Why Win8 will succeed. Or fail.

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 5,499
Re: they could have two operating systems

Sean Nelson wrote:

tko wrote:

That's just one of those dumb corporate decisions that probably sounded good in some meeting. You know, the one where all the engineers are rolling their eyes.

Yep, you can see Microsoft's line of reasoning: - they have a huge share of the desktop market and negligible share of the mobile market.   They need to provide an incentive for their desktop users to use Windows phones and tablets.   Therefore:  use one interface for both!

I think there's another aspect to common platform.  Metro is not just a common UI for users, it's also a common platform for developers, so you could (in theory) write a W8 Metro app that adapts to anything from a smartphone to a desktop.

This is done to some extent already with Android (and I assume with iphone/ipad, though I'm not so familar at a programming level).  In Android, you can (with a bit of effort) write apps that adapt seemlessly (so far as the user is concerned) to widely differing screen size and input capabilities.

However, there are limits.  In Android (and ios) the assumption is that you have a touch screen (rather than a mouse) and if you have a keyboard it's an optional extra.  A more fundamental issue is that many apps simply don't functionally scale.  I mean, the sort of apps you want on a mobile phone or tablet simply aren't the same apps you want on a desktop or relatively static laptop.  Similarly the type of interaction differs. You need different apps (or different versions of apps).

I think W8 is attempting a stretch too far.  Mobiles and tablets are not used for the same functions as desktops and laptops.  Sure, users have up to now used laptops and desktops for some things better suited to mobiles, and so they're now migrating.  Some users won't need desktops and laptops any more.  Also the lifetime of desktops and laptops is increasing (replacement every 4-5 years instead of 2-3).  Hence the market for desktops and laptops is going to shrink.

But that doesn't mean all desktop and laptop applications will morph into touchscreen apps for handheld mobiles.  It just isn't going to happen. And it certainly doesn't mean that desktops and laptops should have UIs and application platforms suited much better for mobiles.

I think Microsoft has got it wrong.

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