Aaron Holesgrove, in a contributor piece for Silicon Alley Insider, titled “Why Windows 8 is not Fundamentally Flawed as a Response to the iPad,” takes the typical path of defending Microsoft’s latest innovation against a mob of Apple fans. In short, he lambasts the critics’ logical inconsistencies, the simplicity of Apple’s toy-like products, and deftly suggests the entire operation is part of an agenda.
I won’t do a point by point shred of Aaron’s post. That’s not necessary. But I do think the most important point for proponents and critics alike is to understand that the jig is up.
The iPad is indeed a toy. But not in the Thomas the Tank Engine sense of being fit for small children alone. Rather, we’ve arrived at an era of computing where computers need no longer be intimidating or inscrutable.
You pick them up and start using them. They welcome casual exploration (“What happens if I tap this, or this?”). There are no frightening blue screens of death or frantic calls to tech savvy relatives.
Perhaps these tablets do lack the complexity masquerading as power that the Technical Tories like to wield as a death blow critique of the iPad and its ilk. But the dirty, undeniable secret, is that the iPad just works (now, straight out of the box). Some might even call that magical.
Windows 8 does look good. But I’d be lying if I said that the sight of legacy Windows wasn’t as jarring as being approached by someone hot, only to be asked if you might be interested in their hideous, fat friend.
The fact is that I want many platforms to succeed, because ultimately that yields more choice and a better overall experience for customers. But without a re-think of the fundamental assumption behind years of Windows software (complexity = power > simplicity), I believe Windows 8 will suffer the same fate as its cousin, Windows Mobile 6.