The IT world is all agog about the reception that Windows 8 is going to receive on its launch. Touted to be the biggest and most significant product release from Microsoft since 1995, the operating system has got mixed responses as yet to its developer previews and test versions. The experts are of the opinion that the consumers who have been using some or the other version of Windows for two decades are going to be shocked by the drastically altered product they will be getting. Microsoft is bringing about such radical changes that users might be a lot confused.
For three decades, Microsoft has dominated the PC market. However, the times have changed and the tablets and smartphones are threatening to erode the utility of the personal computer. Through Windows 8, Microsoft has tried to integrate PC, tablet and the smartphone software. It has a touch-centric interface. The familiar icons and the start menu are missing, having been replaced instead by an array of tiles. But, despite the intentions, the software lends itself to better usage in tablets than the conventional PCs. The users who have tried out the OS on their personal computers have reported it to be somewhat difficult to figure out, and calling for quite a bit if re-learning. Convenience is also a big question mark. A big, vertical touch screen placed at some distance can be awkward and uncomfortable to use. The corporate users, IT administrators, etc are not expected to go in for upgrading to Windows 8 any time soon. In fact, with Windows XP still being used in many organizations, the jump to this latest version is more unlikely.
In the past, each new version from Windows has built and improved upon its predecessor. They maintained a semblance of continuity as the computer users did not have to do away with the way they always did things. However, it is different this time. The user will have to take out some time for user training and work regularly on the system to get really familiar with Windows 8. Overall, the younger generation with a liking for touch devices is more likely to adapt to the latest offering from Microsoft. Much improved speed in booting and installing is a strong feature that can sway them in favor of the system. Still, it might not see too much demand from the PC users, but can find takers among the tablet and phone users.
As to how this new OS works for the fortunes and future of the technology giant, a few months’ wait will reveal a clearer picture.