Best feature in Windows 8: Potential to take 'PC,' ditch the OS

Ditch the part that talks to hardware and users get virtualized 'computer' that goes where they do

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What's the most interesting possibility with Windows 8? Being able to take everything else with you when you go.

What actually matters about Windows 8: You might be able to take it with you

The most interesting thing about Windows 8 is not one of one of the selling points Microsoft spokes-androids have been repeating all week. It's not one of the admittedly hot features most of the media are buzzing about, even – fast boot-up, support for touchscreens, tablets, styli, downloadable apps from an apps store, support for HTML5, faster and easier file copy and management, or even the vitally important support for USB 3.0 that should slash operational costs and increase productivity by slashing the time employees sit waiting for the MP3s, audio books and movies they downloaded at work trudge slowly onto their handheld media players.

It's not even the switcheroo Microsoft is trying to appear not to have pulled by moving HTML5 and JavaScript its favorite tools for Windows apps rather than the herd of other ultimate dev tools it built and touted in the past. (Read Mary Jo Foley for implications of the building controversy because she continues breaking the story and knowing what it means; then come back here because I'm far more entertainingly bitter.)

The most interesting thing isn't even how big a risk and how ambitious a project Windows 8 really is, whether Microsoft really intended that or not. That's the second-most interesting thing.

The most interesting – though admittedly distant and dim – possibility is that the combination of virtualization, personalization, standardization and mobilization may turn Windows into the personal computing environment Microsoft has always insisted it was – even though the rest of us always wondered what qualified an OS as steward of our increasingly complex digital lives when it would sometimes forget whether it had been installed yet, or how to talk to its own hard drive.

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