Windows 8 – Nowhere left to go but the cloud

So as we start to go down the path on the way to Windows 8, I get asked all the time about features that I think will play a major part in the architecture of the new OS.

I can’t think of any feature that could play a large part in an operating system more than Cloud Computing.

The ability to access files and configurations from any browser in the world are already starting to manifest in other parts of the computing world.

Google have their Chrome browser set up to allow you to save bookmarks across browsers (via the cloud).

On cell phones, you are beginning to see services like Mobileme and Dropbox that allow you to access files wherever you are.

We have Netflix that allows you to stream movies to your Ipad or browser wherever you are.

There’s talk of Google starting a music service that will compete with Itunes and that will let you access music that you already own via the cloud.

It seems that the consensus these days is, the consumer wants access to their files and data from any place, in any format and at anytime.

Having said that, we need to take a look at Operating Systems – at Windows in particular.

The one thing that is missing from the Windows experience is portability.

When you log into your PC in China, log out and get onto another PC in Japan, your experience is different. You have to set up your desktop, preferences, bookmarks and data from scratch.

That should be unacceptable in Windows 8. I believe that the main thrust of this OS should be allowing users to have a consistent online profile wherever they are.

This involves a few things:

  • Making sure that authentication and authorization are revised to make logging in more of a Bank of America type of experience – way more secure than it is today.
  • Setting up an entirely new back end cloud infrastructure to handle the load
  • Making sure that a reasonable model is worked out so consumers pay a reasonable amount (monthly or one time fee) and not anything excessive.
  • Taking a fresh look at the entire OS from a Cloud perspective and stripping functionality out that will make no sense in this new paradigm.
  • Giving consumers a choice between a cloud based OS and a traditional OS until Windows 9 or Windows 10.
  • Integrating the mobile and desktop experience smoothly.
  • Last but not least, hiring Apple employees to help with the execution of the UI piece of this (I kid……kind of)

I think this is something that Google are looking at already and Apple should as well.

Whoever can crack this model will change the entire face of computing as it will consolidate the trend in IT – a move to towards identity based computing.

What do you guys think?

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