Windows 8 is a write-off both on a consumer level and most assuredly on an enterprise level. MS already is working on Window 9 but even if that is a flop that isn't going to change the desktop/laptop OS landscape any time soon. Why? As long as MS sells and continues to support Window 7, it's hold won't diminish one bit. And since Win 7 came out in mid-2009, it's still within the typical 5 year OS cycle and well within the 10+ year MS support cycle.
And 7 is a solid release. In fact, the *only* way the desktop OS landscape will change is if a major Linux distro or Google are able to convince major OEMs to pre-load their machines with their OS. And even then it's going to be an uphill battle as the average user has been conditioned to use MS OS's.
As you referenced in your G+ post, games and office applications is another hurdle non-MS operating systems have to contend with and frankly Google has a long way to go on both fronts.
Nah, it'll take more than Windows 8 to make the 800lbs gorilla that is MS flinch.
Google doesn't have any problem getting the concept of preloads out right now.
Here's a great example: http://www.androidminipc.net/
Here's another great example:
Here's another great example:
Here's another great example:
Do I need to keep going?
Android isn't quite ready for Desktops just yet, but its not far off, it really isn't. They could make Android very much "desktop" user friendly in a single update IMHO (not a new version, just v4.3). It already has elements that make it desktop friendly, just not desktop friendly enough.
Lets face it --- with Dell and HP just screwing around and thinking in the past, they are hitting a point where they are likely to remain in the past unless they get their act together and support SOMETHING.
I don't think its impossible that we could see a point where we are recycling most current PCs into Android PCs within the next 2 years.
How many lines of code are their in Jelly Bean? Now how many lines of code are in Windows 7, or Mountain Lion, or Ubuntu? It's not just being desktop friendly, its about being desktop viable.
But all right, lets say Android was ready for the desktop tomorrow. A little searching shows that last year almost 95% of all PCs sold came preloaded with Windows 7. Most users aren't tech savvy enough to switch to another OS so whatever they buy is more than likely going to be what they end up using. Case in point, XP is over a decade old and yet more than 20% of PCs in the world are still running it.
But even if the major OEMs were on board with heavily promoting and selling Android for the PC - and lets be honest, even if HP, Lenovo, Dell, et al are screwing the pooch they're still the proverbial gatekeepers to desktop machines for the average person - that still won't guarantee shift from MS to Google on the desktop front.
Yes, there are a lot of games for Android. But how many AAA developers/publishers are in line to release their titles on Android? Even after almost 20 years, there are only a handful of developers releasing titles on MACs, and far fewer still for Linux. Sure, this can be overcome via remote desktop (which still requires a PC running Windows) or emulators but neither of which are officially supported and in the case of emulators even if you ignore the legalities they still require a level of tech savvy that escapes the average person.
Google Docs? Sure it's decent. But it runs into the same problem that OpenOffice, LibreOffice and StarOffice have. They lack certain features that their equivalents in MS Office have but more importantly, none are able to 100% view/convert MS Office files. And like it or not, MS Office is the standard.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Android succeed. But unlike tablets or phones, PCs aren't just content consumers but content creators. And in today's world, the vast majority of software is either used exclusively or predominately in a Windows environment. Unless it's truly revolutionary, people are going to stick with what they know. And thats Windows.
You're making some really good points and I actually followed up with similar points over on my G+ post previous to your post.
There's a couple of aspects that make this situation both extremely complicated and extremely simple to connect the dots.
I won't begin to suggest or even try to fool anyone into thinking it's as powerful as Windows. Google keeps making one fundamental mistake: They don't finish what they start or leave it at a point where the average user will find it usable enough but the advanced user will constantly keep hitting his head against the product finding it can't do certain things it should be able to or you'd expect it to be able to.
Lets take a fundamental point Windows has to offer that the average user isn't going to necessarily understand. Windows has layered protection and makes very strong usage of it. It doesn't just limit itself to network protections such as Users vs User Groups, but the actual OS still goes deeper into the core OS (where its still programmed in Cobal, for security reasons) and the higher layers which were programmed in C++, although I think they are C# now. Macs still fall flat on their face in these respects and so does Android. This is just tugging at one of the hundreds of threads you could tug on to drive the point home.
However, then you look at it from another angle. A truism that has absolutely demonstrated itself in the market in past and in recent studies is people stick to what they know and understand. Heck, there was just a new study about this that was released on Friday suggesting Android users will stick to Android and iOS users will stick to Apple and there probably won't be much jump between the two. Ironically enough, with Android being as accessible as it is today, its coming on Tablets, Cell Phones, mini computers (IE ASUS's EEE series), dumb terminals and smart terminals. Android has now been tapped and is in development to be a standard OS on the next breed of cash registers, TVs (Vizio and Sony both have Android based TVs out now, we just brought a Vizio that runs Android), Media Players and more. It's getting to the point and may soon well be past the point where people feel more comfortable with Android then they do Windows.
The irony is Android made the right dent in the market at exactly the right time. Its a market that in previous generations Palm, Handspring and Microsoft tried DESPERATELY to tap, but just couldn't wedge in. Microsoft even invested heavily in its OWN Cell Network (Nextel was a joint venture between Microsoft and Motorola) and still couldn't get Windows CE to take any kind of root. For better or for worse, its the Cell Phone industries adaptation and subsidization to Android (and iOS) that has made all of this possible. When Palm had their big beast cell phones out (Anyone remember the Treo?), you didn't see any cell carrier subsidize the Palm or CE based Cell phones. Why do that when they could give you a $50 cell phone?
So at the end of the day, I think Android can transition into Desktops easily and quickly right now if the right push is made and the right adaptations are made to make the OS viable for the Desktop. However, I don't think Android is necessarily ready for everything that can and will be thrown at it as a desktop OS. It lacks features and it's probably about at the Windows 98 level of development. However, I do think Android can do what the AVERAGE home consumer would want a PC to do (gaming and office applications).
Those Android Mini PCs I mentioned earlier are every bit capable of doing the majority of what any college student, many gamers (those who are more interested in console over PC games), office worker or older adult would want from it. It's going to be lacking for any Enterprise models and any developer would want to do with it. Hell, I am in the process of planning an office right now and we're heavily considering going Android over Windows OS because it cuts a TON off the over head and many of my employees don't NEED a Windows Machine and won't miss one.
To that end, I think its possible where you might see a point where Windows becomes the "Power user OS" and Android becomes the (for lack of a better term) "The dummy OS", however, I can see them co-existing happily (save the fact Microsoft will be crying about the loss of business).
Windows is never going to be replaced as the primary Desktop OS any more than Google will be replaced as the Primary search option.
Web browsers are only now really becoming a choice for most users so that fight is still ongoing, but Search and OS decisions have been decided and barring some major F-ups of an epic scale by either organization, that wont change.
Registered: 2006-06-10 Location: The Land of Chocolate Posts: 2254
Chrome has a 'desktop' OS (more for laptops) in their ChromeOS platform.
It recently has gotten some incredible updates and I use it quite a bit on my not-getting-any-younger Cr-48. It depends on cloud apps/services, but man, the cloud is getting better and better at providing the best tools for it.
It used to be just Google and their apps, but now there are thousands of very viable web apps out there than can accomplish some hefty tasks.
Of course, it is still a long way from Microsoft Office, but it's getting closer and closer, faster and faster.
Edit: Android was too focused as a mobile OS. There are things at play solely because there are resource and power issues that don't exist on laptops/desktops. I don't know if I'd want to see Android on a desktop, I'd rather see a mobile OS, a desktop OS and a brilliant bridge between the two.
EDITED: 2012-09-17 10:00:39
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