Windows IT Pro:
Like the rest of the world, I was perplexed at Steve Ballmer's response in a recent interview at the Gartner Symposium where he cited the "next version of Windows" as the riskiest product coming up. While talking about a product that's still 2 years away can feel a bit out of place (like seeing Christmas decorations on sale in October), I'd like to take a look at a few of the more supported rumors about Windows 8 and which, if any, of them could add up to the riskiest product in Microsoft's portfolio.
What does it all mean, Basil? Yes, I just fit an Austin Powers quote in this post. Beat that!
So what DOES it all mean? What could be so risky with Windows 8 that even Steve Ballmer has to point that out? I mean, he put out the Kin and didn't think to mention that was risky. Let's be honest, here. Let's go through some of the finer points of the IT Pro article and see what we can come up with.
A purely hosted OS. With Google planning the Chrome OS release by the end of this year, some Internet commentators have suggested that Microsoft could release Windows 8 as a purely cloud-based where everything would be accessed through the Internet.
Yowza! I'm on record, somewhere, saying that Chrome OS will be a dud. Sure, Grandma would love to check their Facebook and that's about it, but regular folk like you and me need Apps. Sweet, glorious Apps! None of this HTML5 stuff. At least not for the next 5 or so years.
New App Store model. In the past few months, Microsoft has leaked that Windows 8 will have an App Store model similar to iTunes. The idea here is that you will be able to go to a dedicated place to search for applications for Windows, and you'll have the confidence that those solutions are vetted and compatible with your Windows system.
Apple just recently announced they are going this exact route with the Mac App Store. It will be similar to the iOS App Stores with the exception being that you can still download apps from the developers website if you wish. But to the new Mac owner, this is a huge boon. To the non-techie, non-developer people that just want to go to one place to update all their ups with no fuss, no muss, why not let Microsoft take care of the update process for all of your apps? Does anyone not realize how simple it is to update apps on an iPhone or iPad? Silly simple.
Electronic distribution only. This one is kind of interesting—what if Microsoft released Windows 8 only as an electronic version? This would save them a bit on distribution costs, but overall shouldn't affect the system too much.
I'm all for this one. Microsoft should lead the way in terms of digital distribution. "Hey honey, what are you doing over there?" "Oh, nothing. Just clicked to update to Windows 8, fool!" Boom! That's what I'm talking about. I've wished that MS would have taken a more digital route with their 360 games instead of catering to GameStop and the like. When a new game drops I should be able to hop onto the XBOX Marketplace and download it to my system. Why can I not do this?
Those are just a few of the reasons why Windows 8 could be "risky". Rest assured, we'll be ready to pwn all risk associated with the new OS, so be sure to give us a buzz.