Microsoft’s recent announcement that Windows 8 is to be compatible with system-on-a-chip gear and ARMS processors has sent the rumor mill running wild with claims that smart phones and tablets will be among the first devices to get to grips with the new platform.
But, will it end there? Perhaps not, at least not according to Zac Wiggy, of the popular Windows IT Pro website.
Though he is probably living in a world of fantasy, his ideas that Windows 8 could be adapted to run on TVs, cars and even photocopiers are not without merit:
I’m drawing a blank here as to why I’d want a full Windows experience in my dashboard, especially since I like to upgrade my electronics more often than I upgrade my car. But a good, smart docking system could let a Windows 8 phone or tablet know it’s in the car and behave appropriately, once again adding options. If I just want GPS and music, great, but it could also intelligently configure cell network tethering and other advanced features depending on, say, which car I’m in, who’s with me, or where I am.
TVs and set-top boxes
The popular computers running on TVs these days are Blu-ray players and videogame consoles, possibly the only computers less customizable than current tablets and smartphones. It’s pretty easy to get your Windows 7 (or earlier) PC outputting to a TV, but it’s really not a good experience—you have to carefully configure the video and sound, and there’s not really a good, easy way to control a computer from your couch. This is another case where a desktop OS that can switch into a more limited mode would be useful, something like an improved version of Windows Media Center. This way, you’re free to change your software and your TV content can be updated, no matter what streaming video services or video formats become popular or go out of date.
While his ideas are probably fanciful at best, he does have a case for at least some, albeit limited, functionality of a toned-down version of Windows 8 being made compatible with household appliances.
However, while the benefits are undeniable, one has to question the demand of such a product, and the interest that Microsoft would have in actually making such developments.
Instead, I think it’s safe to predict that Microsoft have probably altered their decades-old “Windows Everywhere” policy for one that is much more streamlined and has a much greater demand than simply trying to install Windows into everything but the kitchen sink – e.g. they are just going to stick to their already announced goals of making Windows 8 compatible for computers and mobile devices – and leaving other fanciful notions such as Zac’s well alone.