The Mac Vs PC debate will never really end will it? Microsoft and Apple fans will always argue about which beloved platform they believe is superior. It’s become an argument of almost religious significance to some and it’s silly because what really matters is that these operating systems are functional and useful tools to get work done.
The Mac Vs PC Wars have evolved over the years, the question becomes, where are they headed to next? Both Microsoft and Apple are slowly but surely reinventing their desktop systems and bringing them into the post-PC era. Mobile products like smartphones and tablets have necessitated desktop operating systems becoming more influenced by touch-based UIs and evolving into more simplified systems.
However Microsoft and Apple have decided to pursue very different interpretations of how to implement mobile influences within their OSes.
Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 merged the desktop and mobile environments into one system. The controversial Modern UI make look great and work awesome on tablets, but it doesn’t make much sense when using a mouse or keyboard. Windows 9 will see Microsoft build one operating system for all devices. It will run on your smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop machine. The smartphone edition will only feature the Modern UI mode however, as the desktop environment will be stripped away. All other editions will pretty much function in much the same way as Windows 8.1 does, with a Windows 7-style desktop mode beneath, however we can expect to see the return of the Star Menu and the ability to run Modern UI applications within the desktop setting.
This decision to have one OS working across all devices is certainly ambitious. But can it really work?
By contrast, Apple has kept Mac OS X and iOS entirely separate. iOS 8, like previous iOS editions only runs on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and OS X Yosemite will only run on the Mac. Apple’s strategy differs to Microsoft’s in that the UI of OS X remains a desktop one, with support only for mouse and keyboard input and no touch-based control allowed. However it is clear that mobile technologies are seriously influencing the direction of desktop systems. OS X Yosemite takes its design cues from iOS right across the board. It is now starting to feel as if the tail is wagging the dog. Smartphones and tablets that were once companion devices to desktop computers are now leading the direction of their mouse and keyboard-based predecessors and this will no doubt continue now that mobile devices are vastly outselling desktop machines.
While Microsoft want to create a one sized fits all solution for the future of the operating system, Apple, at least for now, recognise that this is too difficult an undertaking and wish to keep OS X and iOS separate, albeit with ever increasing integration between them. For example, OS X Yosemite can send an receive iPhone calls and even allow the user to begin a project on an iPad and continue it on a Mac. But my question to you today is, which direction for the future of mobile and desktop computing is better? Do you believe Microsoft’s one OS to rule all devices will ultimately prove most successful, or is Apple’s decision to separate the mobile and desktop world a more practical solution?
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