It’s the interface, stupid

Some might find that “Windows everywhere” strategy to be so 1990s. It’s worth pointing out, though, that it’s the same strategy followed by its competition. Apple has extended a modified version of Mac OS X across form factors, and Google pushes Linux (by way of Android) from its backend through to mobile phones. The consistency advantages has a lot to recommend it, particularly given the massive base of products that work with desktop Windows.

“Windows everywhere” will not work. Microsoft has shown repeatedly that they think the standard windows interface is suitable for every device from phones to servers, with minor tweaks. Windows Phone 7 is a major departure from that strategy, but I haven’t heard Microsoft include it in the concept of “Windows everywhere.”

This simply won’t work, and to compare it to Apple’s or Google’s OS strategies is laughable. Yes, the underlying OS for both iOS and OS X is the same. And both Google’s servers and Android start from Linux. So what? No one using iOS or Android cares what file system it uses or how it manages memory. They care about how it works for them, and that’s the interface.

Again, Windows Phone 7 is a tremendous departure for Microsoft. But if they try to combat the iPad with something that looks anything like Windows 7, they will lose, and lose hard.


2 thoughts on “It’s the interface, stupid

  1. Rob McMillin

    Is iOS really the same as MacOS, though? There may be parts of it where this is true, but prior to the current release, I seem to recall iOS had cooperative multitasking, just like the old MacOS prior to about MacOS 9, when they introduced NeXT OS (and by extension, BSD) as the core of the OS.

  2. Geoff Canyon

    My (relatively uninformed) understanding is that iOS and OS X are based on the same pre-emptive core. My point in the post is that the original article's claim that Windows Everywhere is similar to Apples (or Google's) strategy is false, since Microsoft has demonstrated repeatedly that when they say Windows Everywhere, they mean the interface. They shoehorn the standard Windows interface onto 3 inch screens, and that's just a mistake any way you tweak it.


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