Windows 8: Quietly in the background, but building up plenty of steam
This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Back during the holidays, I was in the process of looking for a replacement to my seriously underpowered HP laptop, so of course, I thought about all the possible solutions that would fit my specific requirements. At first glance, I fancied about ditching the laptop entirely as my daily driver, and instead, I was adamant about switching over to a tablet instead – mainly for the reason that they’re a lot more forgiving with travel. Considering that there’s a fair amount of walking needed to attend various press events in the city, it doesn’t particularly help when I’m lugging around a heavy backpack filled with my gear and laptop. Therefore, I was seriously contemplating about going with a tablet, since they’re significantly lighter and less taxing when it comes to travel – plus, they don’t occupy much space either. Win-win situation, right?
Good try, but it's still not there
Sure, convertible devices like the Asus VivoTab RT sure made a compelling thought, seeing that the physical keyboard and extra battery life undoubtedly makes it a road warrior that’s ready to take all challenges head on. As we've come to realize, the industry seems as though it's poised on maintaining the perfect tablet price point at roughly the $500 mark – no higher than that, obviously. Like seriously, it’s a death sentence for any tablet to decide on being priced above that tally, yet, there were still few that tread the space. At this point, I was beginning to lose hope in trying to find a solution that would help me to detach myself from my aging Window 7 running HP laptop. Finally then, word about the Microsoft Surface Pro’s release in early February really got me drooling, thinking how it might be the one thing I’ve been searching for!
Finally, the true potential is seen with Windows 8
Shopping around, I finally came to the determination of going with the Windows 8 powered Asus Zenbook Prime Touch. Why you ask? On the hardware side, it’s very capable of handling most processor intensive software, while at the same time, it's sleek and lightweight enough to barely be noticed during long travels. Heck, its design is one of a kind in the ultrabook world – while the addition of a touchscreen and back-lit keyboard soundly justifies its worth. Besides the hardware, it’s the full blown experience of Windows 8 that caters to all of my needs. Sure, I can play and mess around with the handful of apps that are available with Android and iOS, but despite their best efforts, they lacked the comprehensive set of “software” to make them candidates for being effective laptop replacements. At the moment, Windows 8 is still getting its feet wet with touch specific “apps,” which are functional on the surface, but still pale in comparison to the quality found on Android and iOS.
Bigger plans in the future
Although we’re still at the early stages with Windows 8’s roll out, we can expect to see in the near future several new tablets and convertibles that will rival price points that are deemed to be more affordable. Countless times already, manufacturers like HP, Acer, and Dell showed us that they’re capable of producing devices that are significantly cheaper – so there’s hope we can see Windows 8 stuff that are priced more modestly. Fierce competition is no doubt coming from all corners, but when you consider that Windows 8 shares many elements with Windows Phone 8, you kind of get the feeling that Microsoft’s long term goal is to get both consumers and business-end users to play nicely with its platforms.
No one likes having to learn two separate platforms, so when there’s an easy transition between Microsoft’s mobile and desktop operating systems, people might see the value in sticking with the Redmond based company – ultimately helping them to grow their share in both the tablet and smartphone arenas. As always, it’s going to be interesting how things shape up in the coming year, as Windows 8 continues to grow and build steam. Until Android and iOS prove they can unquestionably deliver software that grazes the same level of functionality with traditional desktop platforms, I’m going to have to stick with Windows 8 in the near term for my workhorse machine. Heck, maybe we’ll see some significant changes to Android and iOS in the coming months to make them parallel the software totality we see in Windows 8 now?