Windows 8 is hitting the video sites and creating a lot of buzz right now and whilst it’s still only in beta and not due for release for some months yet, I wanted to try to put a few myths to bed on the much-anticipated Windows OS, especially in terms of Rugged PDA’s and Tablets. Today we’ll be focussing on the roadmap and versions of Windows 8.
Windows 8 Experience
Firstly, I’ve seen and played with W8 myself, it’s designed to be installable on any X86 based CPU tablet or PC and you get a pretty full working version of it, enough to seriously understand it’s going to bring some big and cool changes to the Windows family. It really does attempt to bring a similar experience to the Laptop, Tablet and PDA and it’s really clever how it does it. It does use the 360 style interface as seen on Windows Phone 7 but it’s far deeper in experience and features.
Windows 8 on Tablets
Where Windows has suffered most is in the tablet and PDA markets so it’s no surprise to see something that I feel is aimed squarely at sorting this out. Now on a tablet it looks and runs superbly, on a desktop it runs great too but I think the OS is firmly aimed on bringing some of the tablet market back to Microsoft where W7 and XP have simply not delivered in. If you’ve used W7 on a Tablet you’ll know exactly what I mean!!
Windows on Arm :-0
Always the burning question! What will W8 take over from and what will it run on? The plan for Microsoft has always been to merge its desktop, tablet and PDA OS but does W8 do that and will it run on less power-hungry, less powerful but most significantly less costly mobile platforms? Well you might like to know that there are more than rumours about W8 RT, this is specifically designed to run on the ARM platform and whilst I haven’t actually seen it with my own eyes, it’s there and being tested.
Windows 8 and Windows RT on PDA’s :-0!
OK, so if it does come out on PDA’s, will it take over from the WP7 OS line and more importantly what about Rugged PDA’s? Windows Mobile might be old and no good in a smartphone market where OS interaction is key, but it’s pretty damn good in our market to build apps on top of which don;t need to change every 3 minutes! This will remain to be seen but I’m sure we’ll have more news here as we see the OS develop in the coming months. My guess at this point is that Microsoft won’t let WP7 or WEH6.5 go just yet, but there will be plenty of debate over this I’m sure!
UPDATE – Windows Phone 8 has just been announced so it looks like W8 RT will be aimed at smaller/cheaper ARM Tablets not PDA’s.
If you look at the strategies of companies like Apple, you’ll see a far better unified OS experience, especially in the mobile arena. W8 is certainly going to take this a step further with a far more standard experience across all 3 than anything else. The first big question is if they can get an OS that will do this effectively and run on 2 or 3 different hardware architectures? The second is if they can, how much will this impact the mobile, Rugged and desktop market………….Loads and Loads!
The Rugged and Mobile blog.