While Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 aren’t perfect, I think that their idea is certainly a revolutionary one, if currently not perfectly implemented. What idea is that? Bridging mobile, phone and television through a common core and UI.
Microsoft has worked hard to bring the Modern/Metro look and feel to Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and even the Xbox. This platform unity is designed to make life easier for consumers, by giving them a consistent experience across the board.
Unfortunately, Microsoft’s current vision of this unification and bridge isn’t all the way there, though I truly believe Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are a step in the right direction.
So what’s missing? Honestly, I think a way to seamlessly make full-powered apps (desktop apps) work on all platforms and all architectures (ARM or X86) is part of the problem. Windows Store and Windows Phone Store also need to come together.
Additionally, Microsoft needs to better tailor the Windows UI to the platform at hand. While I think Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT are nearly perfect, Windows 8 itself needs to better differentiate between tablet and desktop. No, that doesn’t mean bringing back the start menu. It simply means making Windows 8 friendly for non-touch devices, which is what I believe Windows Blue will accomplish.
The vision that Microsoft is heading towards is of a OS that is highly scalable and adaptable dependent on the hardware: PC, tablet, entertainment console and phone. They will get there, but the might not be the first to reach that goal if they don’t watch out.
Ubuntu Introduces New UI for Tablets, Expanding on Phone/PC UIs
Today Canonical unveiled their new Ubuntu for Tablet interface, all while further showing how scalable Ubuntu is. The new UI allows you to “snap” phone apps to the right, running a phone app on a tablet at the same time as a true tablet app – making Ubuntu’s implementation much better for multi-tasking than many of the current mobile operating systems out there, like iOS and Android.
Watching the video, you’ll notice that a lot of what is in place seems VERY familiar. That’s because Canonical borrows heavily from the direction that Microsoft pioneered with Windows 8, only adding on the concept.
Even though I’m a Microsoft Windows user that enjoys Windows 8, I have to admit I’m impressed by what I see in the video below, and as a matter of disclosure I will admit that I use Ubuntu on my laptop and Windows 8 my primary (desktop) machine.
Does Ubuntu’s new implementation pose a threat to Microsoft? No, I don’t believe it does. Canonical doesn’t have the partnerships and firm industry relationships needed to fully realize what they are attempting here, at least in my opinion.
What Ubuntu does here though is show Microsoft where they need to go. People throughout the tech world are buzzing about this new UI and Ubuntu approach, many of the same people that are whining about Windows 8.
Modern is a winning stallion, they just need to learn to tame it first. Make Modern more user-friendly, solve problems that people whine about – like shutting down. Add more customization. Once these holes are filled, Microsoft will have an equally (if not more) scalable OS that Ubuntu is attempting to accomplish.
Unlike Canonical though, Microsoft has the partnerships and resources to actually run with this concept and from there the sky is the limit.
In closing, I’m not saying Ubuntu’s current form shown in the video is “better” than Windows 8, simply that it comes a bit closer to perfecting the idea of one OS for many different types of hardware. Imagine grabbing your phone and docking it to a tablet display, getting a tablet UI. Take that phone and plug it into a monitor and you have the desktop UI. Take that phone and hook it to a TV — TV UI. The idea here is one or two devices that can do everything, which could truly be useful in the enterprise world and for everyday consumers as well.
Ultimately, I think Microsoft will get there, and when they do, it will be epic. What do you think, agree with some of my thoughts on the subject? Disagree? Maybe you aren’t impressed by Ubuntu’s ‘vision’ at all? Share your thoughts below.