Where to for the Operating System

There has been a lot of trash talk concerning the Windows 8 operating system. I’ve got a laptop that runs it. I’d like to say that the talk is all the usual smoke, but I can’t.

I want to use the operating system like I would Windows 7, but it makes me take a lot of extra steps to do that. Thankfully, Toshiba added a bit of software that allows me to use the familiar Start Button features from the desktop, or I would have to go into the painful touch designed in a non-touch interface world in order to get stuff done.

There is an obvious solution, though nobody has seen it yet. In the same way that I can write the code for a website to react to different real screen sizes, using Cascading Style Sheets and Media Queries, Windows 8 ought to be able to tell what its interface environment is and put up a display that acts accordingly. There is no reason for a portable CPU, which is what smartphones are becoming, to remain tied to the screen the device comes with as the means of user interface. The future may well hold public screens of various sizes, on trains, bus station placards, sidewalk scale advertising boards or kiosks, store windows, even car windshields or dashboards. Tomorrow we might get used to carrying around a device we only use to run our fingers over, or perhaps not even for that, depending upon how touch friendly the host screen is. Our CPU’s may stay in our pockets. The grand thing may be whatever interface enabled surface we happen to be around. An operating system that has built in surface recognition, especially now, would stand a very good chance of either maintaining market lead or taking market lead going forward into this type of environment.

An operating system like that, with built in interface recognition, would know that it is in a non-touch laptop and act more like Windows 7, without me having to be glad of Toshiba’s help. It would know if I hooked the laptop up to a TV or large screen, and query those for what interface features they have. It would know if I connected a bluetooth touch interface pad, and go all Windows 8 on me. Best or all, it would know if I was using the tiny little screen my phone came with or something else, and act accordingly. Who knows, maybe this type of operating system might function really well in a more collaborative world, where we join together in commonly using public interfaces one day in the not too distant future?


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