Remember the date: 13/09/2011

10:03 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Yesterday I was at the Microsoft Belux offices to view the keynote of the Build conference.  Build is the conference that replaced the PDC conference of the last years. 

Because Microsoft was going to reveil more information about the new Operating System (code-named Windows 8) at Build, and because Microsoft succeeded in not releasing a lot of information in advance, the keynote was a must see.  Even the agenda and speaker list was not known until yesterday after the keynote.

There were already a lot of rumours about the new Operating System that Microsoft is going to release (date not yet known aswel but rumours say it could be april 2012) but not much was confirmed.   

Many watchers, bloggers and MVP’s stated that Microsoft had to create at least an iPad clone to make sure that they stayed relevant in today’s IT world.  I never agreed with that statement as I still don’t believe that the traditional PC (desktop/laptop) will be replaced soon by a tablet or similar.  I do however believe that the way we compute is drastically changing.  The keyboard and the mouse are still very important, but touch navigation is gaining a lot of importance and devices that are “on” the moment you press the button are also becoming more and more important.

By not releasing much information and making the whole conference bading into some secrecy many persons hopes were high.  When the day of the keynote came closer, I thought for a second that we were getting as much excitement as for an Apple conference :-)

After yesterday’s keynote, I’m assured that Microsoft has answers to their competetors and their devices.  And even more.  I figured they were not going to create an iOS clone.  They have released windows phone 7 a while ago that is a direct competitor for android and iOS devices but they didn’t clone it.  Instead, they had the ‘guts’ to innovate.  I know, the story of the windows phone 7 isn’t a real success for the moment, but I’m pretty sure that it will be in the near future.  For their new OS, they again had the ‘guts’ to innovate.  They completely redesigned the UI and made it (at first sight, and after a few hours of playing) a whole new experience.

I’m not going to go into the details of all the new features here, there are many blogs out there that have already done this.  But after playing around a bit with the new OS, after seeing it demoed yesterday, after learning some of the new names (“charms” anyone :-)) and viewing different aspects of the new UI and after reading and seeing the big buzz on the internet I think Microsoft has succeeded in its first achievements.

– Put themselves back on the map as an innovative company

– Prove that they can build something where people look at and say “Hey, that’s cool”

– Make the entire world wanting the release version of an OS asap

– Give hardware vendors a sweet.  (Imagine how many touch based tablets / laptops / hybrids are going to appear)

– Get Developpers enthousiast about new technology and still make sure that the ‘old’ technology is supported (yes, silverlight is not dead (yet))

– And they didn’t forget about the keyboard and mouse users in this “touch” world.

Does this mean that I think that Microsoft has just invented the best of the best?  Nope, it is way to early to make such a statements and I’m pretty sure that after a few days or weeks we will see posts and comments about stuff that people don’t like.  But that is not relevant for the moment.  What counts is that our user experience is going to change a lot in the near future.

The last thing they need to do now is to make sure that it is a fast, reliable Operating System.  But that’s something we’ll see in the future.  On the other hand, bugs and issues never stopped the iPad from becoming an extreme popular device :-)

Remember the date: 13/09/2011, because that is the date that Microsoft announced a new era in the computing business and made itself relevant, sexy and cool… once more.