Progress

With the transition from DOS to Windows, Microsoft put what used to be «the computer» inside an application.

Now, Microsoft is doing it again. In Windows 8, what used to be «the computer», the Windows Explorer, is now hidden away inside what essentially looks like just another application.

Which is why I think that this Verge video of a hands-on with a Windows RT tablet is a bit peculiar. It spends a lot of time in the Explorer; that’s a bit like demonstrating Windows 95 by opening the DOS shell.

Addendum

Marco Arment notes:

The Office apps require the “DOS” environment, which will be a very big problem for Metro adoption.

Image Credits

Picture of DOS PC by Steve Petrucelli.

Picture of Windows PC by Karl Frankowski.

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If you liked this, you'll love my book. It's called Designed for Use: Create Usable Interfaces for Applications and the Web. In it, I cover the whole design process, from user research and sketching to usability tests and A/B testing. But I don't just explain techniques, I also talk about concepts like discoverability, when and how to use animations, what we can learn from video games, and much more.

You can find out more about it (and order it directly, printed or as a DRM-free ebook) on the Pragmatic Programmers website. It's been translated to Chinese and Japanese.