With an expected release date of October 26, 2012, Microsoft’s Windows 8 will be the first unified Operating system platform across desktop and mobile devices.
Before now, there have been talks about Apple venturing into creating a unified platform. Thwarting all expectations, the company has come out to say there will still be clear boundaries between its iOS and OSX operating systems.
However, leveraging on its global OS dominance, Microsoft is ready to set the trend for the future, offering a singular Windows 8 experience across all devices.
Let us quickly analyze what might be considered as the pros and cons of this innovation:
- Universal user experience with the power of cloud
When you move from a mobile to a desktop in today’s world, you have to go through the learning curve of adjusting to a new interface. But with a unified platform, such a need becomes obsolete. For example, Windows 8 supposedly offers the same user experience when you move from a tablet to a PC. Hence, users will have a high comfort level between various devices, and will be pleased with the convergence of technologies. Also, a unified platform can harness the power of the cloud to synchronize data across all devices. Imagine using your mobile to download apps and documents on the go, only to get back home and realize that all of the same stuff you downloaded is already synced to your home PC. Wouldn’t that be awesome!
- Write once, run anywhere
- “Converging a Toaster and a Refrigerator”
Exact words of Apple CEO, Tim Cook when asked about converging its operating systems iOS and OS X. A similar feeling was echoed from the feedback gotten from the early adopters of Windows 8 on a PC. The UI and the user experience in general was greatly skewed towards mobile experience.
- Compatibility Issues
Two variants of Windows 8 is expected to be released, one variant based on the traditional Intel based chipset and the other variant on the arm based chipset, a processor commonly associated with mobile devices but as since been scaled up to run at speeds that could be used to power laptops and desktops. Will one version of Windows 8 provide the same user experience as the other? While Microsoft says “definitely”, it remains to be seen if applications will work the same way across various hardware architectures. For example, the RT version will not be able to support a traditional desktop. Similarly, users may become disgruntled that older versions of their favorite Windows applications don’t work on Windows 8. If this is not addressed properly, it will cause havoc among consumers.