I’m well into the next generation of user testing of Microsoft’s operating system and things are really looking up. Windows 10 is becoming an amalgam of the many things I love about Windows 7, and the things most people don’t know about Windows 8 are very good.
The product is like a breath of fresh air, or for those who are really annoyed by Windows 8, the feeling you get when you stop hitting your head against the wall.
Ironically, people who hate Windows 8 will like Windows 10 the most. But Windows 10 raises the question of what is the ideal hardware for a smartphone, tablet, PC, and product that spreads Hololens? You could argue that it is a Hololens, but this product is still in its infancy and will not mature for at least 3 to 5 years, and by then we will be on a future iteration of Windows, which is better for it.
Let’s talk about what the right Windows 10 hardware can be – and I’ll close with my product of the week: a unique service that can help a loved one living away from home feel more loved, Called Geek Fuel.
Picking the right product
Looking back across all versions of Windows, the quintessential Windows 95 PC was a tower form factor desktop PC with a 15-inch monitor. This lasted until Windows 2000, when we looked to revert to an off-white desktop form factor (at the time, the focus was on recalling the Y2K disaster that didn’t happen).
Windows XP actually adopted the concept of Windows tablets, which did not succeed. Windows Vista did not have a hardware focus, which was part of its problem (it was effectively new hardware you didn’t buy), Windows 7 Ultra Book (similar to the MacBook Air), and Windows 8 Dance hybrid and convertible products. Badly between.
But Windows 10 is a very different animal. Yes, it fixes the poor design of Windows 8 and should be much better for those buying hybrid or convertible products, but it is also a scale ranging from smartphones to hololens, which makes this product more of a single form factor. Gives more width.
I could have figured out the easy way out, like Time magazine did a few years ago when they made Everyone of the Year, suggesting that Windows 10 is the ideal platform for everything – but I felt that Time By Move was a cop-out. Was and I feel the same about this decision.
Now, the ideal product for a platform with scaling that goes from handheld devices to full-on tower gaming machines would be the old modular PC concept that IBM came up with in the late 90s. The concept has been bouncing around for the past decade – and I was now also involved as a board member of a disbanded company trying to market the concept.
The concept was: You start with a small common module that will include the operating system and your unique personality and applications, and then plug this module into a separate carrier, which will add it to what you want to do.
Plug it into a cellphone and you will have a smartphone, plug it into a tablet and your luggage will be in a laptop, desktop or a table for unique custom configurations.
Very good, huh? The only problem is that currently only the model that Google is working with is their Project Ara and I’m pretty sure they won’t be running Windows 10.
Now you can fall back and say, wait a minute, anytime with more capable cloud services like Microsoft’s Azure, Office 365 and OneDrive, you won’t need a modular PC, you’ll be able to stay away from the cloud Client platforms will be required. Then you will simply log in to the services you need and your personality will almost magically appear on your smartphone, tablet or PC.
The processor, flash memory, and display are priced at a small fraction of what they used to be – one of my favorite hybrid PCs from last year for under US $ 200 – so you could possibly add a Nokia smartphone and just now Can also be at a fraction of what a modular solution would cost.
The only problem is that the only volume thin customer currently attempting in the market is Google’s Chromebook – and while I think it would be ridiculous to be recognized as the ideal Windows 10 platform – I doubt Microsoft or Google will be surprised. Furthermore, they do not allow the platform to drift into smartphones, so the solution would be incomplete anyway.
Intel compute stick
At CES, Intel launched a little-known product called Compute Stick. It ships with Windows for just under $ 150 (I found it on Amazon last week for $ 124). Currently, it is a Windows 8.1 device, but it may be even more ideal for Windows 10, as the 10 works better with a keyboard and mouse.