There are two upcoming operating systems round the corner. Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Apple’s OS X Lion. Apple will release its OS next month while Microsoft’s version will not be out until 2012.
Both the companies have a reputation that has leveraged them to top spots in the industry, and now a new war is about to be waged on a new platform. Here’s a look at what these platforms will offer:
Both the operating systems claim to have a good multi-touch interface and support. However, in reality, Windows 8 will be the one which will actually support the touch interface, while Lion won’t let you use your screen as an input device, but instead rely on the commands you send from touchpads. Windows 8 will also come with a thumb-based on-screen keyboard for tablets.
Apple, however, will make full use of its touchpads. The touch experience will be much more direct and natural. The company will also bring in rubber-band scrolling, page and image zoom. You will be able to switch between full-screen apps.
Full screen applications:
Here’s something Microsoft has been doing for years now with a simple F11 key. Mac, on the other hand, has displayed its menu on top of the screen, which is set to change with the new Lion, which will make use of the full screen to view any program full.
This may be one area where the platform war becomes a bit heavy. The new Windows 8 mobile interface has been made on the blueprints of Windows Phone 7. The Lion has no such link with the iOS. Microsoft will make use of the “Metro Interface” which is available in Windows 7 phone at the moment, which shows “live titles”. Microsoft is aiming at satisfying business users who mainly use desktops by integrating the Windows 8 OS with tablets. Business users will definitely look for a tablet that works the same way their desktops do.
Microsoft, earlier this year, said Windows 8 will be running on ARM-based mobile processors. Intel and AMD x86 chips will also be used. This will make Windows 8 compatible for both desktop and tablet. Apple, it seems, will go on with the Intel Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7, or Xeon processors.
The App Store is already available on OS X Snow Leopard, and will become an important feature of Lion. The user will be able to buy app on a single computer and then download the app to about five more. The apps will be automatically updated and you will have the option to make additional purchases of other stuff that are linked. Microsoft hasn’t revealed anything clearly about their app store for Windows 8, but said that it will be considered.
Apple, for OS X Lion, has refurbished its virtual spaces by placing a Mission Control app. The user will now be able to switch VDs through simple swipe gesture. The Windows 8 version is just virtual desktop switching versus app switching.
Lion will showcase its AirDrop feature which will let you transfer files to another Lion machine nearby without disks, USBs, or even a WiFi connection. An Autosave mode has also been introduced so that even if you forget to save, it will still be there. Microsoft will soon need to show something to counter these cool features.
Windows 8, however, will not let this go unanswered. The very attractive live tiles on its new start screen are a welcome addition which Apple will have to take a note of. The new Snap feature, which lets you see a second app while running your primary app in full screen, is also something to take into account. The most fascinating feature, however, is that it will allow you to retrieve files from other apps, and not only from the OS’s file system. Windows 8 is still getting built so you can expect a lot more than that.