Microsoft Refuses to Cut The Cord With Windows 8 on Tablets
Microsft has finally showed their hand for the tablet space and it thankfully has taken much of the Metro UI from Windows Phone. However, they aren't cutting the Windows cord just yet.
The overall design of the Tablet OS is fantastic. It's taken from the Metro-inspired design of Windows Phone and looks ideal for tablet use. However, this is nothing more than a shell covering the same Windows Vista/7 operating system.
Microsoft has trumpeted the fact previously that they were able to get Windows 8 running on ARM, meaning that the OS could run on low power devices. The tablet version of Windows 8 shows exactly why MS thought this was a big deal. Not only do they have an OS that looks built from the ground up for tablets, but Windows 8 is always there, hidden in the background if you need it.
Is this the right move for Microsoft's future? They certainly think that there are enough legacy users that will want to run Windows apps on a tablet, no matter how they are designed. Apple has expected and encouraged designers to build new apps for different form factors, but it doesn't look like MS has that kind of hope for their own developers. If you want to run a Microsoft app on a tablet to run Excel, they aren't going to build a brand new version - they want you to run the Office 2010 version that was made for a desktop. Will users want to use something that was made for a mouse and not the tap of a finger?
We'll find out in 2012.