Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Barbarians At The Windows 8

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco
Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There's a wonderful moment in the film Barbarians At The Gate when the beleagured CEO of RJR Nabisco tries out the 'smokeless cigarette' that's going to save the company from a buyout and discovers it tastes like a toilet when it's lit with a match - the R&D team have been using lighters all along.

The moment when Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was told that Lumia was Portugese for 'lady of the night' must have felt similar. If you're going to bet the future of your company on a single product, you really want to get it right. Totally right.

October 26th is another such moment, when Microsoft launches its Windows 8 operating system in six cities across the world, including - Gulf News tells us - Dubai. Windows 8 is really about Microsoft's future - the company arguably can't afford another Vista scale disappointment but it desperately needs to stay relevant in a world where iOS and Android are the talking points and most people have either stuck with XP or wished they had. The days of everyone flocking to 'this year's Windows' are long gone now. Windows 8 is going to have to be special - I'd argue it's going to have to be as special as Windows 3.0 was - a true game changer. And there are major question marks about that.

Early reviews have been mixed, with a great deal of disappointment and frustration expressed by reviewers. The 'tablet friendly' interface is actually a highly dangerous move for Microsoft. It's an inflection point - if the burden of navigating the new interface is as great - or greater - than the burden of change, users are more likely to make that change. Especially those of us who have been vexed by Vista and living with the nice but dim Windows 7. Microsoft's saving grace may be that the options out there are limited right now, but it's doubtful Google will give them too much 'wriggle room'.

October 26th is a Friday. It's also the first day of the Eid Al Adha holiday. It's not the day I'd pick for a Dubai product launch, but then what do I know...

This rare technology themed post comes to you courtesy of sponsor the UNWired radio show on technology, online and all things digital I co-host every Wednesday with Rama Chakaki and Siobhan Leyden. Today we're broadcasting live from GITEX - 12-2pm Dubai time (GMT +4) on 103.8FM or streaming live at this here handy link. This'll be my 24th GITEX and also marks my first meeting the girl who would become the future (and long suffering) Mrs McNabb!
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1 comment:

Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

I admire your longevity! ;-)

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