Acer execs approve of Windows Blue, Microsoft’s learning how ‘people living on earth think’


Acer’s outspoken President Jim Wong is at it again. This time, he is full of praise for the upcoming update to Windows 8, also known as Windows Blue or Windows 8.1.

Although he didn’t single out any feature or improvement that is coming to Windows 8 through the update, he suggested in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the changes as a whole will make the operating system more usable for users with older computers that don’t have touchscreens, or laptop touchpads that have not been optimized for Windows 8. Currently, the operating system with the colorful live tiles really rely on touch controls for navigation, which is much more intuitive if you have a device with a touchscreen.

It’s not that Wong is anti-progress – just look at the cool convertible R7 laptop – but he has been preaching “balance” to Microsoft so that Windows 8 can better cater to the rest of us without a touchscreen in our computer. After all, “the world in the next five years is not going 100 percent to touch,” Wong said. “Although touch makes a lot of possibilities for PCs, you need to take care of the rest of the world that doesn’t need touch.”

Microsoft seems to be getting the memo as Wong said the Redmond-based company has been accepting its suggestions “at a high percentage.”

Some of the main changes users have been asking for include reinstating the Start button and giving users the option to boot directly to Desktop (and therefore bypass the controversial home screen). While both Microsoft executives Tami Reller and Julie Larson-Green were more open to talking about Blue this week, neither gave away any detail on the exact changes to Windows 8 that are being rolled out in June. When asked whether the Start button will be making a comeback in Blue at the recent Wired Business Conference, Larson-Green said her team has been having “meaningful discussions” about this issue but that doesn’t mean the Start button is a done deal.

In Acer Chairman J.T. Wang’s opinion, Microsoft has been humbled by all the criticisms about Windows 8 and RT, despite moving over 100 million copies of the operating system within six months of launch, and is better off for it as the company seems more open to working more cooperatively with both manufacturers and users.

“In the past we consider they (Microsoft) live in heaven,” said Wang. “But now they go down to earth and they start to learn how people living on earth think.”

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