|Imagine the xB without Scion|
I played with a Surface tab the day it was launched, and I upgraded my desktop to Windows 8 during the first week.I didn’t do this because I was an avid Windows fan–I just was curious, and a little excited by the color palate. After a few weeks with Windows 8, I am fully comfortable using it, but maybe not for the reasons Microsoft thought I would be. It’s fast and it’s pretty, but I’m not embracing many of the features Microsoft wants me to use. I’m not integrating my mail into the start page because opening Gmail directly is more productive due to archiving. Nor am I incorporating the “people” feed because I use all my social media in different ways and I use better apps on my Android device to manage this. Even though I am ignoring many of those apps, I do enjoy scrolling through the New York Times, and clicking through All Recipes. Yet something feels off.
When I use these colorful apps from the start screen, I have to be honest; I doesn’t feel like I’m using Microsoft. Microsoft, to me, is traditional, reliable, but pretty much, no-nonsense. Instead, the start screen feels like a fun plugin that changes my Windows Experience and confuses me a bit because it doesn’t fit with the Microsoft brand. In all honesty, it instead feels inauthentic.
When Toyota wanted to come up with a fun, zippy car line, they realized that they had to develop a new public-facing company. If they had launched the Toyota xB instead of the Scion xB in 2003, it would have been directed to the wrong audience. Reliability is one thing, but a car that looks like a box? Just plain weird. If Microsoft had been smart, they would have launched Windows 8 that looked like Windows 7 but was EVEN faster, then launched the tile interface under a different brand as a plug in. Now, I am not a programmer, and I don’t even know if this is possible, but I do realize that the “pretty” tile interface doesn’t jive with our image of Windows and it has consumers shaking their heads. Instead of being able to separate the tiled interface of the start screen from the speed and productivity of the back end of Windows 8, both are being branded together as one product and has many of large organizations questioning the payoff of large scale adoption. Had Windows 8 just been about speed and virus protection, I think it would have done well. But instead, it is an incongruity that has its loyal consumer base looking to other options.