Thoughts on Windows 8

After playing around with the first developer preview of Windows 8, I was struck with the thought that it currently seems to represent the concept of the app run amok. Microsoft looks like it’s trying to anticipate and pre-empt the seemingly inevitable coalescing of Apple’s OS X and iOS (see the OS X App Store and fragments of the iOS such as LaunchPad in OS X Lion as early evidence) by shoving Windows 7 and the Windows Phone OS into a one-size-fits all OS for phones, tables, and PC’s. The idea in itself is not bad at all, since clearly we’re moving towards a market where the PC is just one component of the hardware space, not the undisputed king. However, the way Microsoft has thus far chosen to implement it is confusing, and seems to be eschewing the power of the traditional windows interface in the quest to make everything an app. It will be interesting to see if this “less is more” approach can ultimately work, or whether we’ll all be hacking our registries as soon as Windows 8 comes out to make it’s UI revert back to the more familiar look of Windows 7.

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