re: Windows 8: Do I Really Need A Single OS?
Microsoft has been trying since the days of Windows CE to gain a significant foothold in the mobile space. Based on their history, we would be wise to be skeptical about Windows 8 and the forthcoming tablets that will be running it. I realize that things are a little different this time. Windows 8 is the result of a full court press by Microsoft to finally establish itself as a player in mobility. I believe it will turn out be too little, and much too late.
The reason BYOD has become such an important discussion is because users are finally realizing that apps matter and OS's do not. To go even further, I think users are beginning to realize that apps that allow them to work with their data are what's important, regardless of who makes the app. In my own case, my company-issued notebook runs Microsoft Office, but my iPad, Android smartphone and Kindle Fire all run Quickoffice, and I can exchange documents in both directions. Why would I wait for Microsoft's tablet or a someday, maybe version of Microsoft Office on the iPad. As the article suggests, it might be nice, but it's not compelling.
Not only is the genie out of the bottle on this, but I think we are beginning to discover that the bottle, which once served such an important purpose, is now not only unnecessary, but also far too limiting. Policies and procedures that corporations once applied to (and more importantly, through) a standardized OS will now be applied to data and pathways (network traffic). How we get there will be a much more individual choice.
IOS is successful, in part, because Apple did not try to fit the MAC onto a tablet. It started with a clean slate and wrote the OS to fit the medium. Microsoft, in trying to create a one-size-fits-all OS, will once again deliver a product in the mobility space that is a jack of all trades, but master of none. Did you ever used Pocket Word or Pocket IE? The gap between expectations and reality was enormous. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I believe Microsoft is currently on the fast train to Blackberry-ville. The once mighty will soon find itself without a track.