Reconsidering Operating Systems?
For PSFK editorial: As a Windows 8 release approaches and Apple rolls out their Most recent iteration of OS X, operating systems are on the minds of many. Thinking about desktop operating systems in your own life (and for the moment, ignoring brand loyalty), what new features, functionality, or changes would be enough to propel you to consider switching platforms? Are there specific features keeping you tied to your current setup?
Public unpaid question.
I think most of the people -and software brands- forgot what an OS has to be: a simple layer to interact with the hardware. The OS isn't important at all, the real thing are the apps. Thats why many choose iPhone over Android because, when Android launched, had many more apps.
Related to desktop OS, it's not brand loyalty... is apps needs what drive your needs.
Having relied on Mac OS, Windows (in all its flavors), and even a few varieties of Linux... I have to say that the portable that excites me the most today for working and playing in a global environment is the flexibility offered by upcoming Android tablets. Case (videos) in point: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/products/tablets/thinkpad/ I believe we're seeing these tablets not just be the playthings of students, but beginning to augment professionals laptops. Personally, it's quite liberating to set a tablet on the table and sit side by side looking at as if it were a sheet of paper, going over it together. You nearly forget it's a computer.
100% agree with the major issue of hardware-software integration ; one is made for the other and the best integration - "smooth", "transparent", "responsive" - will bring the best value of both the laptop/desktop and the OS.
Lately, I have conducted user testing for a new mobile OS : interestingly, the users said a mobile OS for them was :
- a "set of gesture", some even spoke about a "grammar" of gesture, that allow to interact with the hardware. The OS here is the body language that the user needs to learn. The more obvious the gestures are, the easier to switch it will be. But be aware, gesture are not at the scale of "body gesture" (like dance), but "finger gesture" (like finger dancing) :-)
- an architecture, a way to organize files, folders, softwares, edit these items propriety, enable to share them online, promote, curate, ... The flatter the architecture is, the better it is. That is why the desktop is a great invention ; a flat surface where the only hierarchy is the one the user assign. For a certain time (it may change over time).
This file architecture and the gestures are the things that tie me up with my Lion OS X ; i'm wired to the machine, i've learned its language, I'm not sure I want to spend time learning another one. THese machine ought to help us save time at the end, right ?
I do not believe only in just the OS, I believe in integration of the OS with the Hardware.
I am a rather mobile user. However, small screens that are 4 or lesser inches makes me squint and typing on glass is not my thing.
Hence, I need something like a netbook with broadband or Wifi to move around.
That also means that
1) For hardware
I need a netbook that has long battery life
I need something to bot up fast as I may be turning it on and off constantly
2) For Software which is the OS
I need it to be light and simple so I can get from point A to B in a straight line
I need an OS with little clutter in programming so that it is smooth.
Macbook Air with Lion OS or Google Chrome OS is promising for me.
Windows 8 has still a lot to prove.
I am not looking to move, partly because I am not convinced by the Windows 8 roadmap I have seen so far. I think that tablets and laptops are two different user cases distinct enough not to have a converged interface. I think it is important to look at the user experience touches that separate OSX from iOS to understand this better. Touch has been tried in concert with more traditional computer user cases before from the HP-150 to the earlier versions of Windows Tablets and they failed because of compromises and half measures from device industrial engineering to user resistance to move their hands too far from the keyboard in a desktop setting.
I am will be staying with OSX and iOS for now.
OS should be invisible for user, enabling them to do what they want, and should be inter-operatable / inter-modal: access to data anywhere with any gadget: compare the most natural facilitation a human can have:
a. if you want to travel, you walk, take a bike, bus, tram, aeroplane, rent a car; the bus operator is not prescribing that you fly with KLM and rent by Herz only: it is the application (Herz, KLM) that manages the customer intimicy
b. enter a restaurant, theatre, swimming pool, congress: Nike does not prescribe you, undressing your Hilfiger black tie after dinner, to wear a Nike swim-short while jogging to the swimming pool
Operating systems should be far away from the user interface: OS should NOT try to provide e.g. vegetarian Chinese customers intelligent chop sticks with which they can operate fork/knife/spoon in any Dorint, Hilton: it is Hilton, Dorint appliation that provides the appropriate tools to vegetarians ... carnivores too
1. OS-builders, please stick the the Hardware / lowest OSI-layers
2. Freedom of choice for customers via freedom for application builders
3. intermediate standards and middleware should be common property, based on creative common / open source shareware, financed as follows: OS and application builders should fund 33% of their sales to this common source project
I love that Microsoft is crowdsourcing some aspects of Windows 8. More information available via their blog “Building Windows 8”. Ultimately, ease of integration and consideration for all things “cloud” will make THE difference. Mobile convergence is real!
Ihave just switched from PC to Mac. Top of my mind are make it easy. Make it more intuitive an seamless to my life. I'm looking forward to icloud.
I have to say that I'm traditionally not an Apple Fanboy; but I'm headed there quickly. For me, iCloud is a great tool that will allow me to keep my information synced across many devices. We, as a culture, are now entering the phase where devices are really going to show their true nature. A smartphone is like a swiss army knife. A PC just became a lot less "personal" and the iPad is for computing as entertainment (surfing, movies, music, etc).
In all honesty, if you have an eye for quality, Apple is the way to go. We're headed towards being an all Apple house.
I don't think features would make me switch. It's all about usage.
Make me look smart and empower my usage and I switch or stay.
A seamless intuitive platform that link all my different devices to the cloud. Seems like Apple is going that direction. I have been with Apple since the eighties and will probably stick to them for another decade or so...
From the phone to the tablet to the PC, the platform that helps me navigate seamlessly, wirelessly, using a cloud based system would be the OS of my choice. At the moment Android and Apple make the cut.
The next question is who can deliver the best experiences to people like me who have limited knowledge of software and hardware.
It's the right time to be asking this question, because we're definitely coming to a turning point in the way people think about their computers. Soon (if not already), the way an operating system integrates into an individual's digital lifestyle will be the way its greatness is measured; not necessarily by comparing a list of features. We need to go from phone to tablet to computer seamlessly, and the operating system that figures out how to situate itself into that flow best will be the one that comes away as the winner. The things that an operating system will facilitate away from the computer may actually become more important than what you can do when you're sitting there using it.
It seems pretty clear that both Windows 8 and OS X Lion have made this integration a priority. It remains to be seen exactly how far this will go with Windows 8, but it seems pretty clear that Lion is a transitional OS headed in the direction of a pretty full mobile integration.