Microsoft defends the Windows desktop

Microsoft defends the Windows desktop
Windows 8 - desktop not being axed

Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky has defended the Windows desktop, as the company looks ahead to a vital year for the grand old Operating System.

Speaking to TechRadar last week, Sinofsky outlined one of the key new Windows changes: the transition to work on ARM chips.

Windows on ARM (WOA) is a huge departure for Microsoft – it has previously focused on Intel's x86 platform – but the transition to new chips will not see a move away from the now familiar Windows desktop.


In a blog post, Sinofsky outlined just why the Windows desktop would not be sacrificed any time soon, insisting that it was a compromise too far as touchscreen devices become widespread.

"Some have suggested we might remove the desktop from WOA in an effort to be pure, to break from the past, or to be more simplistic or expeditious in our approach," he blogged.

"To us, giving up something useful that has little cost to customers was a compromise that we didn't want to see in the evolution of PCs.

"The presence of different models is part of every platform. Whether it is to support a transition to a future programming model, to support different programming models on one platform, or to support different ways of working, the presence of multiple models represents a flexible solution that provides a true no-compromise experience on any platform."

Considering the considerable interest in Windows tablets there is clearly still a desire for a desktop, and Microsoft is aware that familiar user interfaces are as much about serving up what a consumer expects as clinging on to the past.

TechRadar's hands on: Windows 8 review discusses the difficulties in balancing a traditional desktop and the touch-friendly modern Metro UI that runs over the top of it.

And even if that transition is still a little clumsy, it seems that ditching the desktop would be a step too far for many - including the team at Microsoft.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.