Friday, January 18, 2013

What Criticisms About Windows 8 Should Be Yielded Versus Ignored?

This article isn't a criticism or endorsement of Microsoft's new Windows 8 OS, but rather an encouragement in discernment when deciding which of the countless reviews on this new OS offering are probably most useful for those wishing to evaluate the product from a distance.

I will admit my own perspective on the Windows 8 OS, might differ a GREAT deal from any of those being offered more flippantly offered by your standard foe of "tech reviewers". I feel there is a huge difference in what a reviewer might think he should be reporting on, and what a company like MS is certain it must focus on. This definitely creates some significant issues for any of those wishing to assess a book by it's cover.

Most reviews of tech are hardly the types to read the whole book, or even feel their audiences care for them to, before posting a reaction to a product. However, a good tech reviewer, (of which there are few!) must first present and explain the challenges being directly managed, overcome and even nurtured by a company like Microsoft in order to really consider it's subsequent results and product evaluations, useful for any consumer market.

With Windows 8, Microsoft, is trying to build a bridge between the current meme of tablet based touch screen user interfaces, and a truly productive, formidable OS. (Incidentally, no one in the industry has attempted anything of this nature to date!) It is doing this with an understood responsibility to 90% of the worlds PC's / servers and computer users. Therefore Microsoft's ability to throw out everything, or further "revolutionize", without also respecting it's current massive majority of every major industry and computer user out there, has to be approached somewhat carefully. Here lies the biggest problem - doing something / anything, "carefully innovative" can certainly be a mixed bag.

Once approximately 3-4 minutes of learning curve are properly taught to a new Windows 8 user, the method in their madness (and this approach to "carefully innovative",) and the beauty of this new OS, is easily embraced and eventually fully appreciated. However this few minutes of instructions, flies in the face of picking up some one button tool, and swiping back and forth on a screen full of 3rd party icons of low powered mobile apps. When that is the measure by which a "good or simple" product is defined, I guess there are other who "win".

If someone really desires to maintain the level of productivity their company or craft requires; but also wishes to embrace a touch screen form factor of mobile computing while using their most productive 3rd party tools; they don't have an issue taking the 3-4 minutes to embrace the unique nuances of Windows 8. However, if you're a tech reviewer, and you think it is relevant to compare Windows 8's somewhat half-baked, initial "simplicity" to that of a OS which has no role in any major industry nor any significant market share in the PC or Enterprise markets; and can subsequently fly in the face of any respective industry or user's current goals; than the results of such reviews will be completely lost on the first set of the vast majority of profit driven, mission critical customers and consumers.

Microsoft's OS solutions are still the only game in town when it comes to any solution which can be implemented for enterprise purposes. (Other than Linux, which requires an exceptional level of internal support and knowledge.) But it is also the only game in town for users who wish to perform serious production based task while maintaining a since of broad support, options and dependability for legacy and future standards as well as innovations. Each consumer type represents not only the types of policies Enterprise clients demand; but moreover the value added responsibilities and responses any production based consumers should be taught to appreciate.

Unfortunately, we have seen quite a setbacks through the influence of certain "popular" consumer platforms, in both mobile computing and even an understanding of policies which should be followed in order to avoid obsolescence and/or squandered our tech investments. Mobile computing should first and foremost instill a since of freedom and convenience. Yet this freedom can't come at the expense of security, productivity and value. When we naively trust a platform which fails to also consider the back office, or enterprise and broader infrastructure priorities; or we approach an ecosystem which prioritizes controlling its user's choices or sources for content, applications and/or any form of media; we are completely limiting mobile computing promise of freedom and greater computing value, despite it's countless burgeoning opportunities.

In the case of a company like Apple, what is good for the share holders is rarely good for the consumer. In the case of Microsoft, given the fact they maintain 90% of any and all computers which have any significant impact on our Financial, Communication, Enterprise, Transportation, Military, Intelligence, Commerce, Design and Engineering  Entertainment, (YOU NAME IT!,) industries; what is good for this massive, vast majority of computing market share, is in turn, naturally good for the share holders. The goals in other words are QUITE different!  One seeks to control you once you arrive, the other benefits much more in simply maintaining the productivity and resources of those whom already utilize their technology.

There are few "tech reviewers" who have the depth, fortitude or experiences and knowledge to interpret or understand the nuances of these vastly different priorities and responsibilities.  Therefor there are very few tech reviewers who would or could attempt to define the power or value each trend setting company has to offer it's current or future users.  ... proceed with caution; and hopefully a bit more discernment.  Don't let a hot topic or product trend being currently fortified by a naive, fickle, retail market, (nor the reviews who serve them,) impact the course of your own company's profitability, productivity or mission critical thinking.