04 October 2011
What Windows 8 means to ComputerTalk. Part 9 of 9. Microsoft Build 2011 - Windows 8
After several posts discussing what Windows 8 is in a more general sense, this one is going to try to focus on what it means to ComputerTalk specifically. This means that if you’re not a customer, potential customer, or admirer of ComputerTalk and our products, this might only be interesting from the point of view of a case study: here’s how one person is looking at applying what he learned at build to a product suite.
For the current products that ComputerTalk offers, anything we support on Windows 7 will be supported on Windows 8 in at least its current form, just like we did when Windows 7 released. We’re already working with Microsoft to make sure that both our web and windows clients are compatible with their changes, and so far we’ve already helped them identify some bugs in the current Windows 8 build. The goal is to be Windows 8 compatible at RTM, at least when running our software in desktop mode.
As for the world of Metro apps, this is something that we’ve already begun investigating, and we’ll likely be trying some proofs of concept to get a sense of what we can do soon, both with versions of or variations on our existing software, and with new packaged apps that may be attractive to a larger audience. Our core business is Unified Communications, which at its core is about connecting the right people together using the right technology. We have a large toolbox here, which includes things like ice, Lync, web applications, Windows applications, Silverlight applications, SharePoint, etc., so Metro style windows apps are simply another tool in the toolbox for how we’ll approach design problems in the future. If something would be well served by having an immersive, full screen interface, extra touch optimization, and compatibility with the widest array of Windows 8 devices for example, then perhaps a metro style application will be the best fit. Our goal is always to thoroughly understand a problem, and then to pick the appropriate tools to solve it.
I will say that we’ve been thinking about things like touch for a while though. Check out how iceBAR can scale the buttons to be larger and easier to poke quickly with your finger:
I know that a lot of this is vague, but it’s also extremely early in the planning stages for our Windows 8 strategy. We’ve had a week of hands on time with the OS at this point, so we’re just starting to get a handle on what it means and what it can do. If there’s interest, perhaps we can share some early proofs of concept on the blog to gauge interest in what we’re planning, and to get some feedback on the directions we’re looking at.