In Microsoft’s bid for increased market share in the ever evolving Tablet and mobile computing space, Microsoft has launched the windows 8 Operating system to compete with other Mobile Operating Systems such as Android and apples IOS. Windows 8 is seen to have very ambitious prospects as it is intended to service both the PC and mobile computing industries.
The proliferation of mobile phones and Tablet PCs heralds the era of “Bring Your Own Device” into cooperate Networks. organizations Top Executives insist on using their mobile devices in corporate environments to access network resources, needless to say, causing nightmares for security administrators responsible for the safety of these networks. Adding to the problem for Microsoft is the fact that Android and IOS systems dominate the mobile market space making it cumbersome integrating these devices in to Windows based network Environments.
The release of Windows 8 in October last year seeks to address these problems as it is designed to function on Intel processors as Windows 8 and on ARM processors for tablet PC’s as windows RT. Windows RT mobile systems are fully managed in the cloud by windows System Center Configuration Manager and Windows Intune. However Windows 8 features a Metro interface that leaves Users with one question “where is the Start Button?”. Being an avid user of windows systems for over a decade this move by Microsoft is destined to place a steep learning curve on the average user and critics already accuse the software giant of using brute force to impose the Metro interface on users in its quest to win the Tablet Pcs Market.
However windows former president Steven Sinofsky argued users don’t use the start button any more but pin their Apps to the task bar. He also argued that removing the start button creates a uniform interface for users to get use to the experience of the Surface Tablets, and Windows Phone 8. Many users still miss the familiarity of the start button and sincerely wish it were to return.
On a consumer level, the absence of the Start menu can be tolerable, however on a corporate level, legions of employees and executives will be forced to relearn their daily tasks. That’s time and money that could be better spent elsewhere.
Karl Volkman, chief technology officer at hosting services provider SRV Network is quoted as saying “Many people resist change because breaking habits is difficult,” . Al Hilwa, IDC’s applications development software analyst is also quoted as saying “The timing of Ballmer firing Sinofsky isn’t coincidental”. Startmenu7 and Start8 are third party tools that can pull off the trick of bringing back the start Menu. “We were having some success with word of mouth before the Windows 8 release, and since the release, the floodgates have been opened, and the demand is surprising even us,” said Kris Kwilas, Stardock’s vice president of technology, producers of Start8.
These developments show users still miss their start menu. Steven ballmer may begin considering bringing the start menu back with a service pack, especially with Sinofsky out of the picture.
The release of Windows 8 never the less should send shivers down the spine of other contenders for the mobile computing space. Many factors contribute to this development. For one windows 8 on Tablet PC’s is shipping with the complete office suit that will cater for production as well as consumption. Yes you can work with Android and IOS but the Microsoft office suit will certainly be an advantage for Windows RT because of its maturity and wide acceptance. Secondly for the fact windows 8 is shipping after android and IOS, the principle of “the last one if done right will win” stands to their advantage, Microsoft can learn from the mistakes of others cause the bar keeps moving up. Coming up to the game last offers a chance to observe you competitors and react accordingly.
Thirdly Microsoft leads the hardware relationship in the business with LG, HTC, Samsung , Dell, Acer, Sony, Lenovo and Nokia to mention a few. With Microsoft using partners for hardware, Google’s Android and Apples IOS will face a steep challenge. Also Microsoft Windows 8 is offering convergence with a similar look and feel for mobile, tablet, and desktop. IOS and Android don’t have a say in the desktop PC market. Microsoft is also free from the fragmentation problems that plague Android systems with millions of generic devices that will never get an android Icecreame update.
It is clear Windows 8 and is successors are here to stay. However I for one sincerely miss my start button.
By Inyambe Wogar