Windows 8 is nearly here and I’ve been thinking about how the new OS will affect the mobile and desktop world. Is a revolution at hand? Yes and no.
A word of caution, this is mostly speculation on my part and you may or may not agree. With that said, I’ve already affirmed that I don’t think Windows 8 will fail. In the desktop world, though, I predict that Windows 8 will be just another Windows. Sure it is different, but it really isn’t that gaming changing for the keyboard/mouse crowd. Little excitement will be generated in this category. Many will stick to Windows 7.
It won’t be a Vista-sized failure, but I don’t expect it to make that big of a difference. That’s fine. I know I’m not the only one that feels that Microsoft Windows 8 doesn’t need to be that popular among PC fans. It just needs to be good enough that people don’t downgrade to Windows 7 or do other measures that paint it as another “Windows Vista”.
The mobile world is where Windows 8 will break true crowd. If it does well in the mobile world, PC users will be more expecting of the universal experience on their desktops as well.
Early on, it was harder to see how and why Windows might be a better choice than Android tablets and the iPad. Now, the picture is a bit clearer.
Compatibility with Windows. This point is always at the top of these kinds of lists, but that doesn’t make it any less true. From running Windows applications to using some of the drivers— this could be a game changer. Sure, this only applies to x86 tablets. Still, enterprise buyers will like the idea that their custom Windows business software will play nicely with Windows 8 tablets.
Accessories and Peripherals. Yah, there are a lot of Android and iOS accessories. Still, I believe Windows tablets will provide a better experience here. Why? Full USB ports. While most Android tablets don’t have full-USB and no iPad devices do, many Windows RT and 8 tablets will.
Most PC owners have a few USB controllers, webcams and other items designed for Windows PCs. These won’t work out of the box with RT (ARM) tablets, but all vendors likely need to do is update their drivers. This means that many of the most popular PC accessories will be dual-compatible with tablet devices and PCs— no need to own a gamepad for Windows 8 and a gamepad for your tablet, for example.
Unique designs. We’ve seen unique designs with Android tablets, but by-and-large most of them look quite similar. Most of the Windows 8 tablets we’ve seen so far seem to think outside of the box using kickstands, built-in keyboards and other changes. The fact that Windows 8 devices require paying for a license that means higher costs when compared to Android, vendors are having to step up their game to create sexy and unique offerings.
Many of these designs are also of hybrid nature, which means getting real-world work gets all that much easier.
I’m sure there are many other reasons, but here are just three. Is success “in the bag” for Windows 8 and RT? Not at all. Great advertising and designs are key. Microsoft needs to make consumers feel that Windows tablets are the best around— no easy task in a world that is somewhat jaded by both the failure of Vista and the idea of huge changes in Windows 8.
What do you think? What are some other great reasons why Windows 8 is different (and better) than Android and Apple competition?