Microsoft says Apple’s description of the post-PC era is wrong, describing it as PC+ instead. Microsoft says users will be able to move in and out of both worlds.
Apple thinks PCs – described as trucks by former CEO Steve Jobs – are going to be less. Microsoft disagrees
Steve Jobs famously described PCs as trucks when referring to the post-PC era – they will become less popular – but Microsoft disagrees, unsurprisingly, speaking at its Worldwide Partner Conference.
Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, was speaking at the conference and said that Apple does make great hardware but the companies have different approaches to building an operating system. That’s when Turner said, when discussing some negative reaction from the press towards OS X Mountain Lion, that Apple is taking the wrong approach: the future isn’t with a tablet and a PC, and instead a world where all types of input exist.
Citing Windows 8, Turner said input methods from the finger to a mouse and keyboard can co-exist. The PC+ phrase was mentioned by former CEO Bill Gates in 1999: he said connectivity will be crucial. With Windows 8, Microsoft’s next-generation of the Windows desktop OS, the new Metro UI and the desktop environment of previous versions of Windows exist together. That’s caused some users to question if users will side with one version of the OS, and how that environment will work on a tablet when precise input methods found in the desktop half could be cumbersome for users.
Turner said with a single button press Microsoft believes different environments can be switched between. Turner also described Windows 8 as a game-changer, citing the reimagined OS and probably referring to the Metro UI. It’s a radical departure from previous versions of Windows 8: everything is presented in grids and tiles, like the Windows Phone UI.
It’s definitely a shot across the bow at Apple, which some may say is indicative of Microsoft being in second place when it comes to positioning itself in the post-PC/PC-plus era. We won’t know the success of Windows 8 until 2013 and beyond, but it’ll be interesting to see how developers adopt Metro and whether the integration between Windows 8 and other platforms – notably, Windows Phone – works. Microsoft is allowing simultaneous development of apps.