Why Windows 8 could be the best thing ever for all in one computers

Windows 8 offers a revolutionary new way to interact with your computer via the stunning Metro interface. This author thinks that’s going to be a big deal for all in one computers. But why?

The days of the touch-screen all in one computer are far from over. In fact, they’re only just beginning. Windows 8 opens up a whole new world of touch interactivity – it’s a coherent assault on the mouse-and-keyboard way of navigating around a computer.

Windows 8 has been criticised for its ‘tablet focus’. It’s been suggested that Microsoft’s latest OS is just ‘too different’. After all, Windows has in the past traded off being similar between iterations. But there’s a reason why Microsoft has decided to go so radical – and touch is the instigator.

The dev previews of Windows 8 have been run on standard laptops and desktops, but Microsoft’s ‘Productivity’ video on YouTube suggests that their vision for the future is quite different. Metro is the start of all that, and it will be great on tablets and ultrabooks. It will also be great on all-in-one computers, because users will be used to using the interface on tablets. The ‘tiles’ thing has worked well on Windows phones, and it promises great things on tablets. But the ‘Productivity’ vision doesn’t stop there. The tiles are meant to be device-agnostic, and there’s a whole Microsoft ecosystem – nicely licensed to third-party manufacturers to encourage innovation – that they can proliferate throughout. All-in-ones fit with this vision, to a tee.

The size of a screen is always going to be an important factor in its mode of deployment. All-in-ones typically have larger screens than laptops or tablets (particularly with the current trend towards ultraportability in mobile devices) and, as such, they are the perfect breeding ground for sending tiles on to even larger surfaces, such as tables or refrigerators. Once users are used to the fact – delighted by it, even – that their tiles move flowingly between their tablet, their console, their TV and their all-in-one, it will be a small jump to have them flowing everywhere else.

So this is why Windows 8 could be the best thing ever for all in one computers. Very few people go for the monolithic desktop computers of yesteryear – even gamers are making the switch to all-in-ones. Not only will they be a gateway to Microsoft’s vision, all-in-ones are perfectly situated to make the most of the current state of play in the revolutionary new interface.