Was Microsoft right about one OS?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by satchmo, May 25, 2015.

  1. satchmo macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2008
    It's 3 years later, and the mocking of having one OS (Windows) run on all devices seem to have subsided.

    In fact, Apple is heading more into this direction with iOS and MacOS X sharing similar features and functionality.

    I'm not sure Apple will ever fully embrace just one OS. But as rumours of an iPad Pro persist and talk of split screen displays, pen computing, keyboards, and greater productivity, was Microsoft right all along?
  2. ejb190, May 25, 2015
    Last edited: May 25, 2015

    ejb190 macrumors 65816


    Interesting question. I think the merger into a single operating system on all devices is a nobel thought, but a bit impractical for a couple of reasons.

    Why do we have two or more operating systems? It comes down to the hardware form and power. Packing everything into a phone just isn't practical given the limitations in battery and processing power, not to mention the constraints on input systems. On the flipside, you wouldn't run iOS on a supercomputer. It couldn't take advantage of the power.

    Portables will never catch up to the power of a desktop of the same generation. And there's just too much difference in the interfaces for one OS to do everything. I think the OS's will get closer together, but I think there will always be a gap in form factor and power that will necessitate separate solutions.

    On a side note, there is an inherent danger in merging to a single operating system - a security problem will stretch all the way through the ecosystem from the top to the bottom.
  3. satchmo thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2008
    I don't think it's so much an issue of power. But more an issue with UX (which you mention with respect to form).

    My sense is Apple will be at some point if not already, running iOS and OSX using the same engine, but simply skinning the user interface best suited for the form factor.

    I'm not familiar enough with Windows to know if it truly is just one version running. Microsoft had an advantage in designing a mobile first interface. And for the most part I think it's not that bad. I just think their implementation wasn't the greatest.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    its subsided because by in large MS failed. They tried to create a single operating system with the same UI across different products. It failed, pure and simple. Now they're going to create a user experience tailored for the product, i.e., desktop, vs. tablet, vs, phone. They also further muddied the waters by creating windows rc, which just confused the consumers even further.

    Yes, we saw it beginning in Mavericks and continuing in Yosemite and a great many people have not liked that direction. If apple converges the two platforms closer to each other and possibly locking down OS X like iOS is, then that may increase the people complaining.
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    I'd say no. Yes there are a few UI changes and features in the newer versions of OS X that make it look similar to iOS - mainly to help keep some consistency and make things a little easier for people transitioning from iOS to OS X.

    However I really do think that Apple don't want one OS for all devices, and thank goodness they don't. OS X is optimised for mouse and keyboard. As evidenced with their new Force Touch trackpad, it looks like they're continuing this trend. Touchscreen laptops for an OS designed for mouse/keyboard is nothing short of a gimmick, IMHO. Once you try to put one OS between different types of devices & interfaces (touch, mouse, keyboard, pen), you get a clusterfrak of a UI that doesn't really excel at anything.

    Windows 8.1 is neither optimised for purely touch, or purely mouse/keyboard. It's half and half. I absolutely hate that. Build an OS around the hardware, and bring out the best of the interface.

    TL;DR: I think Apple are making the right decision in keeping the two seperate, and I really hope that they won't make one OS between all devices.
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Microsoft wants you to think that they're running the same OS everywhere, but it's mostly marketing. Yes, the kernel is the same, the API's are the same, and there's just some tuning for each form factor, but in reality they're separate SKU's with separate build numbers. But - they can run the same .exe's, so does it really matter?

    And don't knock a touch screen until you've tried it. They're brilliant.
  7. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I think MS is more right than Apple but I still think Canonicals convergence ideas are the best.
  8. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I have always stated that I preferred Microsoft's strategy to Apple's. But only if they execute it right. I loved Windows 8 but I'd be lying if I denied any GUI issues. Win 8.x wasn't the most straightforward OS to use. Win 10 should improve upon that greatly.
  9. Wyvernspirit macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002
    Microsoft calls it "One" OS but there will be 10 different SKUs for windows 10. And do you think windows 10 for Raspberry Pi will be the same as the one on your Desktop? Good luck with that.
  10. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    It does not matter how many versions there are for the OS, it matter what the OS is to the User and the Developer. Of course Windows IoT (Internet of Things, wasching machine) isn't byte for byte the same as the tablet/notebook/desktop Windows. Source code and sdk are the same, compiled it is for different ISAs and some unnecessary features are disabled but essentially it is the same OS.
    For the Developer Mircosoft did a lot of good things. They don't add an OS that you have to learn as well with new SDKs and all. They let you build an app once and then you can tweak the interface a little and release it everywhere it fits. Some Apps that work well on a tablet also work great on a big screen. The desktop got some extra functions but most important is that the SDK are everywhere the same.
    This is something Microsoft got right and Apple should do as well. BTW Google does it to with Chrom OS. The Appstore for Mac and iOS should not be completely seperate entities with different programming environments.

    On the hardware side hybrid laptops make a lot of sense and are quite useful. Smartphones already are powerful enough to power a desktop experience. If you attach them to an external display and add a bluetooth keyboard, they can handle quite a bit. An OS should reflect all this or at least allow for it and the changing hardware capabilities. Microsoft is completely on the right track.
    Apple is stubborn and generally Apple tries to sell you multiple devices for each purpose because they get more money, while often for money/space or other savings Windows devices try to handle multiple roles at once. Apple does not have the pressure to change as Microsoft has but I definitely would say MS is doing the right thing and eventually when hardware gets more and more powerful people will question why they have to buy multiple expensive devices if one could handle the tasks alone.

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9 May 25, 2015