2012: The Year Of Windows 8 And OS X Mountain Lion
We are only 3 months into the year, however I can already tell that it is going to be exciting. And, contrary to what several computer hardware makers would like to assert, this can be not because of some gimmicky new computer kind factor that no-one will care concerning in a few months; rather, it’s because 2 of the main players within the tech space, Microsoft and Apple, are every doing wesome and unique things this year as far as their entire product ecosystems are involved.
Microsoft’s bold “one Windows” methodology – As we all know, Microsoft has been creating some major product changes and shifts in strategy as of late. Windows Phone at its conception was already a major amendment from its predecessor, Windows Mobile. And this year, Microsoft are expected to release the main Windows Phone eight ‘Apollo’ update, which is able to be based mostly on the NT kernel, just like its desktop counterpart (i.e “one Windows”). Not only this, however Windows Phone eight apps will be built using an equivalent technologies as they’re on Windows eight, creating cross-platform ports far easier (though current apps are rumored to work simply fine). To wrap up this tidbit concerning Windows Phone, as we recently covered, a slew of extra new options are also expected with the Apollo update, such as multi-core support, additional screen resolutions and type factors, NFC support, and a bunch of extra more software-side improvements.
Also setto the touch down later this year is Windows eight. With Metro deeply-rooted within the user experience, Windows eight sports a number of the biggest changes to Windows – in terms of usability, at least – since Windows ninety five. The beginning menu has been replaced with a “Start screen” of tiles, the Charms bar is used to get round the OS, and app previews together with Charms are used to actually navigate throughout the OS, including through the new full-screen, touch-optimized Metro apps (that’s right, Metro). Microsoft is betting on Windows eight to get its foot within the door of the tablet market, and, because of this, much of the UI is touch-friendly. This has been the subject of much discussion within the world of tech; is it a bad user experience decision to consolidate essentially 2 UIs in one? Should Microsoft have taken Apple’s approach, that I am about to briefly touch on? Before I wrap up here, it’s value noting that Microsoft’s different products, such as Windows Live (especially SkyDrive) also will play a big part in their upcoming ecosystem.
Apple’s gradual introduction of iOS-inspired functionality to OS X – When the iPhone was released in 2007, Apple had already taken a bold move that reshaped the whole mobile business. With that in mind, what they are doing this year with Mountain Lion is far less bold than what Microsoft is doing with Windows eight. Rather, it’s a far more calculated move; Apple are carefully introducing more and more options (and apps) that we have come to understand and love in iOS – that is a very successful mobile operating system – to Mountain Lion. They are not essentially gunning for a “one OS fits all” approach like Microsoft; rather, there’s a careful cross-pollination in place, within which they are bringing the 2 OSes nearer along, with a respectable distance maintained within the method.
As the year comes to an end, it’ll definitely be fascinating to check how customers take to those new product when they hit the shelves.