The age of the smartphones and tablets has come and traditional devices like PCs and laptops are losing their touch.
These days consumers are looking for devices that satisfy specific needs. The operating system of the device plays the most important role in ensuring true multitasking while making for the smooth run of apps. Higher virtual memory can also address this by allowing the operating system to use the same memory locations for multiple tasks instead of depending on the RAM memory where space is allocated for each individual application tasks.
However, the past couple of years have been remarkable for smartphones and tablets, with the meteoric rise of Google’s Android OS. The new life in Microsoft’s mobile strategy with its much-ballyhooed Windows 8 OS brings a new twist as the American multinational corporation plans to make the new OS to power smartphones, tablets and PCs around the world. The Windows 8, which was announced in the CES, would add support for ARM microprocessors in addition to the traditional x86 microprocessors from Intel and AMD. ARM CPUs are generally in the form of SoCs found in mobile devices which implies that Windows 8 will be compatible with mobile devices such as netbooks, tablet personal computers and smartphones. The other player which has purely magnified its echo system is Apple. It uses iOS on most of their high-end devices like iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
In fact, Windows 8 is focused on tablets as Microsoft expects to gain gain a foothold in that sector. For now Apple has laid bare the claim of being the best tablet maker and manufacturer as iPad is yet to find a worthy competitor. Meanwhile Apple, along with Google, has positioned itself as top competitors when it comes to OS platforms for smaller devices while Microsoft still leads the larger device platform around the world with its Windows operating system.
But Apple is quietly and steadily gaining ground with Mac OS shipment. Even Google plans to introduce a separate Chrome OS with cloud computing ability.
During 1984 Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market, overtaking Mac OS. Although Windows XP support for personal computers was stopped by Microsoft, it still leads the net market with a 52.46 percent share. Compared to any OS versions of Microsoft, it is considered to be the best operating system by many users. And secondly, Windows 7 has come in the second place, and has attracted many consumers around the world. The new approach by Microsoft to combine mobile operating system with unportable ones shows the way forward as the market giant is expected make the cut with new OS platform.
Operating systems are the hearts of the computer systems. Windows was the most famous operating system but Android OS is up to the mark nowadays. However, Microsoft’s plan of introducing a single operating system for all platforms may backfire.
Here is a look at 8 reasons why Android operating system will gain score against Windows 8 in the mobile platform:
Various Gadget Option:
Microsoft is slowly tying up with various mobile hardware manufacturers to run their Windows Phone 7 OS on different devices. However, Android OS has found shelter in most of the mobile devices being offered by Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Acer, Dell, Sony Ericsson, LG, Lenovo, Archos, Toshiba etc. Apart from tablets and smarpthones even E-reader device is supported by Android platform and is expected to come along with Amazon’s Kindle tablet soon. Meanwhile, Windows Phone 7 is most probably only found in Acer, Dell, HTC, LG and Samsung mobile devices. Hence Windows 8 being compatible with mobile devices may take some time.
Operating System: Also Windows 8, when released, will still be a new platform combining the features of Windows Phone 7, Windows 7 and XP. Actually Windows Vista received critical reception as it was plagued by many errors. In the first year of availability, PC World rated it as the biggest tech disappointment of 2007 and it was rated by InfoWorld as #2 of Tech's all-time 25 flops.
Windows 8 features a new start screen similar to the one in Windows Phone 7 which includes live application tiles. It replaces the Start menu, being triggered by the Start button or Windows key, and is also the first screen shown on startup. The user can go to the regular desktop by choosing the desktop tile or a traditional desktop-based application.
Rather than creating a new operating system or tablet or use the existing Windows Phone 7 as the basis for a Microsoft-powered tablet, the company is planning to use an update to the traditional Windows PC operating system.
Microsoft must learn from Apple. Apple, while announcing iPad, showed off early versions of the iWork apps with Numbers, Pages and Keynote. Those apps were different from Mac equivalents and it was specifically optimized for the tablet form factor and the size of your fingertips. iOS is nowhere similar to Mac OS. The main reason why Apple’s iPad and iPhone were a huge hit was that it did not attempt in any way to replicate the desktop PC experience which Windows Mobile-powered Windows tablets did. Steve Jobs has always been skeptical about it and is certainly betting that users don’t want to reach out and touch their monitors. The best example was HP Slate which was powered by Windows, but didn’t do quite well in the market. Hence the idea of bringing the same desktop operating system may not enhance the productivity of Microsoft.
Windows Phone 7, on the other hand, is purely designed for mobile devices; hence it is a better prospect for Microsoft to continue to improve on the OS. It has good interface with Live Tiles and the ability to bring items together.
Mobile systems have gotten better and faster. The advent of this Android OS certainly allowed the onset of better service and features to the end user. Users are currently enjoying larger applications similar to what happened in the 90s when they started to enjoy SMS, MMS, etc. The two most popular mobile operating systems are iOS and Android and these two hold the majority of market share. Presently Android holds 36 percent of the smartphone market, compared to iOS's 16.8 percent. Microsoft stands at 3.6 percent as of 2011 Q1 report by Gartner.
Apps: Android and iOS have built an app-centered approach. Android has got close to 500,000+ estimated apps while official figure shows 250,000+ apps. Even Apple has more than 500,000+ apps. And there are more than close to 90,000 apps specifically dedicated to iPad. Windows Marketplace has 9,000+ apps and it is still playing the catch-up game.
When Android Market is considered, one can find a variety of ways to find and download Android apps. The apps are available both on Android devices and the Web. Downloading apps on the Android device or on the PC or Mac is possible and later it can be transferred to the mobile device.
The major drawback of Windows 8 for mobile platform is that the design of the operating system is not app-centric. It is built on a design to deliver information efficiently so you can complete the job at hand and move on to something else.
Brand Prominence: Google has earned itself the top position in the market and is approaching a phase where it can overtake iOS devices. Android is one of the best mobile OS platforms and the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich already enjoys a fair bit of credibility. However, it is not the same with Windows 8, as it has yet to prove its mettle in tablets and smartphone segment.
Features and service: Most of us use Google services like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Documents. And iOS is centered on MobileMe and iTunes. Having an Android device makes the experience more pleasant. With the popularity of Google products, you are assured of getting onto a good team. Android phones have made a massive impact on the mobile industry.
When it comes to features, Android offers a number of capabilities that competing smartphones don't have. It includes built-in voice search and voice control features, so you can do things like initiate phone calls, search the Web, compose messages and send e-mail by talking rather than tapping. Android also features tethering via Wi-Fi, USB or Bluetooth, so you can use it to share your Internet connection with other devices, such as a laptop, a tablet or another smartphone. There is also support for NFC.
Microsoft focuses more on tools and services. Windows 8 as a platform is clearly centered on Microsoft applications and cloud based services. Also there is no universal in-box in Windows mobile OS platform unlike Android and iPhone where all the e-mail messages from multiple services are shown in a single location. And the ability to tether via Wi-Fi, USB or Bluetooth is not found in Windows Phone 7 and as Windows 8 is mostly centered on desktop like features.
Customization and Open Source: :Openness is another point which may hit Microsoft. When it comes to openness, Microsoft's policy on Windows Phone 7 is closer to Apple's stance on iOS than it is to Google's approach to Android. Android is open source, which means that manufacturers and wireless providers can customize it in any way they want.
Android OS is specifically designed from the start to be customizable and it can be tweaked more than iOS and Windows 8. One of Android's biggest strengths is its flexibility. Unlike Apple and its iPhone, Google lets users and third-party developers tweak just about every aspect of the Android interface, and the customization options are nearly endless. From the desktop wallpaper to the notification sounds to the blinking LED indicator light, Android is easy to personalize. Widgets come in all shapes and sizes. Several are preloaded on your phone, but many others are available either as stand-alone downloads or as part of full-fledged applications in the Android Market. Depending on your device, using hotkeys to navigate your phone might save you some time. Android has its own built-in set of keyboard shortcuts, but you can also create your own. However, the same will most probably not be allowed on Windows 8.
It may be too late: Quite a few analysts predict that Microsoft’s decision to jump into the tablet space now is a mistake. They say that Windows 7 should have been more tablet-friendly, which would have given Microsoft more time to try and limit Android’s success.