Today is Microsoft’s big coming-out party for its new operating system called Windows 8 that goes across multiple platforms – laptops, desktops, cell phones, and, for the first time, Microsoft’s own hardware, a tablet called Surface.
Microsoft is really gambling that you’re going to love this new way of computing that blends all the different devices you have across one software platform. This is actually way beyond anything Apple has ever done.
But the excitement today is nothing like it was with Apple’s product launches earlier in the week. Because with Microsoft, a lot of people think, “That’s old stuff.” The idea of Windows 8 is to make you think of Microsoft in a whole new way.
Think of this: if you buy one of the new laptops or desktops that are set up specifically for Windows 8, you’ll be able to touch-screen, you’ll be able to type, you’ll be able to use a mouse. It’s totally flexible.
Something that’s not? Windows RT. That is another new software platform geared mostly for tablets and smartphones. It does not allow you to use software you were running on an older version of Windows. Windows 8 allows you to use any programs you’ve already been using. With RT, you’re essentially starting over.
Here’s my advice: wait a while. Let’s see what bugs there are. Let’s see if people are happy with Windows 8. You’ll have plenty of time to buy it later.