It’s what has helped Apple leap to the top of the food chain when it comes to integration across their product line. Apple controls the hardware, and it controls the software. The experience is identical no matter which Apple device you use.
With so much computing being done on mobile devices, you’ve slowly Apple start to merge OS and iOS. Microsoft took a different approach – they ripped off the bandage and did it all at once.
This week, with the launch of Windows 8, the Redmond software giant is taking a shot at building it’s own ecosystem. It wants to control the message from phone to tablet to desktop – and users had better get used to it, because Microsoft is all in.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT WINDOWS 8?
In a word – everything. Gone is the start button, the desktop is now a screen of tiles and something Microsoft calls “the charm bar.”
A Windows 8 tutorial is available when you first start your machine and you should watch it. There are keyboard shortcuts, and windows will slide in and out depending on where you put your cursor. Windows 8 has a learning curve, and it’s best to take advantage as soon as you can.
I HEARD EVERYONE HATES IT?
Well, it is radically different. Imagine the blowback every time Facebook does a redesign. This is like that, but instead of one website getting overhauled, it’s an entire reboot of the OS.
It will take some getting used to, but those that have spent time with the OS eventually come around. Eventually.
DO I NEED TO GET IT?
We still run Windows XP on our computers at work. We skipped Vista AND Windows 7. Enterprise is often slow to change, and with this one being so radical you might find business slow to move forward on this one too. That said, it is only a $39 upgrade and Microsoft says most computers currently running Windows 7 will work better with Windows 8. They’ll have better battery life and shorter boot times.
One step ahead you’re a leader, but if you’re two steps ahead you’re a martyr. Microsoft might have taken a step and a half here. Waiting to see how it all shakes out is not a bad strategy.
The thing about the big switch for Microsoft is it might have people make another switch. The Apple storm has been bubbling for a few years now. People just might say, if I have to learn something new I might as well learn Mac.
Lifehacker: Everything You Need To Know About Windows 8
Globe and Mail: Windows 8 Review
CBC: Windows 8 and Surface – 10 Things To Know
CBC: Early Look At Windows 8 Baffles Consumers
Wired: A Big, Beautiful, Slightly Shaky Step Forward
APP OF THE WEEK: Hockey Canada Concussions Awareness [free]
The Hockey Canada Concussion Awareness app is a great tool for parents, coaches, trainers, players, administrators and anyone interested in learning about the prevention, recognition and response to concussion injury, including responsible return-to-play protocol. Sidney Crosby is on board endorsing the free app calling it a ”commitment to educating families and players about all aspects of the game.”