Apple’s radical notion is that touchscreen personal computers should make severely different tradeoffs than traditional computers — and that you can’t design one system that does it all. Windows 8 is trying to have it all, and I don’t think that can be done.
I completely agree. If Microsoft built Windows 8 from the ground up, only offering the tile-based interface and touch-specific applications, they’d have a serious competitor to iOS. Switching between applications built for touch and applications built for a keyboard and mouse is too drastic of a change for most users to experience on the same device.
Microsoft should build Windows Phone 7 up and release Office for it, rather than try to convince users that the Microsoft Office they’ve been using on desktop computers for years, also works well with a touch interface, because it doesn’t.
I also love this bit here towards the beginning, talking about Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, HP CEO Leo Apotheker, and Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft’s president of Windows and Windows Live:
There’s no denying that all three of their companies are now following Apple’s lead in mobile computing. If not for the existence and success of iOS, Nokia wouldn’t be in trouble (and thus, Elop wouldn’t even be its CEO), HP wouldn’t have bought Palm (and Palm wouldn’t have come up with WebOS), and Windows 8’s innovations wouldn’t primarily revolve around how it looks and works on thin touchscreen tablets.
This reminds me of a conversation between my cousin, Torin, and I that seems to come up nearly every time we talk. It usually goes something like this:
Me: “If Apple hadn’t made the iPhone, I would be using a webOS device. Hands down.”
Torin: “If Apple hadn’t made the iPhone, webOS wouldn’t even exist.”