What MS seems to understand is that convergence is the coming imperative, and that is where MS has the chance to win out over both Apple and Android. Although Windows smartphones are not quite ready for prime time compared to their competition, they will be within a couple of more iterations.
When MS achieves the same platform on computers, tablets and phones (which means that Windows RT has to disappear) then it will become difficult for me and a lot of other users to make sense out of using different OS’s for those devices.
They have already achieved convergence with their computer and tablet OS’s, which are the one and the same OS now. MS could do that with phones now, but not presently at a price people would pay. When they finally get their smartphone OS to fall into place, I am all in.
Things are going to converge considerably more than this, I think.
At the dawn of the PC age, we had proprietary operating systems running on proprietary hardware. We still do today, but it is shortly going to cease to matter very much. The new push will be to make both software and hardware transparent to the user, so that it doesn’t matter whether his virtual reality/heads-up display glasses and, later, contact lenses, as well as the earbuds fastened to his aural canals, are running something from Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Asus, or whatever.
The physicalness of computational processes will fade from the perception of those employing them. You will essentially become the computer, and how you use your processing capabilities will depend on your own desires. You may walk past some large screen and desire to do something with it. So you’ll simply initiate a connection – maybe as simply as saying “Connect with that,” and they you’ll use that screen as you intend.
We are on the verge of permeating every aspect of our environment with computing power. That is what SF writers mean when they talk about the world “waking up” from its dumb matter state and becoming smart.
It’s early days yet. Hang on for a very wild ride.