Ng: Upcoming Windows 8 release-A A +A
By Wilson Ng
Thursday, September 13, 2012
I AM eagerly waiting for the simultaneous release of Windows 8 on the smartphones, tablets, notebooks and desktops next month. This is a big event as it marks a radical departure of the dominant user interface on the desktops for the last 15 years.
Windows 8 will be a big change from the usual interface that Microsoft introduced as far back as Windows 95.
It will be significant because Windows continues to hold the biggest share of the desktop market – some estimates put it as high as 92 percent of the market. Apple Macintosh continues to hold less than five percent of the world market, and Linux, a big threat since the early 2000s, has dissipated in the desktop and is said to hold about only one percent of the market.
Of course, the issue is not whether Microsoft is dominant on the desktop but whether the personal computer as we know it will have diminished importance or reduced market share. After all, Kodak is still the king of the chemical film market only that it was growing ever smaller each year, leading to its bankruptcy.
Obviously, it is a stark reality that more and more people are using smartphones and tablets to do many of their tasks, in lieu of desktops and notebooks. Windows Phone 8 will be the more important test for Microsoft.
On this, Microsoft may actually still have a good chance and, ironically, it is, thanks to Apple, its competitor. As you may already known, Steve Jobs launched a thermonuclear war against Google and Android before he died, swearing that he wanted to destroy Android for copying the Apple iOS. This was bolstered by the over $1 billion in damages Apple won against Samsung recently.
That actually benefitted Microsoft because it may have put fear in other manufacturers of Android phones and tablets of legal sanctions by Apple. Some vendors like HTC, Samsung, LG and PC vendors and Microsoft long-time partners like Dell, HP, Acer and Lenovo might actually be more open now to make Windows 8 tablets and phones rather than Android sets. The fact that Google bought Motorola and will compete also in that space against them might actually be a motivation. And there is also Nokia, which is still a significant player, who will only make WP8 phones.
By the way, there’s one thing I have to admit – I have not turned off my phone in the last few plane flights I have taken. First, I think it is not prominent in the announcements anymore. Second, it has something to do with airport procedures.
The moment you enter the airport, they keep telling you to put your phones inside the bag.
And of course, it stays in the bag until you reach the destination, which means you don’t get to turn it off. But also, maybe there is diminished interest because maybe the interference cell phones have on flight may not be significant.
Of course, don’t listen to me, as I am not an expert on this, but a recent article noted that American Airlines now allows pilots to use iPads even during the takeoff and landing of their planes. According to the Register, existing aviation regulations, each plane has to carry documentations that are thousands of pages thick and could weigh as much 35 pounds. American Airlines decided that they would save a significant amount of cost and labor if they put all documentation into iPads. Surely, if an iPad can operate inside the pilot cockpit, it should mean that its safe and passengers could also be ok to use theirs?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 14, 2012.