Soon people will be able to download the Windows8 CP (Consumer Preview).
For most of those it will be their first encounter with Windows8. I've decided to write a short file about how I feel with metro, and how I think the consumer will percieve this.
Metro is revolutionairy
But, is it really? The past few months, windows phone has made a huge impression on the market, not just because of Nokia Lumia 800. Windows phone has become a part of many peoples lives. And, as it turns out, Windows Phone feels a LOT like the metro UI for windows 8 does. For most of these people, metro will feel and look familiar.
But what about the others.
I believe that the Metro UI brings a big change to Windows. There's only a small percentage of people who know what changes 'inside windows'. Few people know about the technical changes in windows. But most of the users could be considered as 'the average joe'. Someone who uses his computer to go on facebook, check is emails, and use office tools.
These people won't know all the techincal differences that the new operating system brings with it, and little will they care about this. But the completely new UI is something they can not miss.
So how will these people react to Metro? Personally I think Metro will face a difficult time. People hesitated when switching from Windows XP to Vista, even 7 had a strugle in beating XP. I honestly believe that people stayed with XP because it was familiar. People generally do NOT feel comfortable with change.
Metro is userfriendly
This is very true. Metro created great opportunities for making everything easier. Not only your computer, but your phone, tablet, laptop... they all have the same look. This is very convenient for the average user of these devices.
This kind of uniformity is something Apple is good at. It's good to see that microsoft finally got this kind of uniformity in their products. The subtle changes from Windows Vista up to Windows 8 have all been leading up to this. The ribbon in the office products are now also present in Windows Explorer, Paint, Wordpad, ...
This uniformity adds greatly to how user-friendly windows 8 is. People have learned to work with the ribbon ever since office 2007, and now it's avaible for them everywhere they look.
Not only the uniformity helps, the Metro UI is focussing on content, while still keeping a good look. You can find your way around Metro just by messing around with it for about an hour or so.
Is it to soon for 8?
I often talk to people and hear them say things like "Windows 8 is the new Vista", "Windows 7 is the first good follow up for XP, 8 isn't going to change this.", "I'll stay with 7, it's to soon for a new upgrade."
And I'd like to give a counter arguement to the Vista scenario.
While many people think that Vista failed, I think they fail to consider precisely why this failed. I still remember people their main concern being "Vista uses to much resources, my PC can't run it."
Therefore I think that Vista wasn't a failure like many people believe it to be. I think Vista was ahead of it's time for sure though, but running Vista on a 2012 standard machine will run just as fine as XP, 7 and 8.
On the other hand, is it to soon for a new operating system?
Companies have only recently decided to switch to 7, quite a few of these still use XP.
My answer to that is simply "no". It's not to soon for a new operating system. IT is a world that evolves quickly. There have been more changes in the IT world in the past 10 years then the past 70 years. Technology doesn't stand still. Besides, Windows7 is still supported for a long time, nobody forces companies to switch to the new operating system.
Never change a working formula.
This is something not many companies keep in mind. If something is working perfectly fine, do not change it. 7 is fine, XP was fine, why change them?
Because change is needed. It is true that XP was fine, and 7 still is fine. But they have a limited time of being in this state. When XP was released, it was about as good as it was going to get. But with recent computers, everybody can feel the limitations XP has.
Same holds for 7, it's my favorite operating system by far, but I release that in this world, things go from being a baby to being an elderly in a matter of years.
windows 8 may feel more like revolution instead of evolution. But I believe that revolution can be just as needed as evolution. Evolution is what's been happening between XP -> 7. Small changes contributing to something big. One cell organisms evolving in fully functional homo sapiens.
Now It's time for a revolution. Think of how Galileo revolutionised our way of thinking about the universe. While I can't possibly say that the change between 7 and 8 will have as much impact as the geocentric to heliocentric change, it will be felt I believe.
Metro opens a chest of gold for developers. I'll compare this to the Windows Phone.
Windows Phone marketplace offers an easy way to share your apps, get your work out in the world and earn something. You get feedback on what you do from people all around the world, and you reach a million wide audience in a day.
With the Windows 8 store, a developer can publish an app he made, and reach not just 10 times the amount of people Windows Phone offers, but 100 times more people.
The amount of people using Windows (roughly 82% of OS's in use are Windows) will certainly give developers a chance to reach all these people, to earn money by doing what they love.
Another great advantage of Metro is that once you develop your app to run on a computer, it will also run on the tablets. And all you really need to change in the code to make it run on Windows Phone is by changing some Xaml. Not a huge effort.