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10/16/2012
09:04 AM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
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Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely

Microsoft's new operating system looks how a modern OS should--big, bold, and centered around apps. Suddenly, it's Apple's turn to catch up.

8 Key Differences Between Windows 8 And Windows RT
8 Key Differences Between Windows 8 And Windows RT
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
It's an irony Karl Marx would have loved. In getting users hooked on apps, Apple may have become its own gravedigger--at least for the Mac--while opening a door for Microsoft.

The popularity of the iPhone, and now the iPad, has changed consumers' notions about how computing devices should look and feel. The browser-based PC experience is giving way to the snappy, appy world of smartphones, tablets, and other new devices.

It started with the iPhone. Users embraced the idea of built-for-purpose apps that, while doing only one or two things, did them well. They also liked the fact that apps, when well designed, are free of the generic chrome and clutter on traditional PC applications. A slick and simple design code makes apps ideal for touch. Users don't have to worry about being all thumbs because in most cases there aren't many buttons to press.

No surprise then that iPhone-style apps soon showed up on other platforms--most notably phones powered by Google's Android. It was no coincidence, as a federal jury recently found in the Apple vs. Samsung patent case. Now, the world beyond phones and tablets is getting appified as industrial designers and interface experts from other fields embrace the concept.

[ Windows 8 raises a lot of questions. Read Is Windows 8 Too Risky For IT? ]

Roku, which makes a little box that transforms a standard television into a smartTV, uses the app metaphor to serve up on-demand programming and services from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and others. And the display screens used by news networks like CNN and Fox are starting to look pretty appy. (Most of those displays are built by Microsoft's recently acquired Perceptive Pixel unit).

The app influence is even making its way to the browser. eBay's redesigned home page, with its big, blocky images, looks suspiciously app-like--an indication that retailers seeking a unified brand image across multiple devices will start with their apps and work backwards. Their Web presences are becoming adaptations of their apps, not vice versa.

Which brings us back to Apple and Microsoft. Windows 8 and OS X Mountain Lion are the newest PC operating systems from Redmond and Cupertino, respectively. But it's Microsoft's that represents a bold leap into the app world. Microsoft has drawn lots of fire recently for being late to almost every significant tech development of the past decade, including mobile, music, and search.

Windows 8 GUI
Right touch: Windows 8's tactile GUI meets evolving expectations for computing interfaces.

But when it comes to embracing what appears to be the latest trend, apps, it's suddenly ahead.

Microsoft has done significant work to make the overall Windows 8 environment distinctive. The Modern UI (formerly known as Metro) has a consistent look and feel that starts with the Live Tiles interface, runs through its own and third-party apps, and extends into cloud services, such as Microsoft Music, that are available on Xbox Live.

Windows 8 apps are true apps, as I would define the term: Full-screen, specialized purpose, touchable, and always connected. And they can run on PCs or tablets, and have close cousins that will run on Windows Phone 8, which also uses Modern UI. For functions not suitable for touch, Windows 8 can be used with traditional input tools. And the classic Explorer desktop can be accessed on Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise with a single click.

OSX Mountain Lion? Despite some new fit and finish, it remains a traditional PC operating system that is a bridge too far from Apple's iOS-based mobile products. It sticks with old-style applications (window-based, general purpose, manipulated through mouse and keyboard) and the browser as the gateway to information and services.

OS Lion
Mouse that bored: OS X Mountain Lion is slick, but point-and-click is getting long in the tooth.

It does support the Mac's Multi-Touch trackpad, but still requires a lot of pointing and clicking to get around. And, given the rather astounding fact that as of this writing there is no such thing as a touchable Mac, it does not offer a tactile interface. Thus, even apps available from the Mac App Store must be written to conform to a GUI style that is increasingly being seen as old school.

So in terms of being a modern computer operating system, Windows 8 leaves OS X Mountain Lion in the dust. And that has a couple of important implications. It may be enough to stop advances that Apple has been making in the desktop market off the back of the iPhone and the iPad.

The other is that it may be a threat to the iPhone and iPad themselves. Users who prefer app-centric computing, and that may already be the majority, now have an ecosystem that offers a consistent experience across all devices, whether phone, tablet, PCs, or even a TV or gaming console. That's the new Microsoft ecosystem, and its foundation is Windows 8. Suddenly, it's Apple's turn to catch up.

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S. Kyle Davis
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S. Kyle Davis,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 2:11:13 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Before the post burns in flame posts, I'll say that I definitely agree. Apple's insistence that "the desktop is the desktop and touch is mobile and nowhere in the midst shall meet" has never made sense to me. If Windows 8 is as successful as I hope, it will be interesting to see how Apple reacts. An iMac with a touch screen is a pretty interesting idea.
JPolk
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JPolk,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 2:24:49 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
It's simple. The bulk of "work" gets done in desktops. I can tell you it is and will continue to be impossible for me to do audio work on a touch screen, particularly a touch pad. This is also true for the vast majority of people who work on their computers. Microsoft jumped the gun on touch. The bulk of the PC world simply can't use it in the workplace and that's where most of the computing is done.
S. Kyle Davis
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S. Kyle Davis,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 3:00:39 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
But with Windows 8, that isn't a problem. I still have the desktop with mouse and keyboard support. I'm just thinking of a Mac Pro with a detachable retina screen. When you pull it out, it switches to the OS X launcher (the name escapes me at the moment). Perhaps it has a lightening port on it, or maybe a thunderbolt port.

It just sounds like something the Apple fans would salivate over. Heck, I'd like it, and I'm not the biggest Mac fan (as much for price as anything. I'm unapologeticly cheap).
Paul987
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Paul987,
User Rank: Strategist
10/16/2012 | 3:01:16 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Exactly. Touch is great for basic tasks and content consumption, but it simply can't provide the accuracy, speed and ergonomics when it comes to the vast, vast majority of actual productivity tasks. That so many people seem to be in favor of replacing the entire desktop analogy with this new touch-centric paradigm speaks rather poorly as to what we're using technology for - small and simplistic tasks and consumption of various forms of media. Those tasks are fine, and I have several devices that only serve that purpose. On *those* devices, I want a simple touch based UI, but on devices I use for actual work (you know, the activity through which I actually make money to pay bills), I need a UI that best facilitates that work. And despite the inability of people who presumably don't do that type of work to understand, touch simply isn't optimal for those tasks. As such, I fail to see the desire, demand or need to force everyone into a single UI paradigm for any and all tasks.

If I need to cross an ocean, I don't take my car, and if I only need to travel a short distance, I don't go by plane. Each task is accomplished by the technology that most optimally serves that task.
S. Kyle Davis
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S. Kyle Davis,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 4:24:58 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
By "that type of work," what do you mean? I use Illustrator, Photoshop, and After Effects* daily. Those are precision applications that require a mouse to function. I am an aspiring author who writes 90,000 word documents, and that requires a keyboard and a mouse for proper cursor placement.

Windows 8 is a hybrid interface. That's the point. That's why it works. You have the desktop and full support for all traditional peripherals, but you also have a touch interface when on the go. There's no need for two devices. It's one device with two "modes." Tell me, honestly, why do you need two devices? The desktop does everything just as well as it always has. The only complaint is the lack of the start menu, which (despite the fact that I think this is a dumb, wrong-headed complaint) is easily brought back with free programs if you want it back so badly. No need to dive into metro apps when using desktop mode. But when you're on the go, you have everything there for you. If you end up having some time to sit down and do "real work" while you are out, you don't have to kick yourself for leaving your laptop at home. Or conversely, you don't have to carry around a laptop AND a tablet.

*No, I wouldn't try to run AE on a tablet. I'm just saying that I do "real work."
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
10/16/2012 | 5:27:50 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I agree with sklyedavis - why can't you have both? It doesn't have to be one or the other. That's what the article points out - a move to a touch interface(yes, there are some touch-enabled PCs out there already) but the ability to work traditionally on a desktop interface.
traimo088
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traimo088,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/28/2013 | 9:54:19 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Respectfully disagree that the bulk of work gets done in desktops. IG«÷m seeing more work moving to the iPad and other tablet devices. These devices support the notion (IT mission?) of G«£Information when you need it, where you need it, in the format you need it.G«• Imagine the facilities engineer with an iPad in a manufacturing facility. He comes across equipment that needs repair. He uses his iPad to take a picture of it and then creates a repair order on the spot. IG«÷m also seeing more and more people take their iPads to meetings to take notes and leaving their laptops in the office. Sophisticated applications may require a laptop but sometimes portability is all you need. Windows 8 does both.
Ryan Tan
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Ryan Tan,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/25/2013 | 12:40:01 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
i think a very real reason for apple to draw the line is to prevent mobile and desktop sales from cannibalising each other. Its already happening for iPad and laptops
JPolk
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JPolk,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 2:21:55 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I'm sure the twelve people who don't downgrade to Windows 7 will love it.
PMcDougall
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PMcDougall,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 2:39:00 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
@JPolk: Windows 8 PCs and tablets support mouse and keyboard, if that's what users prefer.
Jai151
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Jai151,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 3:09:38 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
But horribly, horribly inelegantly. Instead of buttons, there are hotspots with no visual cues. The desktop and Metro interfaces are a disaster to switch between and it must be done constantly for normal PC operation.

Windows 8 may be a wonderful competitor to iOS, but as a PCUI, it fails miserably.
sensi
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sensi,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 3:42:41 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Oh Jeez, you only have to press the windows key to switch between the 'classic' desktop and the Metro aka Modern UI startscreen... Seriously...
terryh
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terryh,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 2:48:28 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
If anyone has truly used Windows 8 with an open mind, then they will know that the tile/desktop metaphor is confusing and clumsy. I like the idea they have started with, but to say they have the future of the computer interface is frightening. Search is difficult to find (should be prevalent as an App or something. The Store is a nightmare to find things, oh, did I say anything about the search? I cannot see businesses running to this interface. Microsoft will need to do some iterations to get it right. Time will tell if it is the future.

I am ready for someone to come out with a new user friendly interface that is not old looking, but to me the current rendition of the Tiles interface is not it.
S. Kyle Davis
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S. Kyle Davis,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 3:02:57 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Well, although I disagree with your opinions on the interface, but that aside, I do hope that Apple will eventually see the benefit and come up with a similar, refined solution. I have much respect for Apple's design abilities, and I think that a hybrid Mac could be very interesting.
terryh
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terryh,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 3:33:26 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
My post is not an Apple endorsement. I am just not happy with the Windows 8 interface. I would rather have the desktop. Now the touch interface will work fine on a tablet of which I have not tried, but it may be an interesting alternative to the iPad.
sensi
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sensi,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 3:45:16 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Search is as difficult to find as starting to type your query right from the startscreen, please try again and come back telling us how difficult it is to find...
terryh
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terryh,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 4:36:06 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I wish that someone had told me that when I first started using Windows 8! I would not have thought it was that easy. LOL
sensi
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sensi,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2012 | 8:24:16 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I am glad I was able to help then. :)
TheBurningBush
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TheBurningBush,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2012 | 11:02:58 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
All you have to do to find search in Windows 8 is read a snappy quip in a semi-obscure online source. It's just that easy!!
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
10/16/2012 | 5:34:54 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
You are wrong. Seach is not hard to find. Enter search text on the start screen. Peope, learn to use what you have before you comment it can't be done or is difficult. It's called training, read the help screens, practice.
terryh
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terryh,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 7:01:48 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Training? Small businesses use something called OTJ Training which is not always complete. So be nice. I was not ugly about what I said, just was honest about what I experienced (just like the author of the article).
Doc Mike
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Doc Mike,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 2:59:38 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I'm sorry but you clearly don't understand or use the mac osx. One swipe with the magic trackpad and you get a screen full of widgets that give you all the same functions as the tiles on the Metro start screen. Swipe again and it's back to business. $29 to upgrade all 5 machines at home.
Don108
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Don108,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 3:02:29 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
One of the most totally clueless articles I've read in a long time. Just because I like driving my car doesn't mean I want to do so while eating a steak. Similarly, just because touch works well on phones and tablets doesn't mean I want it on a laptop or desktop.

The totally false assumption of this article is that people are morons and can only deal with an app-centric interface. Microsoft is thus presenting a schizophrenic dual interface so people can choose a Win7 or Formerly-Metro interface on everything.

Sorry. It doesn't work that way. My toaster has a clean and obvious interface and it's different from the interface on my coffee maker. People want the most effective interface for the hardware they're using. For laptops/desktops this is one similar to Win7, the traditional part of Win8, and OS X. Apple gets it. They're not so stupid as to give users two GUIs for the same hardware. Microsoft doesn't get it. That's why Win8 is headed to be a total disaster.

Oh, it will sell. It will sell in huge quantities. That's because they don't sell to users. Microsoft's primary customers are manufacturers like Dell and HP. But Dell and HP are companies and companies don't use an OS, people do. The other major customer for MS is the IT department. Again, departments don't use an OS, people do.

And people using Win8 on laptops and desktops are going to forget Formerly-Metro and just use the Win7 hidden behind Formerly-Metro. As MS heads toward a more exclusively Formerly-Metro future, they're going to have more unhappy end users.

And that's going to turn Win8 into "JAZ": Just Another Zune.
Jai151
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Jai151,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 3:12:00 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Unfortunately, you can't switch to just use the Win7 interface, you are forced to go back and forth between them. Which is why I'll just continue to use Win7
doctordawg
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doctordawg,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 3:31:12 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I wish you were wrong about the false assumption that people are morons.

I coded 6804 assembly language on Commodores, so I'm an old timer who wants everything my way. Win7 chopped down to mimic XP is my preferred production environment. There I can do multi-format HD video editing, multitrack audio, rich interface graphic processing with custom offset filtering, scripting and batch file processing, I create things.

The bell curve of future computer users want to touch an app and make their phone-cam picture look old, and then have it dance to a pre-programmed jangly tune in a meaninglessly cross-faded slide show. That's art to them. They care less about a matte layer or an aspect ratio than Madonna's fake back tattoo of the week. They consume, they don't create. They don't think differently. They want results now. App world suits them. It's clearly an interface for consumption. Quick, easy, mindless consumption.

It's shocking how often I get enlisted to help someone lost in a program where I say "did you try right-clicking the thing you're editing" and they look at me like I'm speaking farsi with a southern drawl.

I think "moron" might be harsh, but it's in the ballpark. OS X is out of the question for me. They force procedures to keep the Mac user experience consistent, which rubs me the wrong way, and every year they tighten down their "walled garden" approach to collaboration. The only difference between a walled garden and a prison is plants.
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
10/16/2012 | 5:35:45 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
"The only difference between a walled garden and a prison is plants."

I love it. You, sir (or madam), are a genious.
jreid631
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jreid631,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2012 | 9:23:21 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I use a Mac everyday at work for production and it is great for that. I use a Mac at home because it doesn't get infected as easily (someone is going to say but it could, who cares, reality is they don't now) and the rest of the family finds it easy and more importantly reliable. I love my Windows 7 machine for Gaming and various other reasons that put it above my Mac experience. I do think that for the "Average Joe User" the Mac (assuming you can do the higher price tag) is no doubt the better day in and day out option.

But your comment of

"The only difference between a walled garden and a prison is plants."

Is the best analogy of why I can't be behind Apple all the way either. Apple has had a habit especially since the return of Jobs (yes I know he saved the company) of telling you how your supposed to use your computer. Windows had always been the friend to the power user, allowing you to fit the experience to your own needs, not forcing you to work inside of their paramaters.

This is why Windows 8 irks me to no end. They are not only going the other way with their mentality but are leap frogging Mac to get there!

I wan't to to decide how to use "MY" computer. And I sure as heck don't want a $2000.00 computer to share the limitations of a cell phone!
dbtinc
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dbtinc,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 3:26:57 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I enjoy enjoy a good laugh first thing in the morning. Thanks - I needed to be entertained and appreciate sharing in your fantasy.
stahmasebi9211
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stahmasebi9211,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2012 | 6:28:07 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I think the author of this piece bumped his head. Windows better than Mac LOLOL
Palantir
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Palantir,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 4:49:51 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
This is laughable. I can only surmise that somebody paid for this 'review'. I'm quite happy to see the results in three months for adoption. And yes, I have used Windows 8. If you install one of the freeware apps that hides the desktop metaphor and gives back the start button it seems to work OK. Straight out of the box confusing does not even begin to describe it. Plainly designed for anything but a computer. Microsoft does it again.....
PMcDougall
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PMcDougall,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 5:16:09 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
@Palantir, I can assure you that no one paid for this review. But if you wish to believe there's a hidden agenda behind every viewpoint that differs from your own, be my guest. (I forget what the clinical name for that is...)
jasonscott
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jasonscott,
User Rank: Strategist
10/17/2012 | 2:24:35 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
@Palantir ... I don't think Mr. McDougall was paid by MSFT to write this article.

It seems far more likely that he's just completely uninformed and possibly biased. He completely overlooked that Apple has had Widgets -- which are actually single-purpose or simplified applications that date all the way back to OSX "Tiger" in 2004 -- three years before Apple introduced us to "apps" in the iPhone.

When you consider that, it hardly seems like MSFT is taking the lead on this. On the contrary, MS is just now about to offer something that its primary competitor has had for 8 years.

Then again, maybe Mr. McDougall did know about OSX Widgets. In that case, you'd have to wonder why he didn't at least mention them ... which certainly sounds like something that someone might do if they were trying to gain favor with MSFT.

But I'd hate to think that Mr. McDougall would have done something like that.
George Leon
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George Leon,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 6:03:37 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Apple has icons, not widgets. Widgets give you useful information without having to open or click anything.
George Leon
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George Leon,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 6:02:15 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Yeah, I know, that big Live Tile that says DESKTOP is so confusing. smh...
It is pretty obvious who has used 8 or RT & who is regurgitating the crap they read on their favorite Mac Fan Blog.
Verdumont Monte
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Verdumont Monte,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 5:25:01 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I Used the Win8 only on a non-touch VM environment, I personally feel that there is a steep learning curve. I think users will have hard time understanding the features, but once they get used to this, they will stick to it as it is more productive. (Cough.. cough.. Vista??)
sensi
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sensi,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2012 | 9:13:54 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
'Step' learning curve:
Learn to use the 'windows key + d' keyboard shortcut to go straight to the desktop
Learn to use the windows key to switch between desktop and the start screen
Learn that you can type your search right from the start screen.

That's it all, this isn't exactly rocket science even for the most unskilled user, IMHO.
jreid631
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jreid631,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 5:46:54 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
So how much did Microsoft pay you for this positive spin? I agree with the Doc Mike's comments 100%, you clearly don't know Mac OSX Mountain Lion. With a simple swipe on the trackpad you have all the iOS functionality you could possibly want. Apple learn from Microsoft? Please! Apple included their iOS interface without making you use it, and crippling access and use of the traditional desktop. Apple OS X Mountain Lion is powerful and intuitive. The big difference in the real world is as follows. An old man, use to a traditional desktop, sits down on a Mac and uses the interface as he knows how to use it, without the iOS features being in the way, in fact he doesn't even know they are there (kinda like Paul McDougall). The same man sits down on the Windows 8 machine and can't figure out the Metro interface, doesn't know how to get to the traditional desktop and gives up in frustration, because it's not intuitive. Apple wins again. Learn what your talking about before you embarrass yourself in an article the world might just see.
PMcDougall
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PMcDougall,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 6:17:32 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
@jreid: for the record, InformationWeek does not accept payments from vendors for reviews, positive or negative. sorry you're so paranoid.
jreid631
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jreid631,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 6:45:33 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Ignorant to your policy certainly. Paranoid no. In fact the word paranoid doesn't even fit in the above context. While your better preparing for future reviews, you might want to invest in a dictionary. They show you the proper usage of the word in a sentence. I see you had no objection to what I said otherwise though. I'll take that as, I was right, leaving you only to make a witless comeback. In fact the way you improperly speak and sidestep what was said, makes you probably better suited for politics than journalism.
PMcDougall
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PMcDougall,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 7:14:20 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Believing there is some kind of conspiracy or hidden agenda at work (like, "this review was paid for by Microsoft!"), just because you encounter an opinion that differs from your own fits the very definition of paranoid, which includes "an irrational distrust of others." As for the substance of your argument, when you say that with "a simple swipe on the trackpad you have all the iOS functionality you could possibly want", does that include the ability to run apps coded for iOS on OSX. Really? I'd like to see that. Windows 8 unifies desktop and mobile devices in a way that the Apple ecosystem has yet to achieve (in my unbiased, not bought-and-paid-for, opinion).
jreid631
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jreid631,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 11:21:17 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I checked in the thesaurus and conspiracy and paranoia aren't listed as interchangeable words either. You really have no idea what paranoia is? I am not paranoid and was joking at your highly unpopular personal, unbiased and poorly explained opinion. Your comment about running apps coded fo iOS on OS X to a degree is a valid one; however Apple's developmental tools make it extremely easy to port the code to each platform. Time will tell how important it will be to have the exact same app run on all device. My opinion is that I am tickled my desktop apps are way better than my cell phone and tablet apps. When it comes to the unilateral idea that all software runs on any device, in my opinion will mean that software will bow to the lowest common denominator and run at the level a cell phone can provide. So either software will be at a stand still until cell phones and tablets catch up or are we suddenly at the technology limit for hardware? My opinion is that both are ridiculous conclusions. Your opinion is an interesting one and It certainly is an argument that would have been worth mentioning in your article above. That is not the case you made. You said in your article they are just close cousins, insinuating that the phone needs different code, not interchangeable so which is it? Regardless it is barely different than the conversion required on OS X. I hope that Microsoft has a great idea and it is fully implemented and their new OS changes the face of computing. However if their own history repeats as history usually does their approach will be nothing but a gimmick that fades into obscurity. The good news is that windows 10 will probably catch up with OS X Lion. The best versions of Windows have always been when they finally copy what the other guy does better. Long live Windows 7 best MS OS so far, a great polished OS (oh and it looks good too).
jasonscott
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jasonscott,
User Rank: Strategist
10/17/2012 | 2:42:41 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
First, arguing with your readers isn't exactly endearing.

Second, you seem to be completely unaware of and unfamiliar with a significantly similar desktop technology from Apple that pre-dates -- by more than 8 years! -- the technology that you're applauding MSFT for bringing to the desktop. This shows either an appalling lack of research (and thus professionalism) on your part, or an inexcusable bias.

Your article focused on the Win8 desktop having small single-purpose "apps" conveniently at-the-ready. You mentioned nothing of the same app running cross-platform, on multiple devices. Apple's Widgets are apps that are conveniently accessible on the Mac -- click the Dock icon; swipe to the side on the trackpad, hit a key on the keyboard. I'll concede that Win8 Tiles are more visible, built right into the desktop. But I don't want my Widgets/Tiles in my face all the time. I don't need them there all the time. And I'm quite certain that the Tiles desktop will look old pretty quick, despite the ever-changing nature of them. Lest we forget that one of people's favorite things to do with their desktop is to personalize it with family photos, vacation spots, whatever.
Leo Regulus
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Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 5:54:48 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
But we shouldn't forget. Much of the 'fight' talk between MS & Apple has been fomented by even hungrier media. Essentially, MS & Apple are two very different cats. They do seem to feed on similar 'prey' (us). And, there is plenty of 'prey' out there for all. Some of us prefer to be 'eaten' by MS and others by Apple. Then there is that 7% in between. If you really look around, nobody is starving. Notice also, that cats usually 'play' with their food for a significant time before eating it. As with all creatures, after they eat, what they have eaten takes exactly the same form. Have a nice day.
bwalker970
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bwalker970,
User Rank: Strategist
10/16/2012 | 6:07:04 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I can run most applications in full screen mode on Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.8 but I choose not to do so. In fact, I have always hated that behavior in Windows. I frequently use more than one program and more than one window at a time on my desktop so a single window interface would seriously get in the way. I would not want to use a touch interface on a desktop. Touch would just be too tiring on a large screen and the interaction with an app as a touch interface is much different than with a mouse. Trackpad support in Mac OS X is very efficient and I have seriously considered replacing the mouse on my desktop with a trackpad.

My favorite new feature on Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) is the Notification Center. Although Windows has task bar notifications which are kind of similar, the Mac OS implementation is actually useful while the Windows implementation has tended to get in the way and Clippy was just annoying.

As usual, Microsoft's approach to new features is very gimmicky. I expect that the latest revolutionary Windows interface will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors.
Gussy2000
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Gussy2000,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 7:22:34 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I definitely would NOT call this the "end' of OSX but I think this (Windows 8) will get more traction than people think.

I don't like Windows 8. At least, I did not like the consumer preview. I don't have a real issue with Windows 7 and my phone is Android so my patience for learning the new GUI might have been biased from the start. BUT, I was thinking about it today, and I don't think if I was forced to use Window 8 on a new computer it would be all that bad (and I DON'T like change when I don't feel things are broken). I think, over time, I'd probably get used to it, even like it.

If that is MY attitude (and I'm a persnickity tech consumer), then I think most people will be fine with transitioning to Windows 8 (especially younger users with no old habits to break).

That said, once consumers get used to 8 on a laptop or desktop, I think, like the article infers, when they go to upgrade their smartphone and/or tablet, they may give a WP8 touch/mobile device a 2nd look. After all, they will recognize the GUI from their own computer.

I think, right now, the AVERAGE (non geek) consumer does not make a strong connection between the look of the current W8 handsets and the Windows desktop software they have used all their lives.

With Windows 8, Microsoft is (finally) changing that. I also think the likelihood of enterprise adoption will help. So many of us use Windows and Office in our jobs, there is no learning curve when we get home. If MS can continue that trend with Windows 8.....

It's pretty much how it created the "evil" empire in the first place.
JMARUSKIN000
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JMARUSKIN000,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 7:49:05 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
To the point that " there is no such thing as a touchable Mac" I suggest this is almost exactly what you get when you combine Mountain Lion with the Multi-Touch trackpad. It took a full day to get used to, but now when my fingers are on the trackpad they are "on the screen" - and I don't have to reach away from my (blue tooth) keyboard!
malm
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malm,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 9:04:23 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Click on launchpad on MacOSX screen and you have Windows 8 like interface. What is lacking is the live icons/tiles that Windows 8 has. That is all the difference between MacOSX and Windows 8 at the moment. Paul should have compared these two modes of the graphical user interface not mixing desktop interface with launchpad/tile interface.
dcssteve
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dcssteve,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 9:40:06 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I do not agree. It is great that Microsoft may have a phone and tablet operating system that can compete with Apple and could even offer some features exceeding the current Apple iPhone and iPad features. However, Windows 8 is misguided for business and business desktop computing. Windows 8 has insured a long life for Windows 7 in corporate America. All of a sudden the game has changed. Just think of the retraining and burden on IT departments to install and train hundreds of thousands of employees. No start menu, the staple of Windows to-date. Touch software running on mouse machines. We supply an application to corporate America and I can tell you, this will not fly. My own business admistrator and office manager took one look and said "Keep it off my computer".

Microsoft has become over focused on social computing and phones and it seem most of the editors writing articles have as well.

As far as the Windows 8 table and phone market, it is all smoke at this time. The test in using. When I go into an Apple store, I see it full of enthusiastic users. Also, there are usually children at the demo table playing with an iPad. If you have a problem, you take the device to an Apple Genius and they get it fixed. What do you do with a malfunctioning Surface or brand x, Windows 8 tablet. There are no Microsoft Stores in the mall.

I am quite anxious to see how this all plays out. Bill Gates was in the right place at the right time and became rich and famous because he owned DOS when IBM walked through the door. Apple was created by vision. Where is the vision at Microsoft? Windows has never been an efficient operating system. I do, at least, hope Windows 8 runs more efficiently than Windows of the past.

Competition is great for product development and consumers. The Microsoft Offerings will probably improve Apple products in the future. Certainly, the reverse is true for Microsoft and Google.
Mike_Acker
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Mike_Acker,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 11:55:26 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
it's no longer (a) or (b): there's a 3d choice: Linux.

Dell is already offering systems pre loaded with Canonical's Ubuntu desktop and this may be an easier switch than win8... plus you get a much better designed os...
johnitguru
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johnitguru,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2012 | 1:23:21 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Incredible horse manure. MicroKlunk has NO APPS and worse their interface is so FUGLY no one wants to be caught dead using it!
Gervs
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Gervs,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2012 | 3:02:36 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Big, bold and centered around apps maybe OK for tablets and phones but it looks a little "childish" to be on a desktop. Touch controls are truly great but not for everything
I think windows 8's biggest new adoption will be through tablets as a windows pro tablet would be capable enough to replace a current laptop entirely. Of course people will buy windows desktops, after all it is the market leader, but the metro layout will mostly be overlooked after the initial novelty wears off (for those without a touchscreen desktop).

As a side note this is the first time I have seen an author not only argue but covertly, then overtly (possibly after losing their temper) insult their readers and commenters, whilst accusing them of being intolerant of viewpoints other than their own. I mean; correcting people's accusations of payment for positive reviews is one thing but insulting them for suggesting it, then getting into an argument over semantics is not only highly unprofessional but also pretty childish, especially for someone who is a "senior editor" (according to the bio link below). Yes, people troll and say vile things in comments, but shouldn't the author show a little bit more self control and dignity than to engage in a pointless back and forth, to show that they are above petty comments left my relatively anonymous posters. I look forwar to more of Paul McDougal's articles, as the comments section is quiet insightful and entertaining, shame the article was predicable for the outset.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2012 | 1:58:54 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
imho, Paul has been anything but a staunch supporter of Microsoft in the past (especially when Apple was building it out its iEverthing ecosystem). In fact, I took issue on occasion with him to what I perceived was bias. However, after following Paul for quite awhile now, I have come to respect his commentary because I feel that it is quite accurate.

Everyone is entitiled to their opinion. IW is not WikiPedia and, as such, is not here to espouse absolute fact in every article published. There will be articles that will lean one way or the other. I am fine with that. It stimulates conversation. Point. Counterpoint.

But, when posters get so angry as to become vile and accusatory, I for one am glad to see Paul defending his position (using his real name no less) to some idiot (anonymous) posters accusing him of being a paid shill for MSFT. People, we can do better than this in moving the conversation forward...
Aden11
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Aden11,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2012 | 3:39:54 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Austin, you are absolutely right. I am following Paul on IW for some time now. I always enjoy reading his analysis.

Paul: Though I do not agree with this article but I think you raise some interesting points. I also think this article is premature. Win 8 is not out yet. We have to wait and see how it behaves when ordinary people start using it.

I use WIN 7 at work and Mac at home. And honestly, whenever I need to write a detail report/analysis I always prefer to use Mac. I find multi-tasking on Mac is much much better than Win 7. But again it depends how you use your PC and also your personal taste.

Tracy-ITW
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Tracy-ITW,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2012 | 1:57:51 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I DO NOT WANT most of my "apps" to be full-screen, especially on a 27 inch display. The absolute worst thing about IOS on my old iphone is that when it decides to jump to Safari search due to an inadvertent touch, I lose all the previous context (and still haven't figured out how to go back.) Windows are *great* so long as you don't have to jump through lots of them to get a task done. BTW: If you are using a single desktop via a screen sharing tool, repainting the entire screen is also a non-starter when moving between different activities. I'm not saying Win 8 is better or worse, just a complete non-starter for me, and apparently a lot of others.
Mark532010
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Mark532010,
User Rank: Strategist
10/17/2012 | 2:48:00 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I am quite confident that Win8 will do quite well. It will be preinstalled on most consumer devices. heck, I have lots of friends who still have Vista on their computers and are happy with it.

I don't fault Microsoft for moving ahead, I think it is a bold move and one that will fit well with the emerging suite of tablet/laptop devices. I just wish the desktop users weren't having to play second fiddle.

Obviously I can get my work done with Win8. But I lose all of my choices - something that used to be synonymous with Windows. As desktop apps become "legacy" and everything moves to ModernUI, I lose multi-tasking - why? because low powered tablets cant do it. it doesn't matter that my quad-core system is running at 99% idle, I don't get the choice any more. I lose the ability to change font sizes in apps - why? because low powered tablets cant do it. I don't get the choice any more. I lose the ability to change the low-contrast color of the scrollbars - why? because low powered tablets cant do it. etc.

I saw a great post where the poster was raving about how 8 worked so much better for him, he could have his mail or his messaging snapped to the side while he worked in the desktop. This highlights exactly what I am saying - he gets the mail OR the messaging. Want both, at the same time? (gasp) well you cant. Why? because Microsoft decided that since low powered tablets cant do it, nobody needs it any more.

I think ModernUI is a great idea. I like how easy the finger swipe control seems to be (though why the mouse was deliberately made hard is beyond me - try going back 10 pages in IE10 using a mouse) I just don't understand why the choice has to be taken away. Why couldn't we have the best of both worlds?
Gideon
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Gideon,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2012 | 4:44:46 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Is this Paul McDougall? What happened to him on the way to Damascus? Anyway, for the first time, I agree with Paul. I have already predicted it that, Metro will succeed eventually.
jreid631
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jreid631,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2012 | 5:24:13 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I certainly respect your opinion but when you have to say eventually, I am not sure that equates to success. It may be that I am making the mistake of adding popularity into the mix when deciding if something is successful. To me a successful product would be one that everyone is lining up around the corner to buy, not one that has a large user base because it came preinstalled on the new hardware I purchased. I personally pre-ordered 3 copies of Windows 7. I tried Windows 8 and have the opinion that I would only migrate out of software necessity, or a new equipment purchase. I certainly have no desire to buy it on it's own merit. For me Windows 8 is a horrible downgrade and an insult to desktop users. Basically Windows 8 may become "successful" through the attrition of older versions of windows. I am sure that at some point do to software attrition that Windows 8 may have a large, if not the largest user base. That does not mean it is successful in the eyes of users. Remember Windows ME and Windows Vista? They were the next big thing too, and nobody but Microsoft consider them successful.......
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
10/19/2012 | 5:50:27 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Yes, it will, but not for technological or UX reasons, but solely only because the vast majority of users who are stuck in the Microsoft ecosystem will have no choice.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/19/2012 | 1:56:31 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Really? How about all those XP users who are still chugging merrily along?
jmenard-cc
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jmenard-cc,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/22/2012 | 8:44:07 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Those XP users will eventually have to transition when their computers are no longer up to snuff
stahmasebi9211
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stahmasebi9211,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2012 | 6:26:28 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Sorry, I am not a fan of that Windows tile interface and I certainly won't ever buy another product from Microsoft again. They had their time and now it's gone. They are on the decline and have been for years.
TheBurningBush
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TheBurningBush,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2012 | 11:13:19 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I'm sorry I got a new 23' monitor. If I had realized apps ran full screen I would have gone for a 32'.
Full screen just seems like a big waste of space that could be cluttered up with useful windows, incons, notes, pictures etc. Some people like a clean neat desktop and some like me need clutter to think clearly and function quickly. That not Metro (Not-tro?)screens black space bothers me. How about a picture of my daughter in the corner, a pic of the dog, icons for the documents I'm working on in the lower area, and another pic of my kids that show out from whatever I'm working on?
I don't like cutesie colors and images from a child's book filling up my screen. Cluttered is organized in a fuzzy logic way.
I'm not saying I'm right, but this is what I like.
RitchieSmith
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RitchieSmith,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2012 | 7:14:47 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Win8 looks like the Partridge Family's bus.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
10/19/2012 | 5:48:56 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Apps for what? Most of the apps already exist for W7 and many do a better job on W7. So what's the point of W8? The Win8 commercials are dead on, Windows 8 is like a rocket that got stuck at 8 seconds before lift off. And if it ever would get off the ground it would tip over and blow up in a fire ball.
ben1628
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ben1628,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/19/2012 | 10:48:04 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I have been using windows 8 for over 2 months now, so I can speak from a real world experience. I have a 4 years old desktop computer with 3 screens; a tablet with a 256 G SSD, a 2 year old laptop all running windows 8 (mind you, I do have a IPhone 4s).

To be honest, it does take a day to get used to the new UI. However, once you are accustomed to it, you will find it starts up faster, and there is only one UI to learn. I use mouse and keyboard on my desktop and laptop, touch on my tablet and everything is in sync. The OS is solid and the old apps seems to run faster. The office 2003 preview are very nice in all the devices.

I think we may have a winner here.
delliott75002
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delliott75002,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/20/2012 | 3:44:10 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
The real issue here is the "bet the house" approach that MS has offered up in the Metro, ACK! I mean Win 8 or, WTF as it may as well be called.

Having seen the toileting effect of "we have the greatest marketshare, and we can't lose" that RIM has borne out, MS needs a hail mary pass to offset the end game from coming to Redmond.

That being said, the presumption that they can make a product that doesn't suck, is a bit of a reach, and that the early adopters will, as MS always demands, become the beta testers for the actual product.

If users are to evolve from the iteration of mouse/keyboard as originally conceived in the Xerox PARC world we now live in, it will take on new forms, to be sure.

And since the Icon scrolling touch interface has made Apple rich, and Samsung the loser in it's cloning of that interface, MS is right at taking a new tack.

I know it will sell, but will it change the world? Probably not. It's too late, the concept of making a new eating utensil to usurp the ubiquity of knife, fork, spoon is pretty much inconceivable. That is the same issue that MS faces.

Is what they have so much further ahead, easier to use, and immediately adoptable that all others will bend to them?

Doubt it.

TMagrini850
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TMagrini850,
User Rank: Strategist
10/20/2012 | 4:42:23 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Having used the beta of Windows 8, I can "appsolutely" state that it is the most horrid version of Windows to come out yet. Microsoft is the last company in the world (besides RIM) to pattern a operating system around mobility. The garishly colored tiles can thankfully be turned off to reveal... drumroll... a standard Windows 7-ish desktop interface sorely lacking in the features provided in the latest version of Mac OS X. Nice try Microsoft... back to the drawing board.
kcwookie
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kcwookie,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/20/2012 | 11:43:21 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
Microsoft is swinging for the fences. After letting their brand fall on hard times, they are trying to catch up in one shot. I don't really care what M$ does, I use W7 sometimes, but it isn't nearly as comfortable to use as OS X. Apple will push forward, but it will be deliberate, and measured, not a rushed one size fits all approach. Mountain Lion and iOS 6 are nice partners. Partners, not OS in miscegenation like W8. I'll take my Mac any day.
Edwin_Arneson
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Edwin_Arneson,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2012 | 6:19:27 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
This is so wrong. Small devices sacrifice "chrome" due to the limited space. I don't want to run 1 application on a large monitor. I have widgets along the sides that tell me information; I have terminal windows that display status updates; I might be doing several things at once. I don't need to do that on a phone... I do need to do that on my desktop computer. Remember back in the '80s when computers only did 1 thing full screen? We've moved on from there. Metro Win8 is a throwback to the '80s (plus touchiness).
MRODGERS000
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MRODGERS000,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/22/2012 | 12:34:09 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I do not like Apple or their operating system but I will not embrace Windows 8. I don't need a flashy phone interface for my computers. I think you media types will be the only overjoyed persons to use this interface. I like Windows 7 and plan to use it for a long time. Windows 8 does not seem to be an operating system for the silent majority,
Christopher Quinn
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Christopher Quinn,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/7/2013 | 12:51:38 AM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
People are using their feet to vote on windows 8 and the sales figures tell the story. And who would want a touch screen PC. I want to rest my arms not have them constantly up at a screen. This OS is best kept for mobile hardware and not for the PC.
sergioxii
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sergioxii,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/27/2013 | 5:55:38 PM
re: Windows 8 Beats The Mac, Appsolutely
I'm Microsoft user since 1991. When I tried Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 I've made decision to move on MAC OS X. As for server I moved to Linux in 2009. But but now it is time for desktop. Windows 7 was not so bad, but recently, I've realized the pricing om Apple especially for server side is absolutely another world. So Windows 8 is useless monster for touchscreen loosers (sorry, content consumers), I tried all possible "StartButtonBack" options and 3rd party software and found that this is a cosmetic change and windows 8 interface fundamentally different from what it was before. So this article sounds kind humiliation for logical way of thinking. Desktop workstation has nothing to do with touchscreen concept.
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