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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 16, 2012 at 6:55 AM

Nomura: With Windows 8, Microsoft “trying to be cool like Apple while being functional like a nerd”

Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund has a new note out in which he describes Windows 8’s straddling of the keyboard-and-mouse and touch-centric worlds as “trying to be cool like Apple while being functional like a nerd.”

He gives his thoughts on the opinion — growing louder in recent days — that while Windows 8’s Metro user interface works well on touch devices, its integration with the traditional desktop mode is awkward and jarring.

While content creators generally dislike touch (and using Metro on a desktop), content consumers don’t like dealing with a mouse and keyboard, he says.

But he thinks the desktop diehards will “ultimately be seduced (versus dragged kicking and screaming) into the Metro mode more and more by greater availability of apps that take advantage of the touch environment, which is where we think all the growth and excitement will be in the industry.”

He cautions, though, that the Metro-ization of Office 15 — the codename for the new version of Office that is likely to come out toward the end of the year — must be done carefully.

Screenshots of the Office 15 Technical Preview — courtesy of Paul Thurrott of Supersite for Windows — shows what Microsoft is doing in terms of making Office more Metro.

Nomura’s Sherlund says of the changes: “We think it is critical that Office 15 shows fidelity to users that do not want their experience with Office to be altered by the need to work on a tablet or touch notebook in touch mode.”

Office will play an important role in drawing content creators to the Metro side of Windows 8, he says. As such, Sherlund doesn’t expect Microsoft to make Office available any time soon for the iPad, despite growing rumors that such a product is coming.

He expects Microsoft to get about 8 percent of the tablet market by 2013.

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