Boy Genius Report’s Zach Epstein gives us the low-down from Microsoft’s BUILD conference: Sorry Apple, Windows 8 ushers in the post-post-PC era.
But… but… we just got our “Welcome to the post-PC era” t-shirts! We just had our houses painted post-PC-era blue! We just named our children “Post-PC era”!
Microsoft executives took to the stage at the annual BUILD developer conference on Tuesday to give the world its first real look at the future of the Windows operating system. The reception, as you’ve likely read by now, has been overwhelmingly positive.
Well, assuming you only talked to people who have a vested interest in it succeeding (like Wired did in this piece), or people with an axe to grind against Apple. (The circles in that Venn diagram, not surprisingly, intersect pretty heavily.) On the other hand, this is what This Is My Next had to say:
If we’re going to be totally honest though, we’d describe Windows 8 right now as incoherent and contradictory.
The whole user experience feels schizophrenic, with users having to jump back and forth between the [Metro and desktop] paradigms, each of which seem like they might be better off on their own.
Really?! You don’t say. If only someone made separate mobile and desktop operating systems, each optimized for the devices they run on heyyy, wait a minute…
Sorry, Zach. The Macalope got distracted with some facts there. You were about to disprove yourself. Please, go ahead.
In fact, Apple bloggers were apparently so flustered by the platform that they resorted to bombarding Twitter with jokes about cooling fans and Silverlight instead of stopping for a moment to realize that Microsoft is showing us the future of computing.
“The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” - Carl Sagan.
So, the reception was “overwhelmingly positive,” as long as you leave out certain large sections of the technology world. Got it. Apple bloggers don’t count, only people already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. Good to know!
By the way, were those valid criticisms about the cooling fans and Silverlight? Epstein doesn’t bother to say. BGR readers just need to know they came from the Twitter accounts of Apple bloggers, where you’ll find only bitterness and never truth. But you knew that.
Here’s one suggestion for Microsoft about how to make fan noise and smoke pouring out of your tablets a feature—three words: steampunk case mod.
One platform to rule them all. The technology exists to enable users to carry a single device that is as portable and usable as a tablet, but also as powerful and capable as a PC. It has a battery that can last all day, but it can also run Photoshop, Excel and Outlook. It can weigh next to nothing and slip into a slim case, but it can also power two monitors and run proprietary enterprise software.
And cost $500? And not be a complete mess?
The Macalope has no doubt that more integrated and more full-featured devices are coming some day. But Epstein seems to think that Microsoft is going to ship this magical tablet/PC/One Ring of Power next year and it’ll not only run Photoshop all day long, it’ll power two monitors all day long.
Good. Fricking. Luck.
Apple paved the way but Microsoft will get there first with Windows 8.
Wait, if the way was paved then that would mean that Apple got there first, and you know what, never mind, because you have gone completely cuckoo bananas.
A tablet that can be as fluid and user friendly as the iPad but as capable as a Windows laptop. A tablet that can boot in under 10 seconds and fire up a full-scale version of Adobe Dreamweaver a few moments later. A tablet that can be slipped into a dock to instantly become a fully capable touch-enabled laptop computer. This is Microsoft’s vision with Windows 8, and this is what it will deliver.
And they have the nerve to say we’re the idiots who’ll believe and hype anything that Apple tells us?
If the iPad ushered in the post-PC era, then welcome to the post-post-PC era.
Shorter Epstein: “I know you are, but what am I—times infinity.”
But let’s just be clear. The bar is set, right? Whenever Windows 8 ships, it will blow Apple’s mobile offering out of the water. Let’s reconvene here in when-that-happens and see how it turns out.
The Macalope has been asking this for months, but: If all people wanted was full-fledged Windows on a tablet, why haven’t they been buying them during the last 10 years that Microsoft’s been trying to dump them on people? What Microsoft has done—in response to Apple’s success—is bolt a touch interface onto Windows. It’s rethought about 25 percent of where its tablets have fallen short for years. There’s no doubt that a lot of PC users will end up using Windows 8 because it’s the successor to Windows 7. But it really remains to be seen how many will use it on tablets.
As Aayush Arya reminded the horny one, the other thing the Macalope’s been saying for even longer is that it’s uncanny how future Microsoft products beat current Apple products time and time again, isn’t it?
[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]