^ Ummm... what does this have to do with the thread? I was hoping to keep this separate from the other more general Windows 8 thread, and get more to what it means from a developer's perspective...?
I don't think it's possible (or advisable) to completely divorce any technology - especially computing technology - from the social context it will be working in. I say that because most technologies we're using (or developing for) are not being driven by technical merit or engineering considerations, but rather by politics and legal maneuvering. And this is a harsh reality that won't go away any time soon.
Windows is NOT just an operating system. It's a factor in human society that dictates much of how
things get done. And to a certain extent, much like like Tron's Master Control Program
it also defines the scope of what it is possible to do.
That's why as significant a change as Metro (and the way Microsoft intends to license and control it) has to be taken into consideration in any technical discussion. As does the actions of governments in response to these technologies.
Think of it like firearms. If you're a manufacturer, a seller, or an owner of guns, you'll soon discover that your involvement with something as simple (from an engineering perspective) as a gun has ramifications which go far beyond what is necessary for a device that shoots bullets. These ramifications can take the form of regulations (i.e. registration or licensing requirements; restrictions on sales, ownership, or concealment; etc.) or actual physical modifications (i.e. mandatory inclusion of trigger guards and safeties; maximum magazine capacity; minimum barrel length, etc.) of the product itself.
Nor is this a farfetched analogy. There are categories of software that have been classified as munitions
and restricted for export under US law.
So while I agree that we shouldn't get overly bogged down in all the the "social" stuff and nonsense surrounding Windows 8, I still don't think we should completely ignore it or gloss it over.
Especially since we are discussion this from a developer's perspective.