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October 22, 2012

Windows 8 User Interface

Windows 8 launch is later this week and we keep reading about mixed emotions from people who have tried it out. The latest I read is this blog which includes an interesting video as well. Microsoft surely has touched lot of nerves with their blod steps with the Modern UI.

I personally think that for general consumers we should probably try showing Windows 8 on a tablet to the people. That's when the reactions will probably be more in favor of this new OS. People have seen the existing iPads and the Galaxy Tabs and used them and hence are already family with the new touch interface with no central Start button/menu like thing. I think when using on tablet, the UI shock will be much less.

But it also does mean that users who will use this on desktops and laptops will find it difficult to get used to. For some using Windows without the Start button/menu is like diving from a plane and not knowing which chord to pull to open the chute.

I have been using Windows 8 for a while now and must confess that while I like the new UI and features and all that, I do get confused sometimes. I work on my Windows 7 in parallel, so there are times when in desktop mode in Windows 8, I need to open a new application, so I hit the Windows key, and... I land on the new Start Screen of Windows 8... and it takes me a few moments to realize what just happened. At times I prefer to use the desktop mode IE instead of the Windows 8 version of IE

Would it make sense for Microsoft to lock UI to the new Modern UI for tablets and the desktop mode for desktops and laptops, till we get touch friendly updated hardware? What are your views on this?

October 19, 2012

What is it with Word Configuration?

Microsoft says having mutliple versions of MS Office on the same machine should work fine, except for Outlook. For Outlook only the latest version will work. I have Office 2010 and Office 2013 Preview on my machine and I find this to be true. All Office products work fine, except for Word.

I can run either version of Excel or Powerpoint without any issue, but every time I run Word from different version, it brings up a configuration wizard.


The sequence is something like this: I run Word 2010 things are fine. I run Word 2013, I get this configuration screen. Now on clicking any DOCX files opens in Word 2013.

I now run Word 2010, I again get the configuration screen and all DOCX files now open on Word 2010. If I continue to run Word 2010, I am fine, but I change versions and run Word 2013.. the configuration screen pops up again.

So if I continue to use the last used Word version, I am good, but change the version and be greated by configuration screen. Not sure why only Word does this? Any clue?


October 10, 2012

100K Apps in 90 days. Is it Possible?

Two weeks and two days for the retail launch of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet. The Windows Store is already open and about 3000 apps have been published. Microsoft is doing all it can to get the store to fill up quickly, but the plan for having 100K apps in next 90 days seems a bit too much to me.

With the existing about 3000 apps, we are talking of about 97000 apps in next 90 days. Simple maths shows that this means about 1078 apps a day, i.e. about 45 apps an hour, or just about 1 app published every min in the Store. Needless to say the application has to be implementation complete, test complete and Windows Store certification complete to reach the published status.

To me, this is extremely difficult if not impossible to achieve. What do you think? Will there be 100K apps in Windows Store in next 90 days?


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