Last week, Tom Petrocelli wrote his post New Tablet: Android 1, Windows 0, in which he recalled why he chose Android over Windows for his new tablet. Today, I explain my choice for Windows over Apple for my mobile phone.
In my job, I work with several form factors – a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, and a mobile phone.
Until recently, my laptop and mobile phone were my main technology “gadgets” that traveled with me. However, since getting a tablet, I have enjoyed its form factor for watching videos and reading books. So, from two devices, I started carrying three!
In my opinion, this completely defeats the whole purpose of mobility. Now I’m carrying three to four pounds of technology. The whole idea of my ultrabook was to reduce weight, not to increase it. So, I made a crucial decision – I’m going to drop my laptop, and just take the tablet and the mobile.
This decision was not an easy one. The tablet is certainly not nearly as fast as my laptop, the screen is 5″ smaller in diameter (13″ on the laptop, and 8″ on the tablet). I had to carry an external (albeit a very lightweight) keyboard, otherwise I couldn’t really type effectively or efficiently on the tablet.
But everything was running Windows 8.1, and everything was running Office 2013.
Then I realized that my mobile device was running Android. The whole concept of syncing up my Start screen on Windows 8.1 was completely nullified by Android. So, I got myself a Windows Phone 8.1 phone.
This is a major advantage of the Windows 8.x platforms.
There is one caveat: there are simply not enough apps for Windows Phone 8.1.
For that sole reason, I cannot make the Windows Phone my only mobile phone. I keep it around as a toy for now. While I believe that the email client, and the Office client seems superior on Windows Phone 8.1, it is not enough. My other critical apps just were not available.
On the other hand, let’s look at the Apple platforms – the iMac, the Macbook, the iPad and the iPhone. These platforms are, for the most part, not dissimilar to the Windows platforms.
Like the Windows platforms, Apple has two very distinct operating systems – Mac OS, and iOS. While the integration between the desktop/laptop and the mobile devices are better on Apple, ultimately, it is my opinion that the Mac versions of Microsoft Office is not up to the same standard as Office on Windows.
Microsoft should take note – the killer app that is keeping its users on the Windows platforms is Office. Despite the power of Outlook, many of the distinct and integrated functions of Outlook can be replaced by alternatives (including Google Gmail). But Word, Excel and Powerpoint still stand out as a major deciding factor between Windows and other operating systems (including Chrome OS).
For now, score one for Windows. But look out Microsoft, Apple and Google are hot on your heels. If users continue to use the Web as a preferred communications vehicle, the need for high-end WYSIWYG word processing may decrease over the next decade or so. This will definitely open up opportunities for desktop Linux, Chrome OS, and Mac OS/iOS.
Some of you will read this blog, and say, “Ben, you’re just anti-Apple“. I have to defend that position by saying, I’m not anti-anything. I find the flexibility and the high ease of customization of Linux (in particular), the popularity of Windows (and my personal familiarity with it), and the concept of a lightweight, portable, consistent OS such as Chrome OS to be more exciting than the overly stable, more closed OSes that Apple produces.
Ah, to each their own!