“Oh boy – this again” (thinking of the good old Amiga against Atari days) – that was my first thought on the latest wave of Microsoft and the bashing of Windows 8, that started with a Gartner report on the state of the company.
Let me be clear and loud: “Microsoft is dead” is nonsense!
These reports are gathered by some over enthusiastic Apple, Google and Linux fans who can not appreciate the work the big, fat and ugly kid (Microsoft) put in to get slim, smart and pretty within a short time frame – it is not there yet, but the success is visible for those who are using it right and it has earned some respect from my side.
Do not get me wrong: I love (some) Apple products, I admire the fantastic growth of Google and without our Linux servers, my multi-million dollar business would not be working. But have all the people (who are quick to judge the good old enemy) really tried to work a few days on an Android device? That stuff will not beat Windows 8 as a tablet OS in the long run, because it is bloated and uncontrollable. It is fine for a smartphone, but it lacks a few important things. Let me explain…
- iPhone 5
- Nexus 4
- Acer Iconia (Win8)
and I have used the Nexus 4 for a while and then gave it to my wife who rather uses her iPhone 4 than this tablet. Now I shift back and forth with the Iconia on the couch and the iPhone on the road. I have used the Surface and the Lenovo Yoga shortly. I have given my co-worker an iPad 2 for play around and we used it for our app development.
That describes my basic usage pattern and I think, I found out, why Microsoft will be able to survive just fine with Windows 8: That stuff is 2 operating systems!
Yes, you all get it wrong, because Microsoft is (again) horrible at marketing – but the product is fine – no, it is EXCELLENT already!
Here is the deal: Window 8 Professional is coming with 2 different operating systems. One, I would call “TileOS” (if I would be Microsoft) for the tablet mode and a second I’d call Windows 8 desktop, which is a pimped Windows 7 really.
Now the strength in that approach is: You can have both worlds on a tablet and the Iconia, the Surface and basically all the convertible Notebooks/Ultrabooks proof that just fine. You just have to get rid of the old thinking (and maybe “relocate” some marketing guys in the departments) and see Windows 8 for what it is: Windows Dual (TileOS & Desktop)!
The beauty of that is the power beyond it: Having ONE SINGLE installation of an operating system gives me a decent tablet feeling, that is not completely on the level of a iOS, but it is getting there (faster than an Android, I am pretty sure – just lagging the apps) and a fully fledged Windows Desktop system that runs MySQL server, Oracle, SAP, Photoshop and all the professional tools you could probably need.
So, if you still do not understand:
- iOS and OS X are 2 different systems you use
- Android and Chrome OS are 2 pair of shoes (and not really ready for enterprise)
and I would say: YES, for geeks and developers the usage of an iPad and a MacBook (Pro) makes sense and is a solid development environment. But if you want to have EVERYTHING from tablet (couch) to business (desktop), I would seriously refrain from calling Microsoft “dead” – it is a sign that you have not used the Lenovo Yoga 13 or any other of the convertible power swords with Windows 8 yet. Show me a SVN repository on your iPad, flip to touch mode on your MacBook or start Eclipse on your Android device and I will shut up. Until then – trust me: Microsoft is on the right track, only painfully slow!