Microsoft's "No Compromises" Mantra

Stephen Hackett:

Microsoft keeps using the phrase “No compromises” when talking about Windows 8. Thing is, Windows 8 seems full of compromises.

It's all a matter of perspective.

For Microsoft, Windows 8 lacks any potential pitfalls or compromises insofar as it provides both the new Metro UI and, beneath that, the traditional Explorer interface.

External from Microsoft (and the enterprise market), Metro is viewed as a fantastic and compelling user interface. As such, Metro's half-baked implementation in Windows 8 is perceived as a betrayal of its promise, or, in Microsoft's parlance, a "compromise."

The matter is, of course, not clear cut.

Windows is the dominant enterprise platform and, right or wrong, most enterprise software developers are not prepared to completely redefine their software for an entirely new design paradigm. In this respect, I feel that Microsoft's "no compromise" perspective is primarily a missive aimed at the enterprise market: "DON'T PANIC!"

For the consumer, on the other hand, Metro embodies the growing shift toward user-centric, attractive, and novel interactions with computing devices. Once viewed as endlessly complex, Metro offers a visual front-end that undercuts the stereotypes that have plagued Windows for years.

The problem is that the proposed implementation of Windows 8 is neither here nor there. It does not lend itself entirely to the consumer, nor does it position itself perfectly for the enterprise. Thus Windows 8 lies in an interesting middle ground -- a space that, contrary to Microsoft's marketing-speak, is unquestionably riddled with indecisive compromises.