The key is not a single OS. The key is to have cross-platform functionality so that I can work between my devices without frustration. The key is the stuff under the hood, not necessarily the UI design. They key is control in the enterprise by allowing Windows 8 tablets to connect to the domain and be controlled and secured through group policies, which Windows on ARM tablets can't do. The key is for Windows Phones to have full compatibility with all the policy settings -- including encryption -- available through Exchange ActiveSync policies, which Windows Phone can't do. It's this fully secure, fully functional, fully compatible, and cohesive solution that should make our enterprise Windows working environment awesome.
That's what we are looking for -- not a ubiquitous Metro UI and an OS afflicted with multiple personality disorder.
Among Windows loyalists, I'm not the only person to have said this. ZDnet tech writer Mary Jo Foley has vented about her frustrations with the new OS. She makes a good point about how it feels like Windows Phone on top of Windows and cautions that "Microsoft is running the risk of pleasing no one at all" with this approach. Her comment nicely captures my core complaint: You cannot make a one-stop UI for all devices.
Not everyone agrees with our cynicism. Well-known columnist Paul Thurrott put out a "call for common sense," where he ranted in the opposite direction and told readers to accept Windows 8 as is. He's tired of all the moaning on Twitter about the eliminated Start button, the Metro UI, and navigation frustrations. He puts out solid pro-Windows 8 reasoning -- but methinks he protests too much.
Once this thing ships, we'll all get onboard and help our readers work with it and wring the most out of it. Until then, this release is called a Consumer Preview. That shouldn't mean "look at what we are doing and agree 100 percent or die." No, it should mean "here is what we are putting together, but before this goes live we'd be happy to hear both positive and negative feedback so that we can give you the OS you want and need." In the end, of course, it'll be up to Microsoft to accept or ignore our views. But Microsoft won't be able to say to me, "Hey, JP, we thought you were a friend to Microsoft. Why did you never tell us you thought we were making a mistake?"
If you want your voice to be heard, put your thoughts in the comments below. Remember, though, this isn't a forum for haters; keep your comments professional and clear in terms of what you need and want from Windows. I'd be more than happy to give Microsoft a chance to reply to our collective opinion if it wants. Of course, I believe Microsoft's best response would be a Windows 8 we can all be proud of and support.
This article, "If you love Windows, be honest about Windows 8," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.