Tech Strategy Trends

Mar 28 2012   9:38PM GMT

Is Windows 8 Ready for RC?

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

There are rumors that the Windows 8 RC is coming soon. Actually, since the Consumer Preview has already been available for sometime, it doesn’t really take a Nostradamus to predict that the release candidate will soon follow.

The problem, though, is that the RC implies that it’s ready. Microsoft doesn’t normally make grand changes in the product after the RC. The RC is basically the final release, taken out for one last test spin to identify any show-stopper bugs that may yet be undiscovered. But, in terms of look and feel, the RC should be what we get when Windows 8 officially launches.

That could be a bad move for Microsoft. I understand the value of Windows 8 and the Metro interface for tablets–whether Windows on ARM (WOA) or traditional Intel/AMD architecture. I even think that Windows 8 will do well in the emerging ultrabook market as long as hardware vendors put it on ultrabooks that have hardware features that take advantage of the unique capabilities of Windows 8–like including touchscreen displays or something.

But, as a desktop OS–or laptop OS on existing Windows 7 notebooks–it’s got some issues. So far, the Metro interface seems to get in the way more than enhance the experience or add any value on my Dell XPS M1330 notebook. Most of what I do that is actually functional involves dropping into desktop mode which is essentially no different than Windows 7–so what is the value proposition? Why would Microsoft expect me, or anyone else, to switch from Windows 7 to Windows 8?

Onuora Amobi, editor of feels the same sense of Windows 8 pessimism. In a recent blog post, Amobi stresses just how crucially important it is for Microsoft that the Windows 8 launch be successful. But, he sums up his experience using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview with, “It has turned out to be a great source of screenshots and research but I don’t see it replacing my Windows 7 Ultimate PC anytime soon.”

Are you using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview? What do you think? Would you upgrade to it if that were the final version of Windows 8? What would Microsoft need to change or improve to compel you to move from Windows 7 to Windows 8?

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