Here we are on the eve of Windows* 8 and I want to reach out to my former friends & co-workers still there to wish them all a huge Congratulations!
Getting an OS out the door is a monumental task (Akin to eating a Kraken!) and something that I don't believe most people can fully appreciate unless they saw and experienced it first hand. So in all seriousness my hats off to everyone over there right now. Bottoms up! You all deserve to blow off some steam! : )
I know the critics and pundits have been a little loud on Windows 8 as of late. I myself am guilty of wanting them to have done things .... just a little differently. However; that's what happens when you leave and pass the baton. :-) I think it's a good thing to see new and fresh ideas, and even bold one's occurring. That's very encouraging. I'm sure we'll see all kinds of fallout - both good and bad, but I want people to stay focused on the good. IF something doesn't resonate, and it's recieved poorly, believe me, Microsoft will take steps to rectify. Of that you can be certain!
What I'm most excited though is to finally see a few of the features and ideas we had in our original Windows 8 Brainstorm and offsite actually come to life. There were only around ~12 of us, and at the time I was only marginally associated with the planning team, but honored to participate nonetheless. Most of us have moved on to other endeavors shortly thereafter; so it's interesting to see how things have panned out. The biggest thing I'm excited about, and also likely to be the most controversial, is the new Windows 8 UI (formerly Style or Metro UI). While I'm very vocal on the fact that I think it needs to be more 'open', which I believe plays to Microsof't's biggest core strength, I think they've pulled off something even more important for the long term. Which is in creating a GUI that creates *Continuity* in the experiences of Software Apps across various screens and devices powered by Windows. This is VERY smart and not an easy thing to pull off by any stretch. Microsoft can address my critique of the GUI being too locked down as-app in the future if it turns out to be too egregious with Developers. So we'll see. Rest assured.. I'll be in touch with them if they step on my Windows Gaming toes! :-)
In the mean time - keep up the great work Microsoft! I know you've all worked very hard. Best of luck!