Windows

We are willing to accept one cross-platform Windows 8 but there are doubts

On June 9, 2011, Greg Shultz asked: Should there be separate tablet and desktop editions of Windows 8? A poll indicates that we are ready for a one cross-platform version of Windows 8, but there are still doubts.

In a June 9, 2011, Microsoft Windows Blog post, Greg Shultz asked:

Should there be separate tablet and desktop editions of Windows 8?

In that blog post, he explained the pros and cons of having a separate version of Windows for desktops and tablets versus a single OS that would accommodate both platforms. To be sure there are plenty of pros and cons on each side of the question.

As far as we can tell right now, Microsoft has decided that the pros for a single, cross-platform Windows operating system outweigh the cons. According to the poll question in Greg's blog post, TechRepublic IT professionals have come to the same conclusion, but they still have concerns about it.

One of the major concerns is the physical size of Windows 8 and the resources it will use if it includes code for desktops and for tablets. This question must be on the minds of Microsoft engineers as well, so there must be some way to keep required resources in check. Right?

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

8 comments
adornoe
adornoe

and all form factors. Windows 8 can be a single version of OS for all platforms, though the professional and enterprise editions could have more robust features for business environments. It's quite simple: A user purchases a license, and he/she gets a core Windows 8 OS, and all other features are made available, but not loaded into the PC or mobile device. A laptop and desktop could have all features installed immediately, but, on the mobile platforms, only the core features needed to run the device effectively would be installed. Then, when more features are needed, they can be called upon to get installed or loaded into memory. Those additional features don't need to be on the initial copy of the OS that is sold, but, the features will have been bought with the license. Those features can be downloaded and installed on the fly from Microsoft's servers, and uninstalled when not in use. It would be part of Microsoft's cloud services, with OS features as a service that can be called instantaneously. That would alleviate the need for massive storage requirements on a smartphone or tablet. The OS itself could be as massive as a few hundred gigabytes, but the resident OS and features might only run into a few gigabytes.

dan man
dan man

i just hope windows 8 wont be a flop like windows vista. i dont wanna be disappointed again..

dan man
dan man

i just hope windows 8 wont be a flop like windows vista. i dont wanna be disappointed again..

gak
gak

A tablet is a desktop minus keyboard minus mouse plus finger sensitivity. If it is necessary to run one edition for a tablet and another one for a desktop, what can be run on a tablet with attached keyboard? Separating any OS into several editions just creates classes of hardware that cannot run it. Not a problem for Apple and other toy makers, but unacceptable for Microsoft.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Of course, MS will likely build these features into IE, than use IE as the front end for the OS (just like Chrome OS, but unlike Google, MS will get sued for it). Hopefully MS learned a lesson from Vista and Win7, people want fast and light weight OS's that do what we want them to do. Customization is important, so is speed and stability. These things need to be maintained/improved if MS wants to keep ahead of Apple's OSX.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

One of the major concerns is the physical size of Windows 8 and the resources it will use if it includes code for desktops and for tablets. This question must be on the minds of Microsoft engineers as well, so there must be some way to keep required resources in check. Right?

shryko
shryko

...but you miss the aspect of screen resolutions and touch-sizing. With keyboard/mouse, you want more precise icons that are more removed to allow more space to work in, on touch-centric, you want larger icons which are easier for fingers to poke. Major difference in the design of the interface, but it's interface only, so... should be easy enough to work around.

shryko
shryko

tablets don't need all the optional components always installed, either. Ditch some of the superficial stuff. Vista and Win7 have all components installed with the most basic version, so that you can just enter an upgrade license key and it will activate the "new" features. If those "upgrade" features aren't pre-installed, then they'll save on the install size of the system.

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