Steven Sinofsky, the President of the Windows division at Microsoft, has dubbed Windows 8 as Windows reimagined, and for once, it’s not just PR-speak. Windows 8 introduces sweeping changes that affects both users and developers. In many ways, it’s probably the most significant release of Windows since Windows 95. Windows 8 is a touch-first operating system, which offers a new immersive user interface that actually does away with the concept of windows.
From the start, our approach has been to reimagine Windows, and to be open to revisiting even the most basic elements of the user model, the platform and APIs, and the architectures we support.
– Steven Sinofsky
Windows 8 is Windows reimagined. However, Windows also has its own legacy and tradition that it just can’t axe at one fell swoop. Currently Windows has hundreds of thousands of apps that are utilized on a day to day basis by its millions of users. It simply can’t turn around and ask everyone to begin from scratch. Doing so will almost certainly have disastrous consequences for Windows both among enterprise users and consumers. As a result, Sinofsky has had to pull off a balancing act. Even though Sinofsky has stated that his goal was a no compromise design, Windows 8 is full of compromises.
Windows 8 attempts to put the focus on the modern Metro interface, without abandoning the classic Windows shell. Windows 8 tries to put the focus on touch, without forgetting keyboard and mouse users. Windows 8 tries to simplify computing, without alienating its power users. In short, Windows 8 tries to please everyone. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. When two worlds collide, baby eating aliens are to be expected.