Sandra Buczek


Guest at Microsoft in Redmond

Microsoft is rethinking - you can already see this in the fact that Windows 10 was tested very early on as part of an insider program together with developers and other friendly users and has been continuously developed further. Partnerships with design agencies such as ours are also becoming increasingly important at Microsoft. At the end of May, I was invited to Redmond together with other representatives of selected partner agencies from Germany to get first-hand information about Windows 10.

During the three very informative days in Redmond, sessions on various Windows 10 related topics were on the agenda, which gave me a deep insight into the new software and hardware universe even before the release. This insight already helps me to better support our customers in Windows projects. This is because it provides us with further information and direct contacts at Microsoft to answer questions. It was also always clear on site that Microsoft is very interested in an open exchange with creative agencies and seeks direct dialog with us. I was allowed to try out, ask questions and discuss, was informed extensively and directly by product experts, got a first-hand feeling for the motivations and origins of topics and got to know many points of view. I was shown around the huge campus and had to admit to myself that serving food in a cafeteria can quickly become an intelligence test.

Unfortunately there was no opportunity to try the HoloLens live. Instead, I had unexpectedly much fun testing the new Surface Hub, an 84 inch, very direct and performant 4K touch display, which has a number of innovations, especially in the context of conference rooms with apps around productivity and creativity. My personal highlight, however, was the visit to the Microsoft Design Studios, where I learned a lot about the working methods and processes involved in the creation of designs and was allowed to take a tour of the workrooms.

In the course of my visit my opinion about Windows 10 became more and more solid. With the cross-device compatibility of Universal Apps, Microsoft is taking a path that will make it worthwhile to invest time and money in the development of Windows apps in the future. Suddenly, vendors will be able to reach a huge range of devices with just one app. From an IoT device with a small or no screen to phones, tablets, PCs, bin, Xbox, Surface Hub or HoloLens, Windows 10 Universal Apps can be used to run one and the same application on all these devices. From a technical point of view, the compatibility between the device classes hardly causes any extra effort, but the user interface must not be neglected. After all, the requirements for the user interface do differ between the devices. It is and remains essential to optimize them for the specific application. And that's why the path that Microsoft is taking with Windows 10 is so exciting for us as an agency that specializes in the design of cross-device user experiences.

Sandra Buczek

UX Consultant & Usability Engineer


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