No Compromises

As it closer to Windows 8’s launch someone has reminded me about one of the earlier pitches Microsoft put fourth around Windows 8 and RT; No Compromise.

Now the term was derided when it was first uttered because how can you create something like Windows 8, essentially a Hybrid, without compromise? And as we get closer to the actual first reviews you can’t help but think that this combination of words will be used to hang this OS in the negative reviews.

Windows 8 is part of this transitional period for Microsoft and its ecosystem; it will be a difficult and confusing one; which may be why we haven’t heard the No Compromise term lately and also why Metro is no longer being used as a term for new applications. Now back to No Compromise, the thing people misunderstood (sometimes purposefully) was its intent. The term was never about choices in building the Operating System but in how users used it. Microsoft’s argument is that Windows 8 is No Compromise for users. You can buy a Windows device and have a choice; You want a pure tablet experience (RT) or do you want something that allows you to use Desktop applications (8). It’s about users being able to access more of the machine. About having a tablet when you want it or a PC.

But most of all No Compromise is marketing speech; Its a throw away line meant to sum up Windows 8’s capabilities. Its not a term to linger on, but many will. It’ll be that thing that reviewers will hang their hat on to show how Microsoft doesn’t get tablets. But the thing is Windows 8, if you really look at it, has a set of scenarios it was built for. It is about mobile computing and mobility. It’s a hybrid that imagines at least a 60/40 split between the Desktop and Touch applications. On the RT devices Office 2013 and the Desktop are features; extras to attract buyers; so too is the Desktop in Windows 8.

I am predicting that if reviewers go in looking for No Compromise, they will find compromises; but if they are looking at Windows 8/RT as what they truly are then they will get the intent.


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