There are times during the course of technology when decisions appear to be obvious. iOS was based upon then OS X. Similar technology underneath, touch interface on top; because, you know, a touch device.
There are some who think Windows 10 S is the future of the PC; both desktop and notebook, as well as the hybrid tablet-cum-notebooks. In some ways, Windows 10 S is a crippled Windows. Then again, isn’t iOS something of a crippled OS X or macOS? Neither one can do what their predecessors can do now. How is that the future?
Crippled? Or, Controlled?
Ed Bott thinks we may focus too much on what Windows 10s cannot do vs. what it could do for the marketplace. As with iOS, Windows 10s only run applications from a certified and curated list of apps, in this case the Windows app store.
Is that restriction good? Or, is it bad?
I’m not sure what Microsoft’s end game is with a crippled version of Windows, but those built-in restrictions for app selection will help eliminate a large portion of the malware that haunts Microsoft. It also means Microsoft is shedding more of its legacy past and that, in turn, means a more secure platform, and faster performance.
In other words, Microsoft, with Windows 10, is moving in the direction of Apple’s iOS; a curated platform that sips battery energy, plays well on smaller, lightweight, battery-powered devices, and helps to protect the great unwashed masses of Windows users who don’t know to avoid downloading corrupt malware. In the end, they get more security and privacy and better performance than the full-on Windows 10 user. And, if they think they know better, those Windows 10s customers can upgrade to full-on Windows 10. For a price.
This change from antiquated platform to trimmed down, slimmed down, faster and more secure Windows 10s won’t happen overnight but there are benefits for many millions of customers who need someone to protect them from themselves.
You know, like Apple does with iOS.
Future Apple OS
Apple chose a different path than Microsoft with iOS. It’s a curated environment, made for battery powered devices, a walled garden for applications, and a safer place for 800-million or so customers to play with apps that are certified as worthy. To a lesser extent, Mac users have a similar place to play with macOS Sierra and the Mac App Store. Those apps, too, are curated and safer than the general riffraff found elsewhere. But Apple doesn’t cripple macOS Sierra or prohibit customers from choosing whatever they want to run on their Macs.
Today. Tomorrow may change.
It would be a trivial effort for Apple to prohibit Mac users from installing applications from anywhere else other than the Mac App Store. Adobe’s Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office might find an avenue of entry, but at a price. It could happen. I don’t think it will, because one advantage that macOS has over Windows is that it easily runs Windows and Linux and Unix varieties and all at the same time if you want. But Apple could lock down macOS as easily as it does iOS and as easily as Microsoft does with Windows 10s.
To be fair, Microsoft probably didn’t have much of a choice but to drop Windows RT as an iOS cousin, and double down on Windows 10 as the operating system of choice for desktop, notebook, and tablet hybrids. Windows 10 is not iOS, though. What Apple could do to better ensure privacy and security for their customers is to introduce macOS Lite, pre-installed on entry-level Macs– Mac mini, MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac 21.5-inch and ensure that only Mac App Store apps run on those devices– yet, make the upgrade to a full macOS little more than a click.
I don’t think we’ll see macOS and iOS merge, though capabilities continue to move in that direction. Likewise, we’ll probably never see Windows become a full touch device like iOS. However, the only way to create a truly secure platform is through complete curation. We see that with iOS. We’re seeing it with Windows 10 S.