Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why Windows 8 will change everything.

I finally get out of bed. My alarm went off 2 hours earlier than normal. I pick up my phone and see I have a Skype call I forgot about. While getting dressed I glance down at my tablet and see how many mails and messages I have, and that I have a flight tomorrow. I also notice it's going to rain... again. I haven't even signed in yet. I sign in and continue getting ready. See who the mail and messages are from, but I'll check them later, I haven't opened a single app. I head to my PC and sign in. Skype is telling me I have a conference call. I realize Everything for the call is still at work. So I launch Photoshop and open the files from my work computer. I note the new project delivery dates and we change some product features. After the call I head off to work. With my pad I check the project status. The new tasks are in the project and I check on the project progress. There's a new web service we have to use so I create an account. Finally at work. I sign into my computer and open Chrome. I go to the web service and I am already logged into my account. I open Visual Studio and all my new tasks are ready for me to accept. Before I start I see some friends on facebook are having people for dinner. I accept. Near the end of day my phone alerts me that I have a dinner party to go to.

Maybe that doesn't seem so different to what can be done now. But the story is not what was done, but rather what was not done. I did not log into see if I had mail. I did not open mail after logging in to see who wrote me and what the subject line was. I did not even set my alarm clock. I did not copy files from my work computer to my home computer and then open them in Photoshop, I opened them in Photoshop from my work computer. Photoshop did not add new code to get this behavior. I did not tell Skype I had a call. I did not sign into a website twice even though I went to it on two different machines. I did not tell my phone that I had accepted a facebook event. This is amazing stuff and it's only going to get better.

We are now a user moving through a world of devices. Every device we sign into knows all our preferences, all our needed information. I think very soon we will not log in at all but use bio-metrics. Some already do. If I finish reading 30 pages of a book at home, my phone knows what page I'm on if I continue. I don't have to go through every level of a game because I have moved to another computer. I am a user moving through a world of devices. The devices conform to me.

On the coding side, most programs will just work like this. They don't even have to know about each other. When programmers want new interactions they provide small, simple apps that extend the functionality of every application I have. No coding required from the other apps. 

My favorite part is that no longer do we need to learn a new language for a new technology. All languages are treated equal. All languages can inter-operate. I can write a class in C++ that is called by C# or java script. I can call C# from C++. There are minor extensions to C++, and some proposed extensions to HTML5, but unlike the past, MS is working with the organizations to extend the standard rather than having MS versions of what is standard.

To some this will be a frightening threat to personal liberties. I am so glad I will no longer have to remember all the apps that need to know the same stupid piece of information, and all the devices I use and which apps are on them.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Firefox Sync feature - it synchronizes a lot of stuff between different computers, and this is especially useful for me because of my massive bookmark collection (probably consisting of over 1000 bookmarks). This is yet another example of what you were referring to. These kinds of techniques are great, but the one drawback is that they make people and programmers more reliant upon them being able to work properly.