Windows 10 is coming. Should Apple and Google be worried? And what happened to Windows 9?
Right off the bat, after seeing the “cool stuff” Microsoft is working on, and yes there is some cool stuff, there is one thing missing. Actual windows. When the current version of Windows launched, our offices were running HP Touchsmart computers with dual screens. They were great.
Then one died and the only way to get a new one was with Windows 8. HP figured out since windows 8 really didn’t have “windows”, they didn’t need to add capability for a second screen. It was like the worlds biggest tablet. Copying from one page to the other was painful. We went to the Microsoft store, got a lesson on how to bring up the old windows interface, and even then, three days later the HP Touchsmart was returned. By that Friday we had converted to 100% Apple. Yep, we bought the trifecta, MAC, iPad and iPhone for everyone.
Since then the office has hummed along nicely. I will be upgrading my desk since I got a 4K monitor and my little Mac Mini can’t handle it. My desktop screen now looks like it belongs to Mr. Magoo. Half inch tall fonts on websites normal people can read across the room. So the Mac “Coffee Can” aka the “Pro” is headed my way (at least I hope it sneaks past the accounting people).
So where does that leave Windows 10? Well the truth is we just recently added a Microsoft tablet. A budget surface for Quickbooks. The whole Parallels thing was a royal pain and the latest update to Quickbooks 2015 was just a headache that slowed our world to a crawl. Accounting now has two screens, one, connected to a Mac Mini, the other a detachable tablet.
Oddly the tablet for Quickbooks has had a nice side effect. Since we only had Parallels running on one computer, any time there was an accounting question we gathered around one desk. Now the tablet moves to whoever has the question or forgot to do their invoices.
The idea of one operating system for all of your platforms, desk, tablet and what I very loosely call a phone, is bold and beautiful, but flawed. Yes I wish I could do all of my desktop work on my tablet and phone. The problem is I don’t want to have my desktop look like a phone. I need to be able to edit audio, video and have the script or text all open at once. Tiles just don’t work that way, so I go back to the old windows interface and eh, the Mac is still better.
One of the other flaws in the all in one system is the dependence on “the cloud”. The implies two things, one their stuff works and two you have high speed internet. Have you tried internet on airplanes? Yuck.
Storage is cheap, so I wonder why we can’t make the desktop a personal server. All of your data is there and the most recent stuff you look at, say last 60 days is synchronized with your portable devices. With IP V 6, and some port forwarding if you can reach the cloud, then you can reach your computer. Why pay more for the cloud or let them have free use of your data?
Note: Read the Cloud EULA closely, most of the time it says they can read and use all your stuff any way they want, and have no responsibility if they lose it, even if you are paying for the cloud services!
Cramming everything from my desktop to my tablet and phone is crazy, unless I could use infinite focus glasses to make it look like I have a 50″ screen floating in air. Oh Wait, Windows 10 is working on that it’s called Holo Lens. You’ve seen people walk and text, imagine walk and compute….
Ok, maybe I don’t need that feature but having a 360 degree virtual desktop could be cool.
Admitting I could have missed the critical feature, is tough but it is possible. If I were in charge today, I would do one thing for Windows 10.
Make a button or gesture on the screen that will switch the tablet and the desktop device to a “stacked windows” mode instead of a “tiled windows” mode. The stacked mode would look like windows but no menu bar on the bottom. To open another app, you would toggle to the tiled mode, activate the app and go back to stacked. Clean, simple, uncluttered.
Instead of having icons on your desktop of your latest things, there could be a tile “quick stuff” where your most used or most recently saved items are.
I don’t need a 50″ Windows 10 phone on my desk, and I don’t want to be tethered to Microsofts cloud forever, do you?
For Microsofts side of the story – http://news.microsoft.com/windows10story/
Scott Bourquin is tech consultant and business advisor.