I’m in Toronto this week for the World Partner Conference. It’s great to be here with the AvePoint crew and meeting with passionate fellow ISV partners, SI’s and Microsoft blue badgers.
Windows 8 – touch heavy
The keynote this morning was very heavily themed around Windows 8. I’ve been using it since September on a Samsung 7 Slate, which I replaced with a Lenovo X220t (due to missing a keyboard so much). The big concern for me is that there is a heavy focus on touch and there are not many people out there with existing hardware with touch. It’s going to mean a big push to refresh hardware. Using Windows 8 with a mouse only isn’t intuitive and you’ll find yourself using keyboard shortcuts like Windows+C for the charm bar on the right hand side rather than wiggling down the edge of the screen with the cursor.
The omission of the start bar is a big miss and the desktop (retro) mode and metro mode don’t integrate well. Swiping from left edge in to rotate through metro apps, doesn’t treat retro apps individually…so ALT+TAB is doubling up on this function.
The acquisition of Pixel introduces even more influence on multi-touch on enormous 80” screens. At $80,000 a pop, they’re not going to be in everyone's office, but it was great to see where things are going here.
There was certainly some re-asserting of the hardware partners that got a little shock a few weeks ago with the announcement that Microsoft would enter the hardware space with their new Surface devices. It will be very interesting to see how Microsoft fair in this space of hardware and software together, much like Apple do. Apple really struggled when they had hardware vendors building Macs, times have changed since then…but Microsoft have to be careful with it for sure.
Office 365 pre-paid
Introduce Office 365 Open will be great for SI’s who want to sell subscriptions of Office 365. Microsoft have huge bets on expanding how they can onboard customers by allowing partners to bill customers directly.
Obviously so noticeable omissions were anything about Office 15 and Windows Phone 7/8 platform. There was no re-mention of the Surface today either, I guess because of hardware partners play.