Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Death of Windows

It's fitting that Mac is calling their new OS Lion. It's fitting because it is the OS that is going to tear though and conquer everything. Windows? It's dead.

Apple has built an empire on the phrase, "It just works." And you know what? It does. Next time my parents need a computer, why would I get them a Windows? With Apple, more so now than ever with Lion (due out Summer 2011), the learning curve is virtually gone. Why does the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the iPad work? Because you can sit down with them and know how they work with little effort.

What's more, Apple is now the computer of choice for just about every single college freshman. Microsoft had a similar tactic when I was in college--I paid only 15 bucks for the Office Professional suite and 25 bucks for Windows 98 at the college bookstore. Apple is at nearly every college campus in the country, offering discounts and, of course, Apple credit cards to pay for them. For the ones not willing to pay $1000+ on a laptop, they give an iPhone.

People want things that look the same. It's only logical that people want a computer that interacts as simple as their phone. The new iMovie program in iLife is enough to make any parent lust to have it in their home--so their kids too can create videos that blow their peers away. And iPhoto is iCandy to every senior’s eye--a photo suite that makes it simple to print out albums.  It's cool, and there's something for everyone.

Apple is doing something that Microsoft hasn't figured out: they're making their consumer see how their life will be easier if only they could have on.

Microsoft has a nasty habit of innovating after innovation--Zune is better than iPod in many ways, but it came too late; the same can be said of the latest Windows mobile. If the rumors are correct, they too are working on an app store for computers/tablets, but time will tell if it comes too late.

Windows, for now, will remain the computer of businesses, but I suspect Android will soon take care of that. 

Things change. The giant today is the dwarf tomorrow. So why should it matter? Because, while I love Apple, and have four in my house, the idea of having a computer with apps means the ultimate end to customization. Sure we can tweak the computer, but soon it will only be in a way that Apple wants.

I like Apple. I like apps. They're simple. But the idea of someone having them deciding what apps are approved and rejected is worrisome.


Brandon Johnston said...

I see where you're coming from; Mac us ridiculously user friendly. But you're discounting a large percentage of techies/pc gamers out there that make up a healthy percentage of the market for Microsoft as well. only about 25% of the PC gaming market makes the games compatible on both platforms, and anyone who likes to build their own machines will never build a mac because we don't have the resources to mess with processor architecture to make it compatible. People build the Hackintosh all the time, Windows machines that can run Mac OS, but they aren't that stable.

Google is great with what they are doing with Android and their rumored Chromium OS that will run on PCs, but it will be a while before the 3rd party software support is there. Mobile apps and real computing software are different beasts.

Also, and this is a mistake that a lot of people make, not everyone likes an operating system for its shiny interface and ease of use. I'm well versed in all computing platforms, and I don't like how difficult Mac OS does all the thinking for me. It's gorgeous to look at, but not what I prefer in my computing experience. I understand that there are those that DO prefer their OS to look pretty and do everything at a single mouse click. That's fine. But that's not what everyone wants for their computing experience- not even the majority. yet.

You're right about Microsoft coming late to a lot of parties, and bringing innovation when no one wants it. Zune is a perfect example.

On the other hand, sometimes it pays off that they bring innovation late. When the first Xbox came out, everyone scoffed. "WTF does MICROSOFT know about videogames?" Turns out they knew a lot. And they are dominating the online gaming market right now, in spite of being an inferior system to the PS3.

Apple will never really KILL Windows, because there will always be those who prefer the software philosophy behind Windows. Apple has gone to great lengths to close the gap between which is more widely accepted for a personal computing experience, but I think there will always be the two camps, and Google will never edge MS out of the game.

If you actually read this comment from start to finish, bless you. :D

Scott Douglas said...

I still use Windows, and I actually love it...but people seem to be getting dumber when it comes to technology, which is sad. There are always exceptions, but I think very soon Mac will have the market share on home computing.

In regard to Android, I think small companies will continue to use MS, but big ones will prefer a Android or Linux based system--it's cheaper just to outsource it, have someone customize it just for their company, and not have to worry about paying a license for every computer.

Brandon Johnston said...

I agree with you that people are becoming more lazy from a mental standpoint, and see how Mac could take advantage of this. It is sad. More people would build their own computers if they only realized how easy it is.

Economically, I see your point about Android. And I'm a huge fan of open source, and hope it only get's bigger, if for no other reason than to challenge Apple and Microsoft's complacency. I think Ubuntu needs to flip the technology world on its ear and create a mobile platform. :D

Scott Douglas said...

Ubuntu is great...better than anything Google has put out. But it's a geek machine--it's never been able to catch on mainstream. Google has the name to actually pull open source off.

Rachel Storm said...

I don't know, I've never understood comments about Apple products being so easy to use. I always have a hell of a time figuring them out. I think it depends on the person.