Right now, it's hard for me to wrap my head around. This platform, with all of its quirks and mannerisms, has been with me since the mid-1990s. But there are rumblings that Windows 8 will mark the beginning of a new era for Microsoft.
At first glance, this is encouraging. It's a metaphorical shift as well as a physical one.
Physically, it tells me that Microsoft feels its future doesn't lie in a dedicated machine like a PC. Windows is a platform that banks on its users sitting in front of desktop PCs or laptops all day. But thanks to mobile technology, we know that's increasingly NOT the case. Right now, the desktop or laptop PC is still very much a relevant tool — but that will soon change. There could come a day when the laptop, and especially the desktop, could be relics.
Metaphorically, it tells me Microsoft doesn't want to "box" its users in anymore. Literally. Windows 8 will utilize cloud technology much more prominently, pre-installing applications for both PC and phone. Software that needs to be unpacked, inserted and installed is starting to look extremely outdated. With the cloud concept, everything you need is accessible from any machine, because it doesn't live on the machine, it lives "up there somewhere" in online limbo. Talk about thinking outside of the box.
So, if not Windows, then what? Clouds? Portals?
With so many changes to the way we access technology and its applications, do you think "Windows" still applies as a concept? If you could replace the name for Microsoft's evolving platform, what would you call it?