I was really surprised the other day when I bumped into this movie poster at a Paris bus stop. I had the feeling to look at a WindowsPhone home screen with lots of pictures and contacts pinned.
The designer of this movie poster seems to have been influenced by Microsoft Metro UI. Is it conscious or not ? Usually designers are big fan of everything with an Apple touch.
I don’t know if the movie is featuring a lot of Nokia phones, but apparently Microsoft has found a new soft power with its UI.
It took me sometimes to notice that the Windows 8 logo wasn’t something totally new but more or less a dynamic adaptation of the Windows 1 logo. I ‘m not old enough to have played with this first version of Windows. My relationship with the then UI on top of DOS started in the early 90s.
After 20 years of a four-primary-colour logo we are back to a monochrome blue logo. Will the coming Windows 8.1 have an impact on the logo colours too? If so, let’s guess it will be red, green, blue and yellow. Actually, the current Microsoft logo would be a good candidate :
I was invited to a Microsoft event recently and it started very odly. The guy from Microsoft started with a comparison of the cumulative shipments of Android devices and Windows devices. The Guy was chespounding that there were more than 1,5 billion Windows device in use compared with as little as 500 M Android devices.
So the real threat for Microsoft isn’t Apple but Android. And when you look closer and start to do some forecast there is a serious risk for Microsoft to be outnumbered by Android device in not a so distant future.
Here is forecast, I have cooked up aggtregating numbers from different sources.
Android vs Windows shipments forecast (M units)
As there is very little growth in the PC segment, the Windows growth will come from 2 sources : smartphones and tablets.
Next year 2013 will be a truth moment. If Microsoft Windows 8 or if Windows Phone fails, Android devices will outnumber Windows devices and will become the dominent computing platform.
I was really enthusiastic a few months ago with Windows8. The promise to have a converged OS for PC and Tablet working on both x86 and Arm architecture was really outstanding.
Now, back to earth, the reality is a bit disappointing. There will be two version of Windows launched this fall :
- Windows 8 for x86 architecture
- Windows RT for Arm architecture
Windows 8 will come with two UIs : the classic PC one and the MetroUI. Windows RT (standing for Real Time?) will have just the Metro UI.
Metro UI applications will run on both platforms but classic UI x86 applications will run only on Windows 8.
So we will have under our Christmas trees 2 kind of products :
- Tablets or Netbooks running Windows RT
- PC and “super” tablets running Windows 8
Windows 8 & Windows RT
Let’s hope that Microsoft will communicate efficiently the difference between the 2 versions. Otherwise consumers will be disappointed and reject the whole Windows 2012 release like they did with Vista.
I was mentioning in some previous posts that the PC industry was colliding with the mobile industry. For every accident one expects a big boom. It will be the case with the launch of Windows 8 next year.
Windows 8 transforms the way we see tablets and computers. There will be no clear frontier between a PC and a tablet anymore. The tablet will be able to change its finger friendly UI into a mouse friendly UI when docked with a mouse and keyboard.
On this video I shot you can see the Metro UI and a switch to the PC legacy UI.
In the past we used to think a machine = a UI = a processor. This paradigm is no longer valid.
Now an OS will be able to run on different chipset architectures (ARM or x86) and to run different UIs depending on the context.
It is already the case with UBUNTU 11.10 which runs on X86 and ARM.
I really love my Toshiba AC100 running Ubuntu. OK it’s really sluggish due to the lack of RAM (only 500MB) so it’s more or less a mono task computer but never the less it works. For more information on Ubuntu on ARM > Ubuntu Wiki
One can expect next year a revival of the long lasting war between MAC and PC. I expect Apple to merge its MacOS and iOS for Tablet UIs into something new that will combine the 2 product categories. Apple will most probably manage it smoothly to avoid damaging its healthy iPad business as it did in the past managing the transition from iPod to iPhone.
Microsoft which has no presence in the tablet space will be far more aggressive in merging the 2 segments. The unknown factor remains Google. Will Google be able to strengthen its Android value proposition and combine it with Chrome OS?