Is computer only a big smartphone?

4/14/2012 3:22:30 PM

Microsoft has surpassed Apple in making the operating system look like a smartphone

Beta version of Mac OS X (code name is Mountain Lion) and Windows 8 is being checked throughout the world, and although they are quite different, they share a common characteristic: both take designs and features built for smartphone and tablet, and put them in desktop computer and laptop. Does this mean Apple and Microsoft believe that your computer is only a big smartphone? And what is these new upgrades’ meaning for IT?

Description: iMac & Mac Book

Microsoft has surpassed Apple in making the operating system look like a smartphone. Tiled interface of Windows 8 is taken directly from Windows Phone 7 and is clearly designed for touch screen rather than mouse and keyboard. Familiar Windows’ background is reduced – you cannot even directly start into it – and very little effort is putting in changing it.

Description: Windows 8

What you start into is a tiled interface named Metro, which represents for one of the big overhaul of the operating system. At first, Metro was designed for phone, and at this time, it seems to be much present at tablets rather than desktop computers. But its presence in Windows 8 implies that Microsoft intends to unify Windows interface on all bases. So, what we are seeing is a complete reverse of Windows Mobile’s beginning, when Microsoft designs phone interface that looks like Windows desktop computer version.

Description: Windows 8

Apple’s changes in Mac OS X’s beta version that has just been launched are not as big as those of Microsoft, but they also aim at making desktop computer and laptop more look like smartphone and tablet. Some initial apps developed for iOS are shifted to Mac OS X. But more important information is that Mountain Lion fully integrates with iCloud so as existing data and settings can be synced throughout all Apple devices, including iPad and iPhone.

Base on initial reports, Apple seems to do better than Microsoft in choosing mobile-related features that they can put into operating system while keeping operating system aiming at desktop computer and laptop. Key factors of Mac OS X did not change so much in addition to some changes and complements, the most remarkable is iOS integration. On the other hand, Mac OS X does not look like the operating system of desktop computer or laptop and is not optimized to work on them.

Influence on IT

Upgrade Mac OS X will not cause much influence on IT department. Though Apple’s hardware is getting more and more popular among businesses, it still does not become a standard in most companies, and so, many IT departments will not get involved with it. In companies where a large number of iPads as well as laptops and Mac desktop computers are being used, re-design will have little influence on benefits due to iCloud integration.

Windows 8 overhaul represents the situation of ‘good and bag news’ for IT. The bad news is that Metro will create serious headache for IT because of supportive matters, and because it is likely that new Metro apps does not do well with current business software. The good news is that Windows 8 will be used for Windows 8 tablets, so businesses can deploy and manage tablet more easily at this time. Finally, Windows 8 nucleus will also be used on artphone. Therefore, it turns out that Windows 8 will help IT easily deploy hardware of desktop computer, laptop, and mobile with an only tool.

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