Darren tweeted me this morning:
Well, I would agree with Mr. Atwood that Microsoft does seem to be betting everything on Windows 8. The $40 upgrade price is another huge proof that they are willing to do almost anything to get technorati (the only people who really ever do upgrade an OS without buying a new computer) on board and using Windows 8. And that they are probably correct to, as releasing Windows 7.5 probably would be the end of versions for Windows and perhaps the start of the decline for Microsoft. Off topic a little, but not that I think the end of versions for Windows would be bad, I think it would be amazing if windows was more like Chrome and just slowly updated itself over time. However, I do know what an insane support headache that would be and that would be a no-go for businesses. My suggestion would be to create two versions of the OS, the enthusiasts version that auto-updated like Chrome and the LTS version that got released every three years. Then they could be a little Lean in Windows development, however I am not sure you really want enthusiasts driving the boat for features. Who knows, maybe that is what they are going to do with Windows RT, since they haven’t given it version number (though Vista and XP didn’t have version numbers either).
Sorry, go off topic there, back to the topic of the New Metro Interface. Well, personally I am not a fan and I see it resulting in a ton of apps that look like the new Rdio. But really I am not the right person to ask, given that I have no sense of design myself. Do I find it hard to use, not particularly but it did slow me down over a normal desktop. I am pretty sure that if I ever choose to use Windows 8 I will get over that hump in a few days, but unfortunately for Microsoft neither myself nor Mr. Atwood are the customers that they have to worry about. Will business people adopt it in droves - highly unlikely but I don’t think that Microsoft is counting on that. Will regular consumers like your unspecified relative who always asks you for computer help like it? That is the real question, and they won’t really have a choice since it will be loaded onto their next computer. The question is do they revolt, and if they do revolt do they jump to OSX? From what I have heard, and since this is from my friends and tech pundits on podcasts, it is about 30-70 between love and hate of the new interface. I think the main problem is going to be that Windows RT is only half baked so far, and Microsoft doesn’t have enough time to get a perfect version out the door. I am sure version 2 or 3 will be great, but will the masses have fled before that happens?