The days of the masses standing in line for a new version of Windows are long gone. Mac users once waited in line for hours to get the latest version of OS X. Those days are long gone as well. Mac vs. Windows? It’s not Déjà vu all over again. Nobody cares.
The One Word Review Of Windows 8
The times, they are a changing. Even Mac users no longer look forward to Apple’s latest OS X the way we once did merely a few cats ago. What’s happening?
Microsoft may have won the desktop and notebook OS wars, but Apple wasn’t a loser because the Mac is the most profitable personal computer line on the planet.
It doesn’t matter who won or lost or who’s ahead. Nobody cares much about the latest Mac or Windows version to hit the streets this year.
When Apple launched the Mac App Store and instituted OS X Lion download and install to upgrade (instead of waiting in lines for a DVD) some of the thrill was gone.
Along the way, Microsoft stayed married to Windows XP for too many years without innovation. Windows Vista became the upgrade to hell for PC users. Windows 7 won kudos from pundits, but has taken forever to supplant previous versions.
What’s the word on Windows 8? The unofficial one word review is, “Meh!” The Register has details from Gartner’s review of Windows 8. The verdict is another one word review “Bad.”
Windows continues the tradition as the preeminent OS developed by committee. Worse, future Windows tablets will have a combination of Windows 8 and Metro, a touch interface designed to compete with Apple’s much loved iOS.
What of the Mac? The line of cats continues with Mac OS X Mountain Lion. The response so far from the pundits? Meh! But in a different way than with Windows 8. The biggest complaint about Mountain Lion is the iOS-ification of the Mac. Unlike Microsoft’s grafted on Metro interface, Apple, step by step, has smoothly, effectively, and quietly, integrated familiar iOS components into the Mac.
The end results is that a few hundred million iOS users will find the Mac very familiar and instantly usable, while Windows PC users will find Windows 8 and the Metro interface a jarring, unfamiliar, mess.
Apple lost the desktop and notebook wars to Microsoft because the difference between Mac OS and Windows was nominal. That was then and this is now. Today, Apple is winning the mobile OS wars because the essence of Mac usability was transferred to mobile devices without the baggage associated with a desktop OS.
The Mac receives another halo boost (first from the iPod, then iPhone, the iPad) with iOS. As the Mac looks and feels and behaves more like an iPhone or iPad, a few hundred million iOS device-owning customers, look to their next PC purchase and think different.
The Mac becomes a familiar friend without all the complexity, security problems, and, because data is increasingly being transferred to the cloud, without compatibility issues. And no company does a better job synchronizing data between desktop and notebook devices and mobile devices than Apple.
We may not stand in line for Mac OS X Mountain Lion, but Apple has made the upgrade paths smooth, pleasant, and interesting and removed most of the fear and upheaval (and expense) from the past. Microsoft has not, and the Windows maker’s inability to fully integrate devices and capture the hearts of customers who’ve already moved their PC lives to their handheld devices means Microsoft will suffer accordingly.