Yesterday Microsoft finally pulled back the curtain just a little to give the world a peek at the touch interface for Windows V.Next.
The “Start” Screen is “swipable” and apparently every app on your system will appear as a tile. I like this concept a lot (and hope that there is an easy way to search for apps if there are hundred’s installed to avoid scrolling through an ungainly number of pages (thinking of my iPad…). The “snap” feature appears to allow two apps to switch focus (but only two) which is cool for a tablet interface, but I am not sure if that works for me on a desktop/laptop used for mainstream work with multiple apps open all the time. I guess we will find out in time. But for a tablet format, I vote YES.
In some ways, the interface reminds me of Windows Media Center. But speaking of WMC, while this first demo touched on Pictures and Videos, I didn’t see any TV functionality in the screens that quickly scrolled by in the presentation. There are a lot of missing pieces, and I hope Microsoft reveals info soon.
While I’m an admitted Windows Enthusiast/Junkie/Evangelist/Microsoft MVP/Fanatic, I decided that the iPad is a must have gadget. I can’t effectively do much except “light” mail replying and minimalist web browsing and social networking and anything else that requires reading on my Blackberry 8330 because the screen is tiny and the thumbs based typing is tough with fingernails and my trifocals object after a few minutes to the size and form factor. I have to mention that my Verizon cell phone new every two won’t let me replace my phone until October and AT&T has zero coverage at my condo.
I’ve been taking a 10 inch beefed up netbook around with me, but I think the iPad is better suited for casual “always connected” activities where I’m not looking/working on spreadsheets/Word docs/PowerPoint presentations et al. And the iPad is a great entertainment device. I have to say that iTunes is a whole less finicky about editing meta data and album art than Windows Media Player on Windows 7.
Zune won’t let me copy or sync my DRM’d recorded TV shows and the Digital Copies supplied with some of my Blu Ray disks aren’t particularly Windows friendly.
Given the number of other “Window’s people” giving this device the thumbs up, it’s pretty clear I’m not alone. I’ll look at the Windows “slate” supposedly coming this year, but for now, the iPad is my device of choice for running around town and casual night table usage.
I’m definitely on the lookout for an RDP application to load on my new toy. If I can manage my server and a few other things from this “thin client”, it will be the frosting on the cake.
I also can’t wait to try out some of the games on my iPad. And read some e-books and news.