The Windows 8 BUILD Event kicks off Sept. 13, 2011, and where would we be without The VAR Guy's input and perspective? Microsoft has thus far kept everyone in the loop with its development of Windows 8 through its Building Windows 8 blog, and our resident blogger is liking what he reads -- for the most part.

The VAR Guy senses Microsoft is going to great lengths to make Windows 8 something truly different. But is it enough? If the Building Windows 8 Blog is to believed, Microsoft will leave no developmental stone unturned in this latest version of Windows. But where should Microsoft focus Windows 8 to have maximum impact? Here are The VAR Guy's top three:
  1. Developers: This is an obvious one, but The VAR Guy would be remiss if he didn't mention that developers are the foundation of success of any platform. Windows 8 is going to need a hearty base of excited developers willing to build applications that fit into Microsoft's new "Metro" UI mentality. This is likely the reason for BUILD more than anything, and for Microsoft to have BUILD at all means there's tons of potential in the system.
  2. Nailing the GUI: Our resident blogger realizes this may also be an obvious focus, but just because something looks cool doesn't mean it's useful. Can Microsoft ensure Metro is not just a bunch of superfluous tiles but a sexy, stylish and useful interface for interacting with technology? Microsoft boasts on the BUILD site that Windows 8 will be the biggest game-changer for Microsoft since Windows 95, and will focus heavily on ensuring the interface is linked into HTML5, JavaScript and other "web-powered apps." Whether Microsoft can actually do this seems reliant on whether the first focus, developers, catches on.
  3. Platform Use Case: Most people don't spend money on something they already have, so Microsoft needs to build a rock-solid use case for Windows 8, and more importantly, Windows 8 tablets. The VAR Guy believes tablets are really where the heart and soul of Windows 8 seems centered, especially (again) with the Metro interface. But Windows 8 needs to be more than a touch-layer on Windows 7; it needs to deliver a unique, productive user experience that changes the paradigm while playing well with existing technology, especially Windows Phone 7. If there's interoperability across the board (like webOS was designed to do between phones and tablets) Microsoft has a chance to capture a market of Windows Phone 7 users. If Windows 8 runs regular Windows apps infused with Windows 8 touch goodness, Microsoft could snag a whole new group of users. But if Windows 8 tablets are simply netbooks without keyboards, Microsoft will fail.
The VAR Guy is reserving judgment on a true Windows 8 tablet or computer until he sees something with his own eyes. Check back with The VAR Guy later as he expounds on the BUILD keynote.