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:

PROS

  • 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

Currently, developers have to write separate code to build applications to run on the iOS and Mac OSX system. An app that is delivered on an iPhone will not simply work on a MacBook. However, a unified platform makes such a difficulty obsolete. Developers will be able to code an app on a single framework and deliver that to multiple devices. This is extremely important as it avoids reduplication of effort and accelerates delivery of projects for clients. On Windows 8, Metro-style apps can be developed using several languages, including C++,C# and JavaScript.

CONS

  • “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.

 

2 Comments

  1. Another nice one.

    My only reservation with the unified Windows OS UI, IS Microsoft betting on the Metro UI which is yet to get a footing in mobile.

    My guess is that Microsoft will survive somehow. It always does. But Nokia will not make it!

    Reply
  2. Wale Falade Author

    Ummh, Nokia. Only few companies do hardware like Nokia. Why did they not embrace Android?

    The truth is, unified OS platform is the future and MS is taking the bull by the horns. Whether they would have a pioneer advantage in garnering the market to themselves before the others wake up, we would have to wait and see. However, it is a fact that windows own the desktop in the corporate world, now they are offering a mobile device that does not require a separate learning process. I see them making a mark in the corporate world.

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