The Big Picture: iOS X, Android, Windows 8

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Nov 12, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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John O’Connor

Kevin Kammien

12/13/2012


Windows 8 Capstone Essay


The Big Picture: iOS X, Android, Windows 8


Microsoft is at one of its most pivotal points in its 37 year

existence.
Although its Windows operating system is still by far the most popular operating
system available at this time


it no longer enjoys marketplace dominance the
way it once it. As technology shifts away from the traditional desktop experience
to
the vastly growing mobile experience, Microsoft is waging new battles against
more powerful adversaries. Apple revolutionized mobile media consumption with
the release of the first ever smartphone in 2007. Along with it the rise of
smartphones has come the

rise of new dedicated operating systems for these
devices. Apple’s iOS systems were once the most popular, but as time has
passed and technology grown and shifted, Google’s Android system now holds
the title as the world’s most popular. Windows is relativ
ely new to the game in
both mobile software and hardware, but seeing the global shift towards mobile
has forced them to broaden their horizons with the release of the Windows 8
operating system and a new series of hardware accompanying it.


The Big 3 Soft
ware: Skeuomorphic, Linux, Hybrid


The software that runs on Windows, Apple, and Android differ in
appearance and capability.

Apple uses the skeuomorphic design, which is where
you literally see a bookshelf to choose your online magazines, for
example.

A
pple has been criticised for using this by some, given their signature
in simplicity.

Apples board is apparently split on Steve Jobs’ skeuomorphic
designs, and recently fired Scott Forstall, it’s chief of mobile software.

We will
have to wait and see whi
ch direction they choose.



“Forstall’s sin, according to design snobs, is that he likes to make software
that mimics real
-
world objects. The iPad’s Notes app, for instance, looks
like a yellow
-
lined legal pad set into a stitched, leather
-
bound datebook.
The Calendar app is meant to look like a paper datebook, and when you
advance to the next day, you see a hokey page
-
turn animation. One of the
worst offenders is Apple’s Podcasts app. When you press play, the app
displays a comical animation of a reel
-
to
-
r
eel tape deck:”

-
Farhad Manjoo,
www.Slate.com


Linux is the software used by Android.

It is simple, with nothing added for
show.

It is designed for efficiency as opposed to Apples comfort.

Linux appeals
to a number

of groups, from skilled developers who want complete freedom, to
people who want access to free apps.


Windows has always been business oriented, but all that changed with
Windows 8.

To keep large businesses they have included the option to run
Windows
8 like Windows 7.

They have created hybrid software program which
they hope will take away users from the Apple and Android markets.



Platforms: PC, Tablet, Phone

Mobile has changed the name of the game. While Microsoft used to rely
on its ever
-
popular Desktop operating systems to keep its name at the top of the
tech industry, those days have come and gone with the rise of new mobile
technologies. Seeing the shift t
owards smartphone and tablet use (particularly as
a “kickback” experience) Microsoft has vastly changed the look and feel of both
its desktop operating system and mobile operating system to better gauge the
interactive experience. To fit the tablet and sma
rtphone schema, Windows 8
employs clickable widgets that function as individual applications. Microsoft’s
shift away from its more traditional products reveal its urgency to make big plays
and emerge as a leader in the growing mobile marketplace.


Overvie
w of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Launch


Microsoft Windows 8 operating system officially launched on October 26th,
2012 (although we had it about a month and half earlier than that). Much was
speculated about the product and its niche in the marketplace. Right a
way tech
review giants across the globe were putting the pressure on Microsoft to dole out
a high quality product that seamlessly integrates the sleekness of touch
-
functions
while maintaining the functionality of previous Windows operating systems. One
exp
ert for PCWorld says …

“ … the Windows Phone platform has still been struggling to earn a seat at the
table with other mobile platforms like iOS and Android.”


“The operating systems, platforms, software and devices Microsoft is unleashing
this year repr
esent a bold departure from traditional Microsoft products and
strategies.”



PCWorld


Along with Windows 8 release came a slew of new products that would be
utilizing Microsoft’s new flagship software. Some of these products include
Windows Server 2012,

Internet Explorer 10, the new Microsoft Apollo
smartphone, and the expectant rival to the Apple iPad


Microsoft’s Surface
tablet.


Windows 8 Launch Reception: Reviews and Criticisms from Tech Review
Giants



Through analyzing various reviews from tech r
eview giants such as
Gizmodo, CNET, Techcrunch, etc. we found products ratings to fall in the range
near the top (4
-

4.5 out 5, or 8
-

9 out 10). Most of the these sources seem
outline similar pros and cons with the new Windows 8 operating system. Some of

the praises for the product include security improvements, improved battery
conservation for mobile hardware (operating system doesn’t burn battery as
quickly like Windows 7), and the perfect integration for touch
-
based hardware
products. Some general con
sensus cons about the product were the new User
-
Interface annoying those who don’t have touch
-
based hardware, the start menu
being removed (but as you will see later, it actually isn’t), and that it takes very
new hardware to the run it (effectively outdat
ing fairly recent and usable
hardware).


A reviewer for Gizmodo says the operating system is intuitive, but seems
more like like a rough draft more than a final essay submission.


“Using Windows 8 is pleasant, especially if you don't have to do anything
in a
particular hurry. It's a totally new way of thinking about how you want to operate
in a desktop OS

and maybe not entirely in the way you think. But it also seems
like a rough draft of a deeply interesting idea.”

Kyle Wagner


Gizmodo


Techcrunch’s Joh
n Briggs say the team at Microsoft did a good, but not
great job on the final product.

“In the immortal words of losing Little League coaches everywhere, at least they
tried and there’s always next season. Windows 8 won’t be universally hated … I
still th
ink Microsoft did a good (not excellent) job on Win8.”

John Briggs


Techcrunch



Microsoft’s general reception for the product is that it is good, but not great,
but how do these opinions hold up to Windows 8 marketplace success (or non
-
success)?


Point
s from our Previous Presentations: Expert Estimations vs. Reality



In the time leading up to the release of Windows 8, experts across the
tech industry world tried to make predictions about what Microsoft would need to
do well to compete in the ever
-
grow
ing mobile marketplace. Before the official
release of Windows 8, we highlighted some of these expectations in a previous
presentation. Since a little more than a month ago, we have been closely
monitoring the things that are happening with Windows 8 to se
e if any of the
predictions have held true.

The first prediction or tip for Microsoft to be successful with the Windows 8
operating system was this …


1. Tablets



With Windows 7, Microsoft lost its way in the tablet market. With Windows
8, however, it’s making it clear that it wants to be a strong player in that
space. In fact, the company itself has announced its own tablet, the
Surface, to take on Apple’s iPad.

Tablets could very well make or break
Windows 8.


The tablet argument was undoubtedly right. For Windows to compete with

the front runner


Apple’s iPad


Microsoft had to deliver a product that rivaled
the current 10
-
inch prototype while offering a new and intuitive experience.
According to a November article from the Business Insider, Microsoft’s sales
aren’t looking good

so far …

“Windows 8 tablet sales during that period (10/21
-

11/17) were ‘almost
nonexistent’


just 1 percent of all Windows 8 sales … Microsoft cut its order of
Surface tablets for the year to two million units, down from four million.”

[
http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily
-
ticker/microsoft
-
t
-
catch
-
break
-
tablet
-
sales
-
almost
-
nonexistent
-
183945848.html
]


While the news doesn’
t necessarily hurt the company, it does mean that
the Microsoft Surface hasn’t made the splash the company was hoping it would
in the marketplace. If this trend continues then things in the mobile marketplace
might start to look pretty scary for Microsoft.



Another major factor experts have been considering was the need for for
Windows 8 at this time …


4. Enterprise desire



The corporate world has been moving at an exceedingly rapid clip towards
technologies that, years ago, it wouldn’t even consider adop
ting. However,
Windows is still a corporate favorite. The big question now, though, is how
long will it take before enterprise adoption of Windows 8 gathers
momentum? With many companies upgrading recently to Windows 7, their
desire to add a new operating
system now might be somewhat diminished.



At the very least Microsoft offered some big
-
time incentive to upgrade to
Windows 8. Current Windows 7, Vista, and XP users could upgrade to the new
operating system for the low cost of only $39.99, and Microsoft
also distributed
the operating systems to several companies for free to promote its use. While the
tablet sales might not be meeting Microsoft’s expectations, CNET notes the sales
for other touchscreen hardware are so through the roof that supplies are sel
ling
out of touch screen monitors and laptops. That more
-
likely
-
than
-
not does not
translate to the use of Microsoft in the workplace, however. Touchscreen
hardware cost more than normal equipment and it seems unlikely that
corporations would purchase new e
quipment for the sole purpose of running the
software.


The last expectation or recommendation we analyzed at the beginning of
the semester involved the marketplace’s need for a new Windows. Microsoft’s
previous system, Windows 7, isn’t really that old an
d so the question stands “did
Microsoft develop Windows 8 purely to compete in the mobile marketplace?”

6. The market’s need for a new Windows



When it’s all said and done, Microsoft must consider whether the market

made up of both consumers and enterprise

users

really wants a new
Windows version. As noted, Windows 7 PCs are still selling well and the
vast majority of the latest options are extremely powerful. It’s not clear
right now why anyone would really need Windows 8. And until that
changes, it could
hurt its adoption.


A writer for CNET says …

“The fact is, I'm fine running Windows 7
--

which is pretty darn good
--

and don't
see any compelling reason to upgrade the machines, particularly because none
of them has a touch
-
screen display … I just don't
see myself upgrading until
Microsoft offers up a better deal.”


He makes an important point that is reflected in our market research, and
that point is with Windows 7 just barely through its developmental years many
people don’t feel the need to upgrade just yet. Also because Windows 8 is so
keen on utilizing touch
-
bas
ed hardware, it doesn’t hold much appeal for those
currently using older, non
-
touch
-
based devices.

Although sales for Microsoft’s Surface Tablet and Windows 8 operating
system have been vastly below the predictions the company set for itself, the
product
still has ample time to bounce back and catch fire in the marketplace as
more and more users continue to use the product.


Factors for Success Souce: [
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT
-
Infrastructure/Windows
-
8s
-
Chances
-
for
-
Success
-
10
-
Factors
-
to
-
Consider
-
539769/
]


Market Research Findings


According to Netmarketshare, Windows 8 penetration in the month of
November was not extremely successful.

While 44 percent of all Windows users
are still using Windows 7 operating software, only a little more than one percent
are using Windows 8 in the first month of it’s release. On November 27th, Asus
Central Officer Dave Cheng told the Wall Street Journal
that “Demand for
Windows 8 isn’t not that good right now.”


http://netmarketshare.com/operating
-
system
-
market
-
share.asp
x?qprid=10&qpcustomd=0&qpct=6&qpcal=1&qptimeframe=M&qpsp=1
67


A study by Ad Duplex showed that of those currently using Windows 8
during the November, the Surface tablet was the number one hardware that the
operating system was being run on. Neowin.net not
es that in the last week those
running Windows 8 on desktop devices has increased by 6 percent, but that the
Surface still remains at the dominant Windows 8 platform

http://www.neowin.net/news/surface
-
remains
-
most
-
popular
-
windows
-
8rt
-
device
-
according
-
to
-
addulpex


Application Development on Windows 8: Jeff Pado


Jeff Pado is currently the head (and only) application developer for Newsy
Videos. Pad
o says he received the technology to build an app on Windows 8
about a month in advance. According to Pado, building an application on
Windows 8 is not much different from building it on any of the other major
platforms, although he notes there are a few m
ore features as it is the new
operating system. Pado says the demand for the Windows 8 Newsy app hasn’t
been that high so far (following the market trend that Windows 8 has been slow
coming out of the gate), but that Newsy saw a small increase in downloads

alongside the release of the Surface tablet at the end of October.


The Lab and Our Research

We were able to get our hands on the Windows 8 operating system almost
two months before it was officially released, and during that time we did
extensive testin
g on various pieces of hardware. We tested Windows 8 on
desktops with touch
-
screens, HTC phones, and samsung tablets. We were
unable to test (officially) the Windows Surface Tablet, the medical team’s work on
Xbox and Windows Kinect, and the new Microsoft
smartphones that the lab will
be receiving sometime next year. What we discovered with Windows 8 (prior to
much knowledge about the product being reviewed on the internet) was that it
was a great departure for Microsoft from Windows 7. We definitely felt t
hat
Windows 8 had that modernized feel with the use of the tiles and widgets on
hardware with touch screen abilities.


What we found particularly interesting was the way new organizations
were using app features provided with Windows 8. Through testing th
e Sky News
application, we were actually able to watch the United Kingdom’s Sky News
channel live


a big deal because it is a channel that is often not even included
in even expanded cable/satellite packages. When testing USA Today’s
application, we found

an immersive multimedia experience that pulled us into
engaging with more in
-
depth content that perhaps we would not have in the
traditional desktop setting.

To wrap
-
up our testing and research of Windows 8 in the lab, we believe
that Windows 8 is a grea
t tool for developing a more personal connection
between the user and the software through the use of the touch
-
screen
capabilities and the widget/app design and layout. We believe that Windows 8
could be a great platform for news organizations to engage a
udiences in
captivating storytelling and multimedia content.


Initial Project Ideas


We had many ideas about what are project would look like at the end of
the semester, and as with any Capstone our project finale wasn’t exactly what we
expected it to look like in the beginning. Initially we didn’t have much direction as
to what we wanted
to do, but as we worked in the lab we began to see where our
interests were and what we wanted to do with our project. The biggest thing we
wanted to do was test Microsoft’s new Surface tablet, which unfortunately were
not able to do in
-
depth. Luckily, how
ever, we were able to test the Windows 8
operating system in
-
depth long before the official release.


Another area we had a lot of interest in was events and research being
conducted by outside (non
-
journalism) groups in the lab. We were particularly
inte
rested in the Hearst Innovation Application Development Contest and a group
of researchers would were using Xbox and Windows Kinect for athletic
-
injury
rehabilitation. Unfortunately, neither one of those projects started this semester
as originally planned
, and so we were unable to follow through with our intentions
to report on those subjects.


Problems Encountered

With us being the “guinea pig” group for this new Capstone project, there was
obviously going to be some problems and roadblocks we were going

to face. The
first major problem we encountered dealt with the timing of products being
released and then not actually getting those products. Our first assumption was
that we were going to get Microsoft Surface tablets when they were released in
late Oct
ober, but we didn’t actually get them. Then we weren’t sure if we were
going to get them at all, which was a major roadblock in our original Capstone
project idea that was going to be based on researching, testing, and analyzing
the analytics of the Surfac
e tablet.


Another major problem we encountered was not knowing where to take
our research for publication. We were under the assumption that if we wrote
product/equipment reviews that we would be able to publish them somewhere on
either RJI’s website, or

the Windows lab website (which doesn’t really exist ,
influencing our one of our future project recommendations). The last major
problem we faced was the lack of and cancellation of lab events and research.
We were hoping to do some reporting on both the
Hearst Innovation Application
Development Contest and the Medical research being conducted with Xbox and
Windows Kinect, but unfortunately both of those projects were postponed until
next semester. This put a major strain on our project because it was the
area we
were most interested in, and were tailoring much of our project to throughout the
semester.



Future Capstone Project Recommendations


Because of the difficulties we had throughout the duration with our project,
we have lay down the groundwork for

the next Windows 8 Capstone group to
step in and be able to starting working right away in a focused manner. Our
recommendations for future projects include the Xbox 360 and Windows Kinect
Rehabilitation Project, the Heart Innovation Application Developme
nt Project,
Windows 8 Analytics Project, Windows 8 Lab Oversight Project, and Windows 8
as a Journalism Tool Project.


Website and Lab Promotion (Windows 8 Lab Oversight Capstone Project
Proposal)



Since we were unsure of where we were going to publish
our findings and
research we came up with the idea to have a Website and Lab Promotion
Capstone Project. We call it the Windows 8 Lab Oversight Project, and the point
would be to create content for lab events and promotions through the
development of a bra
nd
-
new and unique website. The project would entail
producing engaging multimedia content and research about the lab while
overseeing other events and projects taking place there.


We have created a model of the what the website might look like


using
a
3
-
D like virtual tour effect to allow visitors to “explore” the lab. Then, the visitor
could click on an individual section of the lab, say the Xbox and Windows Kinect
area, and it would bring up a slew of multimedia
-
based content, research, and
reporting
about its use in the lab and current projects being conducted using it.


Xbox 360 and Windows Kinect

In the Microsoft Windows 8 Lab there are two Xbox 360s with
Kinect.

These are basically there for people to have fun and play games.

They
are different t
han the Windows Kinect, which the School of Journalism also has
access to.

For future projects I would definitely recommend focusing on the
Windows Kinect.

The potential of it is fascinating.


Dr. Aaron Gray will be working next semester with a program
that we were
hoping would be ready in time for us to work with.

Dr. Gray has been using the
motion capture with the Windows Kinect to measure knee and ankle movements
in athletes.

He plans to not only use it as a rehabilitation tool, but as a
preventativ
e measure by going to high schools to quickly and accurately identify
kids who are jumping incorrectly.

The team is working on creating mini
-
games
on the Kinect to make the usability more accurate.


The work already done by Dr. Aaron Gray and programmers

to capture
body motion in a cheap and highly accurate way is only the beginning. The
possibility of virtual business meetings, and having a completely accurate
depiction of yourself in a 3D environment isn’t too far down the road.



"The sensor was speci
fically designed to be used with computers, and includes a
shortened USB cable to ensure reliability across a broad range of computers.
Kinect for Xbox 360 was built for and tested with the Xbox 360 only, not with any
other platform."



Microsoft


"[Kinec
t for Windows] is committed to providing ongoing access to Microsoft's
deep investment in human tracking and speech recognition."



Microsoft


This is his recommendation for next semester:

A multidisciplinary team of students will be assembled to create an
d develop a
Kinect for Windows based game for use in ankle rehabilitation after an ankle
injury.

A sports medicine physician and a physical therapist will outline a few
simple exercises that injured patients are typically encouraged to perform at
home aft
er an injury.

The team will be given the freedom to use their own
creativity to develop a game that incorporates these exercises.

Some exercises
work on balance while others involve movement and strengthening.

The team
will be responsible for all aspect
s of the project from start to finish under
guidance from the project leaders.

This will include game concept and design,
programing, and testing.

The team will be encouraged to use principles of
gamification and social interaction to improve user enjoym
ent and promote
continued use of the game.

The Microsoft Application Development Lab will
provide technology and support throughout the project.


This is his recommendation for future projects

“I've thought about baseball and golf and those are things tha
t we will probably
look at down the road too.

They are making it possible to link two Kinects so you
could get information from multiple devices at once for even better motion
analysis.



Hearst App Innovation Competition


Our idea for this project is still very broad, but we believe it would be
extremely interesting for students to focus on the following the competition from
beginning to end. The Capstone students could use the reporting techniques
they have learned to crea
te a multimedia project/documentary about the
competition and the process the contestants go through to produce an app.


Windows 8 Analytics/Media Consumption/Multimedia Study


This Capstone project would focus on the use of analytics and how people
consu
me media on Windows 8 and other platforms. The group would research
and document audience engagement on applications


how much times users
spend on each page and which type of content they are most interested in. The
group could use their findings to pitc
h to app developers or others who may want
the research.

Windows 8 as a Journalism Tool

With Windows 8 being so new, there really isn’t anything about this out
yet.

There is, however, an improved feature in consuming mobile journalism with
snap view.

I
n snap view, a person can read their newspaper or magazine on the
tablet while also checking facts or sharing it on twitter, which is exclusive to
Windows 8.


Eventually Windows says they will have all platforms running on the same
operating system.

This

means there will be no differentiation between mobile
apps and computer apps.



Conclusion


We were very fortunate to have the resources we do at the University of
Missouri and be the first group of students to conduct research in the new
Windows 8 App
Development Lab.

We had the once in a lifetime experience to test products months before they
came out and review them like real tech journalists do. Although our project didn’t
quite pan out to what we expected it to be in the beginning, we were still abl
e to
conduct quite a bit of valuable research in the lab and lay the groundwork for the
next set of Capstone students to take over with focused goals in mind.