This week we take a look at the pros of Microsoft’s Surface tablet. Next week, we compare the pros with the cons.
Inspired CNET comparison of whether Windows 8 can replace the iPad, we thought of taking a different slant where we look at the pros and cons of both and recognize they’re both going to be popular (the iPad isn’t going away, let’s just make that clear).
Pro: Great Design And Consistent Metro UI
There are great features in Windows 8, and so we thought we’d do a mini-features on what’s good
As people talk about the negative sides of Metro, I talk about the positive sides. Metro is, fundamentally, good design: it’s about as simple as tiles can be for a tablet (like iOS) and it’s consistent with Microsoft’s other operating systems (like iOS). Therefore, there’s plenty to like if you’re in the market for an iPad or Windows 8-enabled device, such as Surface.
As mentioned, Microsoft is bringing a consistent design across all of its operating systems. We saw Metro introduced with Zune, but it has been refined across Windows Phone and Xbox Live. Particularly on the former, there’s the next-generation version coming later this year – November, judging from the latest rumors – with new features such as multiple tile sizes that can be resized. The functionality will probably come to Windows 8, if it’s not in by the October 27 launch, and the consistent interface mean’s we’re probably going to see feature parity on the Metro side.
Pro: Could The Desktop Mode Work?
Microsoft is also allowing developers to build apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 simultaneously, meaning the operating systems’ app markets will grow as the popularity of each OS grows. Apple has a similar approach with iOS: the iPhone and iPad running identical operating systems, so one update releases close to the other devices. And it shouldn’t mean the operating system becomes fragmented, because changes made to an OS should follow over to the other OS.
There’s also an element of versatility: there’s the desktop mode available alongside Metro, meaning the environment will flourish when a keyboard and mouse is connected (unless you fancy using your fingers). It’s a compelling feature for enterprise users, or people who don’t like Metro, but there’s a definite risk people will get burnt by using desktop mode with a touch screen. It’s just too precise for fingers, as oxymoronic as it sounds.