe play to deploy Windows 7 now, and then next year analyze Windows 8 to see if that should come next. From an IT-deployment perspective, the Windows 8 timetable is ideal.

6. Additional security?

With each new version of Windows, Microsoft offers up more features to keep folks secure. How successful the latest versions of Windows are at actually securing computers is decidedly up for debate. But it's tough to argue against the opinion that Windows 7 is more secure than Windows XP and Vista. Thus, it's certain Microsoft will offer even more security features in Windows 8, hopefully making that platform even less likely to cause problems for users. Will it be totally secure? No operating system is. But it will likely be more secure than previous iterations of the software, and that should make users happy.

7. A fresh user interface

Microsoft seems committed to making Windows 8 one of the biggest overhauls in the operating system's long and storied history. It plans to make the biggest impact by showing off a new user interface that has elements mimicking those found in Windows Phone 7. In fact, in June, when Microsoft first previewed the upcoming operating system, it said that the platform will come with a "tile-based Start screen" that will replace the standard Windows Start menu. What's more, the operating system will come with "Live" tiles for notifications and information on apps. Expect Windows 8 to look much different.

8. A change in Microsoft's focus?

Perhaps the factor to be most excited about is Microsoft's apparent willingness to significantly change things around in Windows. Since Windows 95, the operating system hasn't really changed all that much, even though Microsoft has made marked improvements to its design. But with Windows 8, Microsoft seemingly realizes that things are getting stale in the Windows ecosystem, and in order to stay ahead of companies like Apple and Google, it needs to make major changes. That's refreshing. It speaks to an apparent change in focus in Redmond that could eventually benefit just about every stakeholder.

9. ARM support

One of the best additions to Windows 8 is support for ARM-based chips. Previously, Windows did not support ARM technology, which put it at a disadvantage in the mobile space. But with the help of ARM, all that will change. Expect more mobile devices running Windows, and with any luck at all, more affordable lightweight notebooks that ditch more-expensive processors for ARM-based options. ARM support could be integral to Microsoft's success with Windows 8.

10. Microsoft's first shot against Google

Earlier this year, Google released Chrome OS on Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung. And since then, speculation in the operating system market has abounded over whether or not Google will be able to take down the software giant the way it has in other markets. With Windows 8, Microsoft will have its chance to respond to Chrome OS and put the onus back on Google to respond. Windows 8 could very well kick off an arms race between Chrome OS and Windows. The users of both companies' operating systems will benefit from that.

Follow Don Reisinger on Twitter by clicking here 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel