Following the launch of Windows 8 and the Surface RT, Microsoft’s head of Windows, Steven Sinofsky, abruptly left the company. Some assumed Sinofsky would become the next CEO so it left many to wonder about the fate of Windows 8 and the approach they will take to software in the future.
Julie Larson-Green has been tapped to replace Sinosky and she’s started her reign by talking to the media about what makes Windows 8 special. While many view Windows 8 and the Surface RT as responses to the iPad’s popularity, Larson-Green claims that Microsoft totally didn’t even think about the iPad and iOS when designing Windows 8.
In a recent interview with the MIT Technology Review, Larson-Green was asked what kind of approach the Microsoft team took in the development of Windows 8 -
“Did you take that approach in Windows 8 as a response to the popularity of mobile devices running iOS and Android?
We started planning Windows 8 in June of 2009, before we shipped Windows 7, and the iPad was only a rumor at that point. I only saw the iPad after we had this design ready to go. We were excited. A lot of things they were doing about mobile and touch were similar to what we’d been thinking. We [also] had differences. We wanted not just static icons on the desktop but Live Tiles to be a dashboard for your life; we wanted you to be able to do things in context and share across apps; we believed that multitasking is important and that people can do two things at one time.”
When you compare iOS to Windows 8, Larson-Green’s claim seems pretty true. The two operating systems share common ground with touch and the fact that they work on tablets, but other than that, they’re very different. The fact that Microsoft tried to do something different – rather than just rip off iOS like Android has done – is commendable.
- Source MIT Technology Review