I bet you might have heard the exit of Microsoft’s Windows immediate head, Steven Sinofsky. He was in Microsoft for a really long and his exit is a sign oh how corporate strategy is taking a new shift. People who no longer agree to it (esp: the veterans) are asked to leave, like Apple’s Scott Forstall.
The industry is shifting to reunited operating systems as one and making the line thin and blurry. As consumers we have yet to wait and see where all this will end up.
With a bunch of evolution of the previous hits Apple has hit its plateau and is showing cracks with its launches but with the launch of all the new products and ecosystems with Windows 8 and hardware, is Microsoft the new Apple?
Nokia made its comeback in the mobile phone space by partnering with Microsoft. They introduced the world with their state of the art polycarbonate unibody design, curved gorilla glass and design inspired from Nokia N9. It was ground breaking in every way. Nokia did what no one thought it would or it could.
A year later Nokia introduced the follow up of the Lumia series the Lumia 920 and 820. Same ol’ hardware design (much thicker) and Windows 8. On the other hand HTC released their Windows 8x and 8s series with great design. As a spectator I was blown away by what HTC did. Loved the design even though its obviously similar to what Nokia did. But what did Nokia do wrong?
Nokia’s design felt like a downgrade. It was glossy, thicker and not even great to look at. Microsoft even went ahead presenting HTC as their flagship phone even though they are working on their own version of hardware. Seems like the ship has left the harbor and left Nokia to figure out what to do next. It did have the first movers advantage but they didn’t even make use of it.
In response to NYTimes article : Apple Shake-Up Could End Real-World Images
Apple’s adoption of real world skeumorphism in iOS is Apple’s key differentiation in the Mobile OS marketplace. Microsoft’s Windows 8 UI is a clear departure from what Microsoft has been pursuing for year and that is usage of real world look and feel. Google’s Android platform too made that same move as Microsoft and it making pure digital interfaces in its Android Jelly Bean iterations.
Why should Apple be worried? If Apple with the departure of the Scott Forstall and the late Steve Jobs ends skeumorphism, that will be the end of Apple’s edge as well. I am not a big fan of stitched leather or linen texture but those made Apple what they are today. Instead of departing a subtle improvement or evolution of the existing design language would be good. In earlier reports, there was a clear internal struggle going within Apple design department.
The question is would Jobs have done this if he was still around?
Next year is going to be different in the mobile technology space, especially in the Mobile OS space.
Today, iOS is at its peak of maturity, Android has finally figured out what it’s going to be, Windows 8 comes out of beta and Blackberry is making its comeback.
Big players like Apple are walking on a slippery slope with many commenting on iOS 6 as not so great and “yawn-worthy”. Android has gained market share and is on par with the number of Apps with Apple. Microsoft is spending billions to crack into the market. Blackberry’s strategy is still unknown.No matter what it’s going to be a huge win for the consumers. With matured mobile OS’s its now a level playing field unless there’s gonna be patent wars, which I foresee is inevitable.