2012-06-29

Looking forward to Windows 8

I am not ashamed to say that I like Windows as an operating system since Windows 2000, though I prefer not to use other software programs by Microsoft. Being a linguist working on multiple languages in multiple scripts, I consider multilingual support as the most important feature of any operating system. Windows meets this demand of mine better than any other competing operating system in overall terms, again since Windows 2000. The subsequent versions of Windows, i.e., Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, did not add many new essential features to my computing experience as Windows 2000 did with its multilingual support, nor do I believe that next versions of Windows will be able to do so.

Nevertheless, I have a good reason to look forward to Windows 8, the next version of Windows that is slated to be released in the fourth quarter of 2012. It is the fact that this new version is optimized for both conventional and tablet computers. This approach of Microsoft makes more sense and appeals to me more than the approach of Apple, which uses the same operating system for tablet computers and smartphones but not for tablet computers and conventional computers.

It is almost one year since I started using a tablet computer running on Android. Although I still like the idea of tablet computers as hardware, I become more and more dissatisfied with Android as an operating system; it is far inferior to Windows in terms of multilingual support. But what frustrates me most is the fact that I have to use two different operating systems on two different physical devices.

There is a chance that with the advent of Windows 8 this frustration of mine will be dissolved. In terms of the operating system, this is for sure. When it comes to hardware, some manufacturers, including Microsoft itself, have already released (what I consider prototypes of) convertible computers that can serve both as tablet computers and as laptop computers. I really hope that by the time Windows 8 is released, more mature convertible computers will be available. I will definitely purchase one of them instead of continuing to use two different operating systems on two different physical devices. This way I will be able to use the same favorite software programs I use on Windows for tablet computing, too.

Unfortunately, many of the Android applications I have tried are a kind of watered down version of Windows applications, with a few exceptions, including Mantano Reader for reading both EPUB and PDF documents. If I stop using my Android tablet computer, I will surely miss this amazing EPUB and PDF reader. For all the other Android applications I use I have far better alternatives for Windows. But I have not found anything comparable to Mantano Reader for Windows. I wish it were exported to Windows.