Windows 8 does blend two worlds together, but does so much more efficiently that Microsoft has ever been able to do in the past.
With Windows 7 tablet technology of the sort Samsung was able to create with its Series 7 Slate – and undoubted improvements to come in that tablet’s successor alongside what we’ve seen from Microsoft’s Surface Tablet – let alone every other OEM – the true renaissance of Windows tablets is about to begin.
I have read a remark that the Windows 8 Pro Surface Tablet comes with a pen, which is made out to be a bad thing because it infers it needs that pen to operate successfully, I didn’t find that to be the case with the Samsung Series 7 slate.
Its capacitive digitizer with fingertip control of the Windows 8 Desktop and what once needed mouse pointer accuracy to use seemed to work incredibly accurately with fingertip control, just as you’d expect on an iPad.
I’ve been using tablets since the first Windows XP models came out so am skilled at pressing the right location (and for years complained about having models that ONLY worked with stylus and mouse input, rather than fingertip – before those models did eventually come along) – but Windows 8 on a Windows 8 certified tablet is going to have the right hardware to deliver the best Windows experience you’ve ever had.
It’s natural that many will stick with what they’ve got, but as Windows 8 tablets, computers and upgrades get out there, and people see it, chances are high that they’ll get it on a new computer or new tablet and go from there.
These users will also be bringing Windows 8 tablets into the enterprise, whether companies are ready or not, just as happened with Palm Pilots, iPhones, Androids and iPads.
Windows 8’s release later this year does indeed herald a new world without walls that nevertheless stll has Windows in it, and it awaits all who want it.
However, with the extended support from Microsoft and the nature or need of some to avoid too much technological change, at least for now, your existing "wall-free" tech world, complete with the updates and maintenance you have to do now anyway, might have to suffice - unless you fancy a new journey with Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android or some combination.
That said, though I type this on a Mac, I have Windows 8 Professional running on a three year old Core 2 Duo tablet with stylus and two finger multitouch, and it's running just fine. It takes a while to get used to the "new start screen", and the fact there are full sceen Metro apps when we've been used to seeing things in both full screen and a window size of our own choosing.
I've tried Win 8 Preview Edition on a Samsung Series 7 slate, too, and once people see the real Windows 8 tablet/ultrabooks later this year and into next, it really wil be game on between Apple's dominant iPad tablet, Android's tablet dominant-wannabe status and the rebirth of the sleeping Windows giant who can't stumble this attempt into tablethood as did all the last.
Metro does cleverly let you put two apps on the screen at the same time, something iOS 6 nor Android can do, and if you want resizable windows and regular apps, x86 tablet users have them on the Windows desktop "app", letting you multitask there - and with Metro apps, even both environments at the same time.
As noted previously, this is Microsoft's best-ever attempt at blending the worlds of tablet and notebook into one, and while we await the ultimate verdict of the public, WIndows 8 is Windows finally ready to take on the iPad challenge, something it was not with Windows 7.
Windows 8 won't launch problem-free - not even Apple can manage a problem-free launch - and plenty of computer users will feel no particular need to upgrade immediately - Windows 7 doesn't need urgently upgrading from, as dd Vista, and I'm sure you know people who are still on XP.
Meanwhile, with the impending widespread availability of Windows 8 computers, tablets, packaged and downloadable OS upgrades and Microsoft's Surface... Microsoft's attack of the clones against the Apple empire will see many plunge forth into Windows 8's new world.
But as is already happening with XP, Vista and 7 holdouts, these people let others be the "verion 1.0 users and retail beta testers" for whatever reason and wait to see what Microsoft's wall-free world will bring, and whether Microsoft's wall-free Windows stays that way, or turns away from the promise of wall-free to the reality of a walled-garden.
They'll watch those who upgrade with abandon or out of necessity and note their experiences before plunging in, while likely also wondering how much better Windows 8 will be after Win 8 SP1 - and then what it will be like when it turns into Windows 9.