Apple has dominated the evolution of the past few years in personal computing, to the point that one could start to worry about Microsoft’s future. For almost 30 years, Apple has been the “innovator” and Microsoft has been the “pragmatic implementer”. History is about to repeat itself with Windows 8.
Let’s go back to the start of personal computing in the early 80’s. The dominant PC operating system at that time was called CPM, which most of us had forgotten including me. I had a flash the other day and CPM came back to mind. At that time, Microsoft did not exist. When IBM tried to buy CPM for its future PCs and negotiations stalled with CPM, Bill Gates saw the opportunity, bought another operating system for $50,000 and negotiated an agreement with IBM. The rest is history. CPM disappeared in a matter of months and MS DOS became the dominant PC operating system.
Meanwhile, Apple the “innovator” invented the mouse and the use of icons. At the time, all the MS DOS users were stuck with complicated codes they had to memorize to start a program or access files. Several years later, Microsoft imitated the Apple approach with Windows and increased its dominance of the PC market. I know many will react and say “this time it’s different”. This article will try to point out why this time it’s not so different and that Windows 8 will become a major player in the corporate computing environment and also in the personal computing environment, mostly because it brings and evolutionary transition versus a revolutionary transition ”a la” Apple.
There is and has never been any question in my mind that the PC operating environment would transition, from the mouse and icons to the touch screen, fingers and voice, for the human-computer interface. Just read some of my first blogs. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that humans will eventually, once they surmount their initial reaction to change, go to the most user friendly interface. To prove the point, just look at the number of old aged people that had never bought a computer and now are using an iPad.
Let’s talk about Windows 8. Basically, it is the implementations in Windows of the Apple invented touch and voice interface. Possibly not to infringe Apple’s copyrights, Microsoft’s Metro interface uses brightly colored tiles (squares) on the start screen versus Apple like apps icons. Microsoft users can also continue to use their mouse in addition to their fingers.
This brings us to the evolution of the PC. As you have read in previous articles the future PCs, which have started to come out recently, will be light, thin and will open with the screen up or flat on a table like an iPad. This will make them easy to carry around like an iPad and open flat on the table like an iPad, in addition to operate with the fingers like an iPad. But, and this is important, they will have a real keyboard that will not take any screen space which will become a real plus in addition to operating with a mouse.
In order to visualize what the future PCs « Ultrabook » will look like, watch the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1QkscGrO4M .This product will be available at the same time Windows 8 will be released, in the fall of 2012.
To get a feel for the integration of functions currently available on smart phones into the future PCs « Ultrabook », watch the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZZiRzUo6d8&feature=relmfu
To compare different PCs « Ultrabook », watch the following video: http://ultrabooknews.com/product-databank/
The Windows 8 Metro interface uses tiles, both as shortcuts to programs and as live widgets reporting data from the programs. The live tiles show dynamic content, such as text from a recent email or reminders of an upcoming event. They simplify the task of navigating through your apps.
If you want more information on Windows 8, please research it on Google or read the CNET comments:
How many times do people react negatively to a new version of an operating system or program? A good majority of people, once they get used to working with something, would like not to have to change their working habits to take advantage of new developments. Because, over time, they realize there are significant benefits to these changes they gradually adapt.
For a fact, the great majority of people using personal computers today are Windows users, both at home and at work. Windows 8 changes are so dramatic that it will take time, years for many to move to Windows 8. What is good with Windows 8 is that this majority of PC users will be able to take advantage of the newer PC technology while still using their mouse and keyboards, and gradually adapt to using fingers on touch screens and voice. Furthermore, all of the current Windows 7 applications will continue to work on Windows 8 allowing time for the transition. These are the most significant advantages of Windows 8 and why it will be adopted by a great majority of people and corporations.
Once Windows 8 starts to be implemented at large, the law of the numbers will prevail. The largest installed base and the most opened architecture will attract the majority of application developers. Then, history will repeat itself. Many early iPad adopters will gradually move to Windows 8 because it is the corporate standard, that there are more and cheaper products that offers similar functionality, and so on and so forth. Apple will need to bring new revolutionary inventions to keep growing at the rate it does right now. This new PC technology will have matured. Then we will get something else.
I truly believe that the new Windows 8, if it delivers the goods (not another Vista fiasco), will become the operating system of choice for the new breed of slim/light PCs that have started to come out. This is mainly because it offers an evolutionary approach to corporations to migrate to the touch screen and voice user interface environment. It will provide over time the same operating platform for all devices: PCs, tablets and intelligent phones (since they are basically all computers).
Apple will need to continue innovating to keep up the sales and profits levels it enjoys right now. It will most probably have to implement compatibility with Windows 8, like it had to do in the past for its PCs. What will eventually happen with Google Android is hard to predict. Will Samsung, a mammoth player in this environment, move to Windows 8? Food for thought!