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Windows next: So what?

Mary Branscombe | Sept. 19, 2014
Speaking as someone who likes Windows 8 and whose touch PC you can take away when you pry it from my cold dead fingers, I'm surprisingly unexcited about the next version of Windows.

I've only shifted back to using full Windows full time because the Surface Pro 3 has good enough battery life, light enough weight, and a far better keyboard. In much the same way, some people will find the iPad powerful enough for a fair proportion of their daily tasks, especially when they run Office and make it more like a Surface by adding a keyboard.

In this world, Windows is still valuable and important. It's no more dead than the PC — which is no more dead than the mainframe — but is just one of the multiple devices everyone will use.

Microsoft can carry on making Windows better; more power efficient, more secure in particular, and better suited for running on a wider range of devices and form factors. But is it where we look for innovation and the bright, shiny future?

The next big milestone for Windows will be incorporating the operating system ideas from Microsoft Research, from projects like Midori, Drawbridge, and Singularity, that MSR head and long-time OS designer Rick Rashid joined the Windows team to work on. But at least initially, those will probably be most relevant to Windows Server and Azure.

In 2014, is a new version of Windows something we really get excited about any more? Nothing I've seen yet suggests that it is.


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