A friend of mine (my aunt actually) wants a new PC, and I’m helping her a bit in deciding which one she should buy. Looking for a device that caters all her needs made me realize why I’m going to love Windows 8 when it releases next year. Her wanted “specs” are mostly what I,nd surely many other people, would want too.
My friend’s a bookworm and she’s charmed by e-readers and digital books instead of carrying around a suitcase full of books on holidays. Furthermore she likes to have a device that does the basic jobs of watching videos, playing music, browsing the web, reading her email and playing casual games. It has to be small and compact so she can easily carry the device around. Based on this I recommended her an iPad. Some might know me as a so-called “Microsoft fanboy”, but I’m really fond of the iOS operating system that runs on iPhones, iPods & iPads. The native apps provided by Apple are easy-to-use and have a great amount of detail put into them. The system is fast and has some great animations, notifications and multitasking built-in to feel very alive and modern. The Book reading app is also fantastic.
But… those aren’t all of the things she wants.
She also wants a DVD player so she can watch movies, and the device also needs several USB ports so she can transfer data and sync her iPod Shuffle. Those things can’t be done with an iPad and require a PC. Since it’s possible to read e-books on a PC, my friend’s thinking about buying a small PC to do all the things she expects from a PC, including reading her e-books. I’m not really in favor of her buying a Windows 7 PC as I’m sure touch PCs running Windows 8 will be “the coolest thing” next year.
Like many people I really believe Windows 8 will give a boost to the tablet market and once people have experienced touch I’m sure they’ll have a hard time going back to keyboard/mouse for their daily tasks. I believe the majority of the productivity-centered PCs in 2012 will still ship with keyboard/mouse as they’re necessary for advanced applications, but they will also include a touchscreen. Touch works just so great in Windows 8’s Metro applications. I’m certain the next version of Mac for desktops will also play heavy with touch capabilities (and probably iPad app-compatibility.)
When humanity is at the verge of such a significant change in how we use a PC, suggesting someone a mouse/keyboard-centric operating system is a hard thing to do. Both Android and iPads are selling like crazy but admit it, you still need a PC to get the complete job done. My aunt could really benefit from a Windows 8 tablet. On one side the tablet UI offers the same (or even better) compelling experience like the iPad does, on the other hand do those tablets run a complete version of Windows, meaning you could connect other peripherals, sync iPods and watch DVD movies. All of my aunt’s problems would be solved, and she would have a great OS with touch too.
I’m sure many Windows 8 tablets will offer the same functionality like what iPad and Android has today, I would be more than glad to pay a bit more money and have a full-fledged tablet with the same specs like a decent laptop nowadays: 4GB of RAM, 500GB HDD, Blu-ray player, several usb ports, 13″ screen and a decent CPU. A tablet that’s lightweight and portable enough to use like a tablet in my free time, and powerful enough to plug-in a mouse, keyboard and big screen to use in a productivity scenario (e.g: Visual Studio, 3DS Max, Photoshop, After Effects,…). Windows 8 can easily get the job done, now it’s up to tablet makers to show what they’re worth.
As for my aunt, she’ll probably buy a small Windows 7 notebook, and perhaps an additional e-reader. Let’s hope some kind of Windows 8 upgrade program has started when my aunt decides to make the purchase.