Windows 10 Unified

Windows 10 Revolution

Will Windows 10 Revolutionize Operating Systems Across All Platforms?

Just last week Microsoft announced their newest operating system, Windows 10, and it could be a platform that changes everything we know about cross compatibility between devices. During the unveiling, Microsoft announced that one of the goals with Windows 10 is to create an operating system that unifies every device running Windows, whether that is a smartphone, XBOX, desktop, or tablet.

Right now Microsoft properties are relatively fractured. With Windows 8 Microsoft attempted to introduce desktop users to an operating system that reflected the look and feel of XBOX and Windows Phone devices but it was met with a lot of criticism. Desktop users wanted a start menu like Windows 7 (and earlier versions) while users who had touchscreen devices were disappointed with the start menu and preferred the tiles of Windows 8.

Implications Of True Cross Compatibility

Instead of choosing one camp (either desktop users or mobile users), Microsoft decided to make the ultimate compromise with Windows 10 by providing a start menu and live tiles side-by-side, taking the first step toward true operating system compatibility. This step could be exactly what Microsoft needs to gain mobile market share and bring more developers back to Windows.

The ultimate goal for Windows 10 is to allow any program to run on any device without the need of installing a desktop version of the program on your laptop and then an app on your Windows Phone without even being sure if they would work together. By doing this there may be a lot of PC users that decide to switch to using Windows 10 based smartphones and tablets, giving Microsoft the surge in market share they need.

The Problems

Unfortunately creating a single, unified operating system that lets anyone install and run the same program on any of their devices is not as simple as it sounds. Even though Microsoft is known for their operating systems, hardware can be a major compatibility issue between PC versions of Windows 10 and the mobile versions.

To have their smart phones and tablets picked up by major carriers, Microsoft chose to use ARM based processors with most Windows Phone devices. While ARM is extremely popular due to its ability to consume less power (and ultimately reduce the speed your battery charges), Microsoft uses x86 architecture for PCs. In layman’s terms, the code for programs that allow it to run on an x86 process inhibit it from running on a smart phone due to the architecture.

Fortunately the switch from ARM to x86 may not be too difficult for Microsoft as Windows 10 starts to roll out in 2015 because of the low adoption of Windows Phone devices. With only 3% of mobile devices running Windows Phone, Microsoft has a lot of catching up to do to compete with Google and Apple. This low market share could help, though, as Microsoft will not make too many unhappy customers once they make the decision that all devices should run Intel x86 processors.

The Conclusion

If Microsoft is able to pull off Windows 10 in a way that it is fully compatible with smartphones, tablets, PCs, and the XBOX the company may be able to use its majority market share in desktop operating systems to boost sales for Windows 10 based mobile devices. Developers will quickly adopt the new technology and begin creating a single app that runs on both PCs and phones while users will start choosing tablets and smartphones that are directly compatible with their home PC.

Of all the choices that Microsoft could make for their next operating system, creating a unified system for an OS while moving their mobile products to x86 processors could be the decision that revitalizes Microsoft as a company and makes it truly successful in the mobile market.

What do you think about Microsoft’s announcement of Windows 10? Will it finally give Microsoft the opportunity to increase their share of the mobile market? Will more developers look to Windows for their apps instead of creating standalone iOS and Android apps? Let us know in the comments below!

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