Windows 8 - time to get excited about a Windows tablet?

2 June 2011

There have been roughly three billions attempts by Microsoft to get consumers excited about the prospect of a Windows tablet device. Some of them were very exciting although entirely fictional, some were seemingly real but as exciting as a bag of spanners.

Nearly two years later we've arrived at the Windows 8 operating system, and finally there may be cause to cheer. The Windows 8 interface debuted at this week's D9 event in California, and while it won't be commercially available for several months, it does look impressive. It exists for one thing. For another, it's showing signs of innovation that beat Apple - being able to operate apps simultaneously in the same space, for example.

The only issue is that the Office suite of applications doesn't seem to have been re-engineered for touchscreens. That obviously wouldn't matter if you were running Windows 8 on a PC, but it's difficult to imagine that Excel would be a doddle on a tablet without a complete overhaul:

TOPICS:   Technology


  • StauntonLick
    The Windows 8 apps certainly look good (especially with the "Snap" feature) but this will fall down completely if the rest of the OS and applications aren't touch optimized. I use Splashtop on my iPad to remote desktop into my PC, and navigating Windows using just touch is fiddly to say the least. It's all well and good having some nice extra touch features, but if the core OS (where you're likely to spend most of your time) hasn't changed then it's hardly much of a leap forward. Still, some really nice touch innovations, and I look forward to Apple stealing them and passing them off as their own :)
  • Mark H.
    MS have been using the Mac OSX feature list as a To Do list for some time. I'd be genuinely surprised if the Windows team are even capable of anything approaching innovation, but I haven't seen any of the Windows 8 stuff yet. I'll have to have a Google...
  • Sawyer
    Microsoft have lost the plot. Not only have they not failed to solve the current problem of Windows 7 being too fiddly on a tablet, they've also ruined their main OS by replacing menus and other sensible things with trendy block colours and funky widgets. Are they really expecting people to use that on a desktop PC? Maybe tablets and PCs will have evolved by the time it's released, but at the moment I can only see this being useful to the 5 people who have touchscreen laptop or desktop computer.
  • Sawyer
    *Not only have they failed* is what I meant to say. Too many 'not's in there.
  • Billy
    @Staunton You can't possibly mention splashtop as some kind of benchmark to win8. It's a cracking product for what it is. As for win8, looks promising indeed, I'm pissed off with all this pretend multi tasking in the background with my iPad, even though I use it every day. Still plenty of time for apple to trump this I imagine though.
  • Alexis
    I'll wait and see what OS X Lion is up to considering it's supposed to take cues from the iPad. I'm looking forward to seeing how many pixellated Windows 95 icons are going to be in Windows 8. It's great fun discovering what a relic v7 is - it just takes a nosy in the system files to be transported back in time.

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