The series of releases of client versions of Microsoft Windows seems to suffer all too much the same fate as Star Trek movies have in the past. This concept has already been discussed before, and there are even blog posts about it, such as Ewan Spence’s comparison of Windows releases between versions 3.0 and Windows 7 to the Star Trek movies from “The Motion Picture” to “First Contact”. Windows 7 did indeed end up being a very impressive version of Windows, much like First Contact was a very impressive movie in the Star Trek franchise, and now we’re watching with anticipation since Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now available and Microsoft is marching steadfast towards its release.
Following the analogy that Windows releases are like Star Trek movie releases then, and that the success of Windows 7 was analogous to that of Star Trek: First Contact, it would seem that next two releases of Windows should be pretty much flops. Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Nemesis were both pretty forgettable films, offering very little to get excited about. Maybe Microsoft has picked up on these intertwined fates, inspiring them to try to skip over these failures by fast forwarding to the very successful “reboot” of the Star Trek movie franchise by picking coming out with what they call a “reimagined” Windows. Did they succeed in making this jump? Is Windows 8 a truly inspiring, innovative, reimagining of the Windows OS?
Only time will tell what the outcome will be. First impressions really count though. Today, based on experiences with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Windows 8 appears as if it will show off very well on a tablet device, where the new UI makes more sense. For business users like me though that rely heavily on their keyboard and mouse to get work done, I’m really afraid that they’ve gone and hidden all of the great features it includes behind a completely different UI paradigm that just doesn’t jive with the needs of a business worker. It may work well for casual computing at home, but so far it looks to me like businesses might want to consider skipping this one for their non-touch devices like laptops and desktops, at least until they can reconfigure it more like Windows 7 by removing the whimsical metro UI elements such as tiles, charms and “magic” corners.
What do you think? Is the reimagined Windows living up to your expectations? Do you think the new metro UI has a place in business computing? Or do you wish you had your start menu back?
I’m curious if I’m alone in my perspective or not. My gut tells me I’m not going to be alone in this perspective. Sound off in the comments and let me know what you think.