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June 21st, 2011

Reports from last week’s WWDC 2011 conference confirm that Apple’s Mac OS X Lion (10.7) is going through a process of “iPadification,” borrowing visual cues and multi-touch gestures from the iOS that runs CRE’s iPad rentals. But the two operating systems will not merge. OS X will remain a computer-only creature while iOS will run Apple’s tablets and phones.

Microsoft has decided to think different, to coin a phrase. Following the botched Vista and the well-received Windows 7, Microsoft settled on a new tablet-style interface for Microsoft Windows 8Windows 8 and will deploy it for desktops, laptops and tablets. In the MS lineup, it will be phones not PCs, that have their own OS (now called Windows 7 Phone). Microsoft has to begin seriously competing in an insane tablet market of the iPad’s making.

Share and share alike

Windows has an installed base of some 93% of the world’s PCs. Sounds great, but it’s a big challenge: MS must keep existing Windows users happy on their desktops and laptops, while capturing (and satisfying) tablet users with the same user interface. Remember, too, that Windows 8 will be designed for touch functionality.

Blogger Mike Halsey runs the Web site Windows8News, where he recently likened the upcoming OS to a “mashup.” Programmers drafted bits and pieces of Zune, Windows Phone and Media Center Metro to fashion a tablet-type user interface, but “big chunks” of classic Windows are there to maintain the “MS look and feel.” Its designers must make it as efficient with laptops and computer rentals as with the various styles and sizes of wireless devices.

Shared OS…it just might work

Some pundits are dubbing Microsoft’s strategy a “have your cake and eat it, too” approach that will only work if MS can merge the two interfaces seamlessly. From recent peeks, official and otherwise, they may be getting close. In the Apple universe, it would be as if the iPad had a secret “stealth mode” for using OS X when needed. But that’s not how the story was written, and Apple’s astonishing success suggests Steve Jobs made the right call.

A shared-OS approach doesn’t make sense for Apple. Does it for Microsoft? Perhaps. If the company retains ties to Windows’ original, “old school” heritage as it moves into the mobile market – pads, phones, tablet PC rentals, etc. – it will have a potent OS offering real options. If users don’t like the Windows 8 “tile” user interface, for instance, they can easily switch to the “classic” Windows look. Windows 8 will be released in 2012, according to a Senior Marketing Executive.

Windows has always given users the freedom to choose software, hardware components and drivers, so providing a choice of interfaces builds on a core strength. CRE’s core strength is helping you break through challenges and workflow bottlenecks. Call or e-mail an expert Account Executive, or use the Quick Rental Quote form, and get hold of the solutions you need right now!

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