Windows 8: Microsoft’s Next

Windows 7 succeeded where Windows Vista failed. The Windows team under Sinofsky was able to deliver a competitive product. Sinofsky came to the Windows division after delivering a controversial yet popular Office version—Office 2007.

Windows 8 will be released to manufacturing around August 2012. When Windows 7 was around launch, Netbooks were the fad. Vista’s footprint, system requirments and the Netbook fad was enough fodder for bloggers to announce Microsoft’s end, Windows’ death and soon-to-come Ballmer’s resignation. Nothing happened. Windows 7 delivered, sold several licenses ensuring Windows’ relevance in consumer and enterprise computing. Windows 7 was accompanied by Office 2010, the duo tag-teamed their dominance on Microsoft’s balance sheets.

For what it’s worth, Windows XP is now well on its way out. The transition from XP to Vista presented a challenge that made Microsoft and Windows look bad. Microsoft on their part was clear, changes in Vista were needed for better security and upcoming hardware transitions. They were right, Windows 7 runs on Vista’s hardware specs and offers robust security. Sinofsky has assured Windows 8 will support Windows 7 specs and go beyond by supporting the ARM architecture. For Microsoft and their OEM ecosystem, support for ARM architecture is a huge step forward. The Windows-everywhere dream lives on.

Windows 8 is an amalgamation of four successful* Microsoft products—Zune, Windows Phone, Office 2007 and Windows Vista/7. The design theme—Metro was introduced with Zune. Polished and refined, the typography differentiates Windows Phone from iPhone and Android. The Metro interface is Microsoft’s strategy against the iPad. The evolution of the interface from a media player to a phone and now to the desktop is also the company’s transition from desktops to mobile devices. The desktop OS has been around for a long time, with each iteration Microsoft has been able to introduce new features to keep it relevant, dominant and competitive; Windows 8 is no different. Starting today we will be writing a-post-a-day about what’s new in Windows 8 and in many cases how these features came to be.

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Manan Kakkar

Manan is a technology enthusiast keenly following the consumer products from Microsoft, Google & Apple.