back to article Windows 8 and you – So, what's next?

It’s the early 2000s and Microsoft has delivered its latest versions of Visual Studio and Windows. There’s no XML or any other internet standards, no web services, modularity, a sandboxed security model and no component-based development. There is no “Java-killer” C# and no Common Language Runtime (CLR). The web passes …

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  1. dogged

    You've got the date wrong.

    Picture of wrong date

    1. dogged
      WTF?

      Re: You've got the date wrong.

      Hey. Downvote cretins. The article says it's on Friday. The image says it's today.

      Get a fucking grip.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did the title get truncated? Surely it should be "Windows 8 and you suckers". Cos it sure as hell isn't Windows 8 and me.

    1. dogged

      then don't bother with the broadcast.

      duh.

  3. Magnus_Pym

    There is not now....

    ... and never will be any 'Windows 8 and me'.

    1. dogged
      IT Angle

      Re: There is not now....

      you're not a developer then? You wouldn't write applications that were popular or profitable because of... what? Tiles?

      You're not an administrator who may in his current or some later job be asked to manage an operating system he didn't select/buy?

      You don't work in Support where you'd be asked to manage quesries and issues with an OS you didn't select?

      You're not a tech architect who might possibly be tasked with designing a solution using infrastucture you didn't personally specify?

      If all of these are the case, why are you reading and commenting on the Register?

      I thought it was for IT pros. Not hobbyists or marketing. What are you?

      1. Magnus_Pym

        Re: There is not now....

        I am a developer and I work with Windows when required. Vista passed my business by with barely a wave goodbye. Win7 is only just gaining traction over XP. This sector tends to see IT infrastructure spending as a only partly necessary evil and will not see the case for upgrading until the Win7 based hardware becomes brittle and turns to dust. By then Win 10 will probably be the next big thing and its 'direct brain interface (tm)' may be a convincing USP.

  4. MortisDei

    Windows 8 not the end of the world

    Personally I LIKE Windows 8, and what Microsoft are trying to do by using it as a standard on all their platforms.

    So yes ModernUI is a bit funny, and not particularly practical on a PC or a laptop (simply due to the lack of touch-input) but I've worked with it. I actually use the elReg's app to get my tech news every morning. It's just down to the fact that the whole idea is new and largely untested. you ever notice how Facebook gets when they implement ANY kind of change? everyone screams about the new feature like it's going to end their lives or something stupid. I got my mum using Win8 on my laptop, and she thinks its BETTER! She reckons it's easier to navigate and to find what she's after, her not being a power user helps there i think, but this is the kind of person that MS needs to be targeting and attracting, because these are the kinds of people who buy Apple and Android tablets.

    1. Hooksie

      Re: Windows 8 not the end of the world

      Yup, what he said :)

      Personally I LOVE Windows 8, and this is coming from a 10 year professional in IT not a novice. Granted, I'm not a coder but I've been working with Windows OS's since 3.1 and it's by far the cleverest and most thought out OS they've done. You need to change how you think about it and learn new ways of being more efficient but nobody ever improved anything by standing still and not making changes. Get on board or stop whining and keep working on Windows 7; it'll be around longer than XP!! :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 8 not the end of the world

        Yep - there are some people who like watching train wrecks, planes crash or cars wiping out on the highway.

        The end result is the same, a huge wreck and everyone wondering who the idiot that was driving.

        The only difference between those wrecks and Windows 8 - no one will lose their life.

        I hope.

  5. Katie Saucey
    Meh

    "What will Windows 8 mean to what you build and how you built it..."

    I thought the dumping of .NET was a mistake, that said c/c++ will probably out live MS.

    1. MIc
      Facepalm

      Re: "What will Windows 8 mean to what you build and how you built it..."

      MS didn't dump .Net you can build Win 8 Apps with .Net / WPF or HTML / Java

  6. Dale Vile, Freeform Dynamics
    Happy

    Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

    Don't tell Microsoft this, but I lost posession of the Windows 8 Samsung slate I was given at Tech Ed (for evaluation) within an hour of getting back from the conference. My 14 year old daughter asked to have a look, and after declaring "This is SOOO much better than my iPad", I haven't seen it since. Well I've see it, because she practically lives on it, but I haven't succeeded in getting it back. Her iPad is now sitting idle and I even had a battle to persuade her to give up the Samsung for long enough to upgrade it to W8 RTM.

    I am personally using Windows 8 on a dual monitor number crunching rig, and it's very good. Learning curve to get up speed on the differences is well less than an hour, and it is better than Windows 7 for heavy multi-Window multi-screen power user stuff. Also have Windows 8 on a Lenovo T220 laptop convertible. Touch experience on that chunky low res screen nothing like the Samsung slate, but pen has advantages.

    Other experiments with Windows 8 on various low spec machines, including an old 1.2Ghz Sony TZ with 2Gb RAM, have also been pretty successful. You notice the performance advantage over Windows 7 more on slower kit with less memory.

    I would not say Windows 8 was transformative for business use in desktop mode, but it is an improvement. The real thing that surprised me was how my teenage daughter and her friends, who are all obsessive multi-tasking communicators and Web users, seem to love it.

    The thing we are all really impressed with is dropping the Samsung into the dock and in seconds having it flip to a pretty high performance full blown desktop driving a 27 in monitor. That's not to do with Windows 8 per se, but it does open your eyes to the potential of dockable slates when you see it in action.

    Also makes you appreciate how limited in scope the iPad is in comparison. I use an iPad every day at the moment, but can't see that lasting when 3G enabled W8 slates are available. The only real issue there is dependency on iTunes at the moment for media, but been meaning to sort that for a while anyway.

    1. Wibble
      Gimp

      Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

      We'll have to wait & see whether the unwashed masses agree with you or not.

      1. Dale Vile, Freeform Dynamics

        Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

        Please don't read into my previous post any suggestion of Windows 8 slates undermining the iPad. I do not fear for the future of iOS based tablets at all. I would be surprised if a lot of BYOD personal spend and corporate budget wasn't directed to Windows 8 Pro slates, however, because it immediately removes so many constraints associated with the iPad. For 3 years the story of my iPad use for business purposes has been one of continual workarounds. It has been worth it as the iPad has been the best of an equally constrained bunch, but a Windows 8 Pro equivalent immediately simplifies everything.

        What I am not sure of at the moment is how Windows 8 RT slates will do as they come with a different set of constraints. My guess would be that the experience for general purpose business use will still be better than an iPad, but will it be better enough to combat the iBling status symbol factor?

        I would be interested in other people's opinions on this.

        1. Wibble
          Headmaster

          Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

          If WinRT on a tablet is fundamentally like iOS on an iPad, then it's not appropriate for work. Let me expand...

          In my daily use with an iPad over the last two and a half years, including taking it as my only device on holiday, I've found it to be invaluable as a communications device. It's great for emails, simple browsing, consulting the calendar, etc.

          However, due to it's single-task non-windowed model, it's completely useless at more complex work such as writing an email whilst browsing whilst quoting from a document whilst running a web app whilst checking on other emails, etc. You know, the normal day-to-day business things that people juggle around. Compare that with OSX/Windows where multi-tasking is standard.

          The key challenge is that running "Windows" on a tablet, a-la those keyboard/mouseless devices from years ago was an utterly horrible user experience, not least because all the benefits of a iPod-style tablet is missing (zero on time, finger-optimised UI, long battery life, ultra light weight, etc.).

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

            "However, due to it's single-task non-windowed model, it's completely useless at more complex work such as writing an email whilst browsing whilst quoting from a document whilst running a web app whilst checking on other emails, etc. You know, the normal day-to-day business things that people juggle around. Compare that with OSX/Windows where multi-tasking is standard"

            You can easily have two ModernUI apps running side by side and you can switch between all your running apps very easily and they just appear. Whilst there's a use case for wanting to reference more than one window at a time (typing a document whilst reading from a web-page and another document simultaneously), that's certainly a much less common need and even on a regular laptop monitor, three adjacent windows is becoming pretty awkward and you'd probably end up tabbing between them just like with WinRT anyway.

            "The key challenge is that running "Windows" on a tablet, a-la those keyboard/mouseless devices from years ago was an utterly horrible user experience, not least because all the benefits of a iPod-style tablet is missing (zero on time, finger-optimised UI, long battery life, ultra light weight, etc.)."

            Win8 has a lot of new features for touch-interfaces. It's very different from the old XP tablets.

    2. Matt_payne666
      Thumb Up

      Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

      dockable tablets are what im waiting for... (currently a docked Lattitude user) lightweight slate for out and about, then dock the thing - a second monitor, keyboard, mouse and discrete GFX in the dock for proper work...

      Having a nice standard across all my devices will be great, most of my data is backed up on my skydrive so to be able to move from my phone, to my tablet to my PC will make life all rather easy...

      Change is coming... change is good...

      1. VinceH

        Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

        "dockable tablets are what im waiting for... (currently a docked Lattitude user) lightweight slate for out and about, then dock the thing - a second monitor, keyboard, mouse and discrete GFX in the dock for proper work..."

        Pretty much agree with this - it's more or less what I've been saying to people that I'd like. I haven't mentioned docks, just adequately connectable to the outside world, so at home and the main places I take my laptop (currently) I can leave a decent sized screen, proper keyboard and mouse, and plug in and work properly at each place.

        Of course, I can do that with my laptop - but the difference will be what I'm carrying between offices/desks: A slate will be a lot smaller and lighter than a laptop.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

      You can't appeal to people with good taste with those silly tiles. You just can't.

      Better luck for Windows 9.

    4. Piro

      Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

      She didn't buy it though, did she? Teenagers aren't a great market for hugely expensive gadgets.

      1. durbans
        WTF?

        Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

        No, he bought it. And he liked it. And as he has a teenage daughter, I would guess that he is probably part of the group who are the perfect market for expensive gadgets.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

        "She didn't buy it though, did she? Teenagers aren't a great market for hugely expensive gadgets."

        Teenagers are a great market for expensive gadgets. Note the "hugely" was dropped because many of the Win8 devices will not be that expensive. Especially the WinRT ones which, whilst more constrained, will meet a lot of people's needs.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's next?

    Mountain Lion.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is anyone bothering with Windows 8 deployment.

    Doesn't look like it. Companies are avoiding it like the plague, consumers hate MetroUI with a vengance.

    Developers have jumped shipped to more lucrative platforms.

    1. Dale Vile, Freeform Dynamics

      Re: Is anyone bothering with Windows 8 deployment.

      Dunno about deployment in business. My guess it that it will follow the usual patterns. It will creep gradually into smaller businesses who buy through retail/dealers and tend not to reimage disks. With larger organisations, it will start with high end laptops of VIP employees, then mobile users, with slates penetrating in parallel. You'll get the odd early adopter rollout more broadly, it will take a couple of years at least for that to get going.

      Re consumers universally hating the UI, that is not my personal experience with family and friends, but I am not privy to any objective research in this area. I think the big unknown here is how Microsoft handles the launch/post launch advertising to consumers. It screwed up the Vista marketing by over-positioning, but nailed it pretty well with Windows 7. Having been burned before it is likely to be more careful, and with the slate/Surface factor, it has some interesting things to punt that are a bit different this time around.

      I think the important thing to remember is that consumers don't view things or buy things in the same way as IT professionals, so our opinion here is not necessarily representative of the mass market.

      Will Microsoft succeed in an effective market entry with Windows 8? My instincts say 2 to 1 odds in favour, but I am not a consumer analyst, so that's pure opinion :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is anyone bothering with Windows 8 deployment.

      I think it's a little early to say that companies are avoiding it like the plague, what with it not having been actually released yet. No-one in serious business uses an OS before SP1, anyway.

    3. durbans
      FAIL

      Re: Is anyone bothering with Windows 8 deployment.

      "Developers have jumped shipped to more lucrative platforms."

      You must mean that platform which has 90% of the desktop market share....oh wait....

  9. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. dogged
      FAIL

      Re: Development Hell

      Everyone knows that .NET is dying

      Cut it out with the endless LIES, man. It's old and boring and you're no longer fooling anyone.

      .NET4 is built into Win8 as a part of the OS. .NET has been expanded to target WinRT as well as Win32 and Win64. Check for yourself and stop repeating bullshit, for fuck's sweet sake.

      1. Ramazan
        WTF?

        Re: LIES

        The greatest LIE was about enterprise Java I presume? Are you going to claim that the Internet, banking and mobiles are run by MS technologies?

        1. dogged
          FAIL

          Re: LIES

          No, ass. I'm claiming .NET is being expanded and enhanced, which it is. Eadon insists it's dying on the basis of exactly no evidence other than Gavin Clarke - who knows dick about dick - saying so repeatedly on the basis of, er, no evidence.

          1. Ramazan

            Re: .NET expanded and enhanced

            FORTH code also gets expanded each year, so what?

            1. Ramazan

              Re: .NET expanded and enhanced

              And while FORTH undoubtedly have its merits, .NET doesn't have any, not implemented better elsewhere, at least

    2. CmdrX3

      The very fact that you used the term skillz not only makes me want to punch you in the head but it kind of removes your credibility a little.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. dogged
          FAIL

          Re: .NET debacle history lesson .NETFAIL

          They're silent on TCP/IP as well. Is that dead too?

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. dogged
              Facepalm

              Re: .NET debacle history lesson .NETFAIL

              @Eadon - and it's a built-in part of Windows. Just like .NET.

              The fact that neither gets continual press releases does not mean that either is "dead". And why do you care anyway? All you ever do is pour hate on everything Microsoft - including all flavours of Windows - and occasionally mention how awesome linux is, as if anyone here needed telling.

              Therefore, it doesn't concern you.

              And for the record, writing ATL in C++ under Windows is probably harder than pretty much anything you ever wrote in your bag-of-shit Java. If that's the extent of your "skilz" then your opinion is worthless.

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: .NET debacle history lesson .NETFAIL

          "BTW, to address a (reasonable) objection, I used the word "skilz" in an ironic, humorous fashion, as Windows developers do not have real "skills" in the industry strength computer science sense. ;-)"

          I started out programming on HP UNIX 11 over fifteen years ago and have been mostly working as a programmer since (three years as a manager, before wanting to go back to programming). And even I think it's hugely insulting and snobbish to pretend that because someone programs on Windows that they do not have any real skills in computer science. I have seen bad Windows programmers. I have seen bad UNIX programmers. I have seen work done in C on UNIX that is an absolute obscenity of design and performance analysis. Picking up a C compiler does not make you a talented programmer and opening up Visual Studio does not make you a bad one. Your attitude tells me a lot about how I should evaluate your opinion.

      2. durbans
        Childcatcher

        RE: Skillz

        Agree with CmdrX3. Except I would change the word 'little' for 'completely'.

        I'd be willing to bet that he has 'mad skillz wiv enterprize Java innit bruv'.

  10. The Grump

    Doomed to repeat it...

    Let's see, there was the Edsel, the Atari 7800, New Coke, the AMC Pacer, and now... Windows 8. It throws out everything you ever loved or tolerated about Windows, and throws in every annoying useless feature they can think of. All I want is an XP GUI, an OS that isn't so blindingly stupid that it can't remember where program windows were when they were last closed, and as for bells and whistles, how about having every old version of Windows emulated, so I can play "Day of the Viper" by Accolade, and my old Origin titles again.

    Yeah, that'll happen... when beers start drinking people.

    No icon. Can't find one of Ballmer screaming, covered in fire ants. Sigh! Never enough icons.

    1. durbans

      Re: Doomed to repeat it...

      Sounds like you want Windows XP. Whats stopping you? I'm pretty confident that you haven't even tried Windows 8 anyway, as you haven't given one actual reason why you don't like it. And saying 'they got rid of everything I liked' doesn't really consitute a fair argument, unless you were one of the 10 Windows Media Center users...

      Also, 'every old version of Windows emulated'....do you realise that Microsoft are no.1 bar nobody on backwards compatibility with their OS'es? It's also worth noting that I can still play Full Throttle (1995) on my Windows 8 64-bit machine without any issues. I also ran Theme Hospital recently and Sim City 3000. No problems. Perhaps the software you are trying to run wasn't coded as well as you thought?

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Doomed to repeat it...

          Yeah, that special kind of backwardly compatible where you have to recompile code to make it work.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: Doomed to repeat it...

      "All I want is an XP GUI, an OS that isn't so blindingly stupid that it can't remember where program windows were when they were last closed, and as for bells and whistles, how about having every old version of Windows emulated, so I can play "Day of the Viper" by Accolade, and my old Origin titles again."

      Then grab GNU/Linux with a KDE desktop and install Wine.

  11. Glyn 2
    Boffin

    hmm

    My main complaint with the last few Windows iterations is the lack of customisability and consistency. It's set up to work the way Microsoft think I should work, the user interface isn't consistent with what it does, whether it's the ordering of files (and the random showing/hiding of various columns) in Explorer; Control panel in category view, hiding everything, under verbose plain English headings or icons that wrap horizontally rather than an easy to read vertical detail list (that's available everywhere else); Media Player and Explorer group items as though I'm too dumb to know when the Hs in a list stop and when the Is start.

    When I open Explorer in XP and before, the "Computer" tree is expanded one level and all the other trees are collapsed, in Vista and above, the first level of the library and any folders on the desktop are also expanded. Why? What improvement does showing me a load of stuff I have no earthly interest in right now bring that letting me decide what I want to do?

    And before anyone says the usual, yes I can collapse those folders once I've opened Explorer, but what's more efficient, opening a window and then closing 6 (for example) trees I've got no interest in seeing every...single...time or opening a window and being able to go straight where I want to go?

    In the library, why can I see a "My documents" folder that I can enter and one that if I click on it says "Access denied" (see also, "Send to", "Cookies" etc.) Why are you wasting screen space by showing me something I can do nothing with?

    If Microsoft put the customisability and usability notions that they used to preach on their expensive courses back into the OS as well as acknowledging that people want to use their product in different ways, no matter whether the UI was Windows 95/7/Metro based, wouldn't it be better?

  12. IJC
    FAIL

    The Register loses the plot

    Continuing articles like this just prove by how much El Reg has lost the plot with respect to Microsoft and Windows.

    Too many penguins and fanbois for any intelligent discussion of actual pros and cons of Windows 8 and the impact on real world computing environments.

    Seen these religous wars before. Somehow, in spite of all the mistakes, doomsayers and haters, Microsoft manages to keep on making products that millions spend billions on, whether by choice or otherwise.

    Love it or hate it Windows 8 is an important product that potentially changes the whole space. The development tools developed over the last decade still work. Talented developers always adapt. If you can't adapt you're in the wrong business. The apps developed over the last 15 years mostly still work. Consumers and Businesses will buy on it and run it on a range of devices. Life goes on.

  13. Suricou Raven Silver badge

    I rather like C#

    Windows really needed a decent scripting language.

    1. seansaysthis
      Thumb Up

      Re: I rather like C#

      It finally got one Powershell. Its not perfect, but its a whole lot better than Vbscript or batch files. But then again Bash scripting and Perl aren't either so its the normal case of having to live/adapt to the limits of the tools you have. The tool kits are getting better as a whole. The fact is that as a developer you are going to have to know several programming languages, old systems have to be maintained and new systems requiring new features need to be written. I'm a sys admin and I have to be familiar with several scripting and programming languages to support the business. It comes down to the best tool for the job at hand.

      My concern is that a lot of the University's have become vendor training centres rather than really teaching computer science and programming. I came from a Physics background so maybe my education that taught how to analyse and solve problems and test ideas left me unhindered by any only one way type dogma. If you work in IT you are going to realise that you are in an industry that requires life long learning. If this isnt something you are prepared to do then your options become increasingly limited as time progresses.

  14. koolholio
    Stop

    The Coding Paradox

    I must agree there wasnt much 'complex' about the older styles of coding. It was in some way human interprettable and 'organised'... not to mention tested and released PROPERLY and was an actual SKILL!

    The thing I do disagree with is 'high level' programming (Such as relying upon the .NET framework, interpretters, DOS emulation, virtuallisation, buggy HTML specs and take forever-to-parse, if ever XML)

    Whatever happened to the development term 'KISS' --- Keep it simple stupid. The requirements would be less complicated too!

    This includes no flashy UI tabs to launch a fricken program, or subsets of C to program them in... Or Silverlight...

    Cue the ASM coders to rewrite the **** so it's integrated from the ground up... instead of "layer it ontop and modify"... Just like with their monthly (and mainly out-of-band) burdens of patches.

    Also the hardware devs to make chips that arent microscopic (and usually meaning a completely new device --- at more expense)

    It really does put devs off programming and disjointed 'breeds' of programmers that got jumped up after they went to college/uni, but know nothing of how the world actually works.

    Short and sweet!

  15. jason 7 Silver badge
    WTF?

    This is how I see it.

    MS knows full well that the enterprise/corps are going to skip 8. They have finally realised that its pointless making enterprise friendly OS versions every time when only one in three gets adopted to any degree.

    Sop what has 'staid and boring' old MS gone and done? They have taken a risk. Wow, how crazy is that.

    They have decided to come up with a new strategy to pull together all its devices and systems into one family.

    I say well done. They are trying a new way with an OS that they know will be largely domestic. So you train the users at home so they are ready when it comes to business adopting Windows 10 (whatever).

    They try something new and quite daring and they get shot down.

    If it was Apple doing this it would be classed as the "most daring and spectacular strategy ever devised by mankind!" by the tame tech media.

    Pretty predictable really.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Re: This is how I see it.

        Well it says a lot about the competition/alternatives if the general computing public are now only waking up to this allegedly amazing conclusion.

        It took how long? Yes must be terrible, how have most of us managed all these years?

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