While taking a look around the Web earlier today, I stumbled across some kiosk maker software that got me thinking on Windows 8 — specifically, if it made any sense for Microsoft to add something like this into Windows 8. Personally, I think there could be many applications for something like this in Windows, but I’m not sure this specific functionality would be worth the cost of Windows alone.
First and foremost, there are the scenarios where businesses turn computers into single-use workstations that serve very specific functions. For instance, if you go to a Verizon store and use one of their kiosks to put your name down on a list or browse for in-store products, etc. Or how about if you go into a Borders book store or something of that nature and they have the computers which allow you to browse a store-specific version of borders.com to find something you’re looking for in-store? Even still, how about the times you go to a store like Best Buy and use one of their machines to browse in-store products? The business kiosk scenario is one I think we can all associate with in terms of having seen and/or used them, but what are some other great scenarios for utilizing functionality like this?
Well, how about schools, libraries, and publicly-accessible government establishments? I can think of plenty of task-specific workstation uses for those types of facilities! Maybe a school, publicly-accessible government establishment, or otherwise would like to make specific types of records only accessible via a single computer whereby they could log all activity and not allow any other types of tasks to be performed on that computer. Where libraries are concerned, there’s always the need to be filled for looking up books, checking their availability, etc. And we all know libraries have computers which access the internet that are made available to the public, so there are plenty of uses for having something like this built into Windows 8 provided places like public libraries actually upgraded to something like Windows 8.
Naturally, the question then becomes affordability. If your only task is to turn a workstation into a kiosk, then maybe a piece of software would be your best bet. However, if you’re like me and you have a plethora of computers where you know you will upgrade them all to Windows 8 and you have that one desktop that sits out available for any and all to use (if you have parties, family get-togethers at your place, etc.), it just might be a nifty little tool to have available to you. Oh, and it can’t go without being mentioned that there’s always the concern of privacy, but whether you’re using a public computer that’s running some sort of proprietary kiosk maker software or a rendition of Windows (like Windows 8, of course) which provides built-in kiosk maker functionality, you should always be aware of your environment.
Anyway, I just thought this would be some nifty functionality added to Windows 8 and I can’t imagine it would be too difficult for Microsoft to implement. The number of people who need something like this is probably quite low on their customer demand list, so I won’t hold my breath.