Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why Windows Blue heralds the death of the desktop

PCWorld - Brace yourselves, faithful PC enthusiasts. You aren't going to like what I'm about to say. Heck, I don't really like what I'm about to say. In fact, I'm almost terrified to lay out my case in black and white. But that doesn't change the fact that it needs to be said. 

There's a very good chance that Microsoft will kill the desktop in Windows 9. No more Task Manager. No more File Explorer. No more legacy compatibility. It'll be 100 percent Live Tiles, 100 percent of the time. 

That day is still on the distant horizon, but it is coming. Indeed, if Windows Blue, the just-leaked update to Windows 8, shows us anything, it's that Microsoft is willing to de-emphasize desktop functionality in deference to the modern UI. 

A finger-friendly Windows

By now, everyone knows that Windows 8 (and its dumbed-down cousin, Windows RT) is Microsoft's answer to the massive success of smartphones and tablets. A touch-friendly interface! An app store! Bing Maps! Even an airplane mode! How mobile

The very introduction of the modern-style Start screen was a bad omen for desktop diehards, but the clouds truly darken when you consider how much of Windows core functionality is already being leeched away from the traditional desktop interface.