Over the last week, I’ve found myself wondering what Steve Jobs would make of Windows 8 if he were alive today.
It’s likely he would be entirely dismissive or unwilling to comment on the new OS at all. Even so, I’m betting he would consider the new Windows Phones and the mobile OS to be fairly elegant. And he’d consider Microsoft’s Surface tablet to be nicely conceived if a little bit clunky and poorly executed at the apps and OS level.
The desktop version of the OS? He’d see it as an unmitigated disaster.
Jobs wasn’t a perfect techno-seer, of course. In fact, over the last few months, a few of his theories on tablets have been disproved.
As an example, the market for 7-inch tablets has absolutely erupted, with Apple’s iPad Mini possibly taking a back seat to the Kindle Fire HD.
And Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 has proven there is in fact demand for pen-based tablet/phone computing. Especially if LeBron James is the pitch guy.
The one thing Jobs did see pretty clearly, apparently, was the line between tablet and desktop. Where Microsoft charged in with a one-size-fits-all OS, Apple has continued to maintain space between its tablet/mobile iOS and desktop/laptop MacOS.
Thus far, Apple has also refrained from integrating touch into its laptop screens, even if at the same time, it is slowly integrating key features of iOS into MacOS. (It’s also worth noting that focusing on increased visual clarity via higher resolutions instead of touch is classic Jobs logic.)
The Messages application is a great example of this. Apple’s latest OS XMountain Lion release allows a user to send and receive text messages to/from the same contacts on phones, computers and tablets. By the way, being able to text message from a tablet or desktop/laptop counts as one of my top 10 operating system features of all time.
Much earlier, of course, Apple integrated swipe gestures into MacOS – not on the screen itself but via the trackpad and Magic Mouse.
This methodology stands in stark contrast to the way Microsoft has forced the issue with Windows 8.
It’s likely that Microsoft is simply ahead of its time with touch desktop and laptop interfaces in the same manner it was ahead of its time with tablet computing at the beginning of the century.
Assuming that tablet adoption continues and that tablets soon become the only computer lots of people have, as Creative Strategies’ principal analyst Ben Bajarin explained at TabTimes’ TabletBiz conference earlier this week, this will be a moot point.
Photo courtesy AFP/Getty Images
This article originally published at TabTimes
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