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Windows 7: Why Windows Blue heralds the death of the desktop


30 Mar 2013   #1
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 
Why Windows Blue heralds the death of the desktop

Yet another prediction of the demise of the desktop.

Quote:
Brace yourselves, faithful PC enthusiasts. You aren't going to like what I'm about to say. Heck, I don't really like what I'm about to say. In fact, I'm almost terrified to lay out my case in black and white. But that doesn't change the fact that it needs to be said.
There's a very good chance that Microsoft will kill the desktop in Windows 9. No more Task Manager. No more File Explorer. No more legacy compatibility. It'll be 100 percent Live Tiles, 100 percent of the time.
That day is still on the distant horizon, but it is coming. Indeed, if Windows Blue, the just-leaked update to Windows 8, shows us anything, it's that Microsoft is willing to de-emphasize desktop functionality in deference to the modern UI.
PC World

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Mar 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Honestly, I expected this ever since release of Windows 8, the current environment surrounding Windows, and the current general-computing environment:

1. MS wants to unify Windows's GUI across PCs, mobile, and I would also presume Xbox. The Desktop just stands in the way of this vision as far as MS is concerned.
2. MS and others want to kill off the Win32 API and imagine as if it never existed because of alleged code rot and inefficiency stemming from years of development. WinRT which comes with Windows 8 (and lots of baggage) is MS's answer.
3. Metro serves nicely to allow MS to actively control what is allowed to run on Windows and take a share of all profits driven from software sales, a marked difference from the current Desktop which is a completely open ecosystem. All hail closed ecosystems with "app" stores and the people behind it who care not for a developer's or user's freedom or wants, all that matters is money and whether MS approves.
4. The entire computer industry is (whether we like it or not) moving out of local hardware/software and onto remote hardware/software, the so-called "cloud". Metro is the perfect environment to facilitate a "dumb terminal" to serve the cloud as much of it and Windows 8 are already internet-reliant.

And while there's still a chance MS might decide to keep the Desktop, it's simply highly likely it will get axed because there aren't any long-term repercussions at the end of it:
1. Linux desktops, while certainly enticing, are in no position to replace Windows on most consumer and business computers because of lack of familiarity and software (for consumers) and technical assurance (for businesses). Ubuntu's LTS, which only lasts 5 years, is a far cry from MS's offering for example, XP has lasted 12 years and will be supported for 1 more year still!
2. Macs are not a proper answer to replacing desktop Windows given Apple's closed-ecosystem nature, plus the pricetag is simply not appropriate for just everyone.
3. ChromeOS, while a nice concept, is even more cloud-reliant than Windows 8 and its presumed successors will be and thus cannot serve as a desktop OS.
4. Major software developers and vendors like Adobe will simply have to develop for Metro and WinRT when Desktop and Win32 get axed, to not do so will mean that they will then lose a major revenue stream. Desktop Linux is simply too decentralized and too minor to invest in; Macs might work out for investing in (I hear Macs have an awesome array of graphics and video editting software already), but who knows?

So do I expect the Windows Desktop to die at MS's hands? Yes. Am I sad and aggravated at MS's current path? Yes. Do I see MS realizing the folly of just forcing Metro on everything? No. Do I see a practical replacement to Windows? No. Short of a miracle like a complete change in Microsoft's management, I doubt we're going to see anything that even closely resembles a happy ending.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
 
 

From the way MS is going, I won't be moving to any newer versions of Windows. My current future plans seems to be sticking with Windows 7 until support ends then going to Ubuntu or other flavor of Linux, I need a desktop environment to enjoy my computer. I also heavily dislike this touch movement, even to the extent of still using flip-phones.

I do agree with most of King Arthur's points too.
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30 Mar 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
Rhel ...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by King Arthur View Post
1. Linux desktops, while certainly enticing, are in no position to replace Windows on most consumer and business computers because of lack of familiarity and software (for consumers) and technical assurance (for businesses). Ubuntu's LTS, which only lasts 5 years, is a far cry from MS's offering for example, XP has lasted 12 years and will be supported for 1 more year still!
RHEL has 10 year server support.
Quote:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server supports all leading hardware architectures with compatibility across releases and a 10-year update and support lifecycle.
...
Available in either desktop or workstation configurations.
Red Hat | Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I was talking in regards to desktop usage of Linux, IE workstations used by employees at a company to crunch spreadsheets and write up paperwork or your at-home PC that your mother might use to calculate taxes or manage her blog.

Server usage of Linux has always been a major player alongside Windows servers and Red Hat is a shining example of it. Sadly though, bringing up the success of server Linux in a topic about desktop Linux is akin to comparing apples to oranges; they're both Linux, but their intended markets and uses are completely different.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

As I see it MS is killing itself. How many pros are going to do CAD or even type 100s of documents a day on some silly, small tappity-tap thing-a-ma-jig? Heck I read posts here that some OP is on their tablet/phone/netbook and can't upload a snip.
Yeah I think a lot of us computer users will be investigating Linux, hmm, maybe Apple iCrap. I can imagine the Apple gang watching the MS Windows debacle with keen awareness.

I know of some (very small) business owners still using Win 9x. I worked for an apartment company 11 years ago still using Windows 3.1,XP had been out 2 years I think.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2013   #7

Win7 Pro SP1 64
 
 

The Desktop is going nowhere. MS would not survive without it. The gaming industry will keep it alive and well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2013   #8

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I do think back in the Research and Development dark room of Linux they will be working on a desktop operating system to fill the vacuum that Microsoft is trying to create.
With a 100 million plus of needy customers on PC's it's to big of a market for every company that makes operating system just to abandon.

By the time hackers and infections get done with major cloud computing the security risk will be so high that business, industry and governments will find another way of doing things.
Some method that they will have more control of their own security.
The bottom line on a P&L statement using cloud will only look good for a short time. Then I do believer the big operators of industry and business will take a step back to their own hardware, programs, and security. The cost of a proper I.T. department will look small compared to the losses of stability and security when depending on a major cloud usage.

Just think of a company like 3M who would spend millions and million of dollars and years to develop a new product just to have the information hacked out of a cloud and sold to the highest bidder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

There is also a multi-billion dollar enthusiast market for desktop PC parts and pieces. There will be some outcry from them too like there has been on the heels of Intel's announcement they weren't going to make socketed CPUs anymore. They have back pedaled on that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2013   #10

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Very good point Britton. Sooner or later the market place wins.
Considering we are referring to a billion dollar market place.
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