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Microsoft co-founder looks at pros and cons of Windows 8

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen points out some confusing aspects of Windows 8 in a blog post, though still has faith in the operating system's abilities.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen points out some confusing aspects of Windows 8 in a blog post, though still has faith in the operating system's abilities.

With both Apple and Microsoft unveiling new products in recent weeks with more on the way, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have some decisions ahead of them.

Apple launched the iPhone 5 last month, and despite being the best iteration of the iconic device thus far, has been met with some criticism for a lack of "significant" new innovations on the smartphone. The company is also rumored to be announcing a new iPad Mini later this month.

If that announcement actually happens, it will be precede the release of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablet by a matter of days. Unlike its Cupertino-based rival's recent Mountain Lion and iOS 6 updates, Microsoft's new operating system will run the same kernel on both tablets and traditional desktops and laptops.

In anticipation of the October 26 release, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who left the company in 1983, recently wrote a blog post in which he said Windows 8 seemed a bit "confusing" to him.

"Strangely, there is no way to set the desktop as your default view (there should be). This is one of the single biggest changes in Windows 8: the lack of the familiar Start menu." Allen wrote. "Personally, I think it would have been nice to provide some sort of a visual cue indicating that commands are available, and how to invoke them."

Allen goes on to say that users will likely adapt to the new dual user interfaces quickly enough, though it may take a little time if the Windows 8 Release Preview he has been using is any indication.

"Touch seems a natural progression in the evolution of operating systems, and I'm confident that Windows 8 offers the best of legacy Windows features with an eye toward a very promising future," he wrote.

SMB IT support will be crucial in the coming weeks as companies decide whether to go the Apple or Microsoft route, how to integrate tablets and smartphones into their daily operations and build robust solutions around them.