Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on September 5, 2012 By Draginol In Personal Computing

It's no secret I'm not a fan of the way Microsoft is handling Windows 8.  So how could they have done it?

First, simplify/unify the underlying platform in a way that developers can feel confident that they're not going to get screwed over again (That Silverlight knowledge in my brain is going to be stored right with my OS/2 SOM storage).

That means .NET .NET .NET.  You make sure that if you write for .NET 4.5 that it'll work on any Windows 8 target.  I don't want to be limited to a subset of .NET in order to target WinRT.

Second, treat Windows as the right tool for the right job:

Windows 8 Desktop Edition

Windows 8 Phone

Windows 8 Server Edition

Windows 8 Tablet Edition

There is no reason why each of these OSes needs to have the same shell experience. It's like they didn't learn anything from the days when they tried to cram the Start button on WinCE years ago.  

The Windows 8 desktop should be...the desktop. No Start screen.  Its environment should be Explorer, not the Start screen.  It should be able to run any type of app written for the Windows ecosystem (specifically, legacy Win32, "classic" .NET, and .NET 4.5+ - for lack of a better term).

The Phone edition should have a shell that makes the most sense for its size and usage. That means the Metro experience found on Windows 7 phone (or some enhancement).

The Tablet edition should have an enhanced Metro (I hope they come up with a new name soon because I'm not calling it "modern" any time soon) experience suitable for that form factor.

But each device should be capable of running the same apps (minus the Win32 ones and .NET apps that can't be migrated to 4.5).

I feel pretty strongly that Microsoft needs to ensure that writing for .NET 4.5 will produce a WinRT capable app. I realize that this means that you would be able to create a "regular" Windows app instead of only Metro apps but I think it's a big mistake to assume that Metro apps make sense on a large, high resolution, screen -- as the Windows 8 weather app makes painfully obvious.

So that's how I'd do it anyway.

on Sep 06, 2012


on Sep 06, 2012

I agree. Unify the shell for all those platforms wasn't a really good move (from the way that Microsoft is doing it at least, not).

If you look what Apple is doing, picking the best part from its platforms, OS X (desktop) and iOS (phones and tablets) and mixing them together but not merging things into a single OS, they keep them separated, that's have being working better that Microsoft's model.


Also, some apps and games are designed specifically for touch experience, and as we know not all touch experience works on the desktop

side. I really can see Windows 8 failing the market and Microsoft having to backpedal, patch things up and rush with a new OS with a better

model, we've seen this already, (Windows ME and Windows Vista).

on Sep 06, 2012

I have to agree. What is the specific advantage of trying to unify all these devices on one platform?

I don't get how that couldn't be done with an expanded sync app that could do the exact same thing with those modified OS's which Brad listed.

That way, each would still have the "makes sense" features without the "struggle".

on Sep 06, 2012

Looks like they should have made a Netbook version too, nearly all the Apps that come with Windows 8 in will not run on my 10.1" Acer Aspire One Netbook running at 1024 x 600 resolution (which is max). Nothing I click on in the Modern (Metro) UI works. Glad I use Start 8!

on Sep 06, 2012

I have to agree with all these points, especially with the separation of versions for the different platforms.  This one size fits all idea is madness and will likely be a major annoyance to most desktop/notebook users.  Microsoft seriously needs to rethink that one in time for Win 9, otherwise Win 10 could be in doubt.

on Sep 07, 2012

Couldn't have said it better myself, Draginol.