Why Windows 8 Is Fundamentally Flawed as a Response to the iPad

John Gruber writes at Daring Fireball:

But I think it’s a fundamentally flawed idea for Microsoft to build their next-generation OS and interface on top of the existing Windows. The idea is that you get the new stuff right alongside Windows as we know it. Microsoft is obviously trying to learn from Apple, but they clearly don’t understand why the iPad runs iOS, and not Mac OS X. Microsoft’s demo video shows Excel — the full version of Excel for Windows — running alongside new touch-based apps. They can make buttons more “touch friendly” all they want, but they’ll never make Excel for Windows feel right on a touchscreen UI. Consider the differences between the iWork apps for the Mac and iPad. The iPad versions aren’t “touch friendly” versions of the Mac apps — they’re entirely new beasts designed and programmed from the ground up for the touchscreen and for the different rules and tradeoffs of the iOS interface (no explicit saving, no file system, ready to quit at a moment’s notice, no processing in the background, etc.). You really should read John's entire piece as he goes on to make several other points worth hearing but I don't want to quote his entire article here. Just go read it. My take? Steve Ballmer just can't let go of the product he helped to successfully bring to market. Internal politics matter to him as much, if not more, as what could actually help the company the most. He can't see the forest for the trees. He just wont let Windows go. I'm not saying Windows is a horrible product (despite the fact that I despise it personally), as it makes Microsoft a lot of money. Ballmer just can't get it through his head that you cannot put a desktop driven legacy OS and shoe-horn it onto a consumer electronics device with no peripherals. It just wont work. You make to many compromises of what makes the iPad great in order to do so. Ballmer's days are numbered.