It's time to have a little fun at Microsoft's expense. But, before we get started it behooves me to state that this news is in no way true. I've not heard any rumors to suggest that any piece of what I'm about to say has any real bearing on the future of Windows 10.
The fun comes in the following fake news story, but don't forget to carry over into my commentary after.
Microsoft Releases Windows 10 for iOS and Android, Windows Phone Planned for Next Year
Microsoft today publicly released Windows 10 for iOS and Android. Bringing its latest operating system to non-Microsoft platforms, Windows 10 allows customers everywhere to take full advantage of the advancements in Microsoft's latest, most secure, operating system. Additionally, Windows 10 for iOS and Android comes with a free, 1 year license of Office 365.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, stated that his vision for the new Microsoft is nearly complete, and that the
We live in a Mobile First, Cloud First world. We want Windows to be ubiquitous. We want to make money. By making Windows 10 to work across all platforms, we are taking steps to meet business customers and consumers where they are today, no matter where they choose to work and play.
Microsoft's Corporate VP for Cloud and Enterprise, Brad Anderson, had this to say…
I'm really excited about what we've done and where we are headed! We have already made the adjustments in Microsoft Intune and expect to roll out our most aggressive changes in the coming days! These are some of the biggest updates we've ever made! I'll be presenting all of this at IT/Dev Connections 2015 in a few short weeks, providing real world usage cases from some of our largest customers!
A private launch event is planned in November. Microsoft has invited hand-selected journalists to attend the event and it's rumored that each attendee will receive a free iPad running Windows 10.
Shortly after the news, industry maven, Mary Jo Foley weighed in. Mary Jo, who plans to be in attendance for the private launch, uncovered this revelation earlier in 2015, but was unable to get a direct confirmation from Microsoft's communications team.
We've been expecting this for some time, but had no solid date as to when Microsoft planned to announce it. I'm already a closet iPad and Android user, so this makes it easier for me to now use my devices in public.
And, Paul Thurrott, lead analyst and blogger with Thurrott.com, and Selfie-stick expert said this…
Some customers were shocked by the news today, while others have become accustomed to watching Microsoft deliver new products and solutions to iOS and Android before providing them for Windows Phone users.
OK. So, this is fake news. It'll never happen, right? Bear with me for a second and take a trip with me down a very strange and seemingly illogical thought path. Stay with me as I take these illogical nuggets and twist them into thought provoking directions that might actually make sense in some respects.
I grew up reading comic books. I still love them to this day. I have stacks and stacks of comic books stored in my basement, some worth quite a bit of cash should I ever choose to sell them. I converted over to digital comics a few years ago, and still catch a few of my favorite titles here and there. One of my favorite series was from Marvel Comics called "What If…?" In the series, Marvel took its major comic characters and provided twisted stories, exploring what the comic universe might look like should key moments in comic history have unfolded differently. Some notable issues were "What if Thor battled Conan the Barbarian?" and "What if the X-Men had died on their first mission?" You get the gist.
So, "What if Microsoft Released Windows 10 for iOS and Android?" It brings up some interesting possibilities, doesn't it?
Think about it. Since the beginning of the mobile revolution Microsoft has been struggling to catch up to the likes of Apple and Google. This is primarily due to the "app gap." No matter how you feel about it, both Apple and Google largely base their successes on the number of apps available in their respective app stores. To me, the number of apps doesn't relate to success, but to consumers who can't live without an official Pinterest app, it's important. If Microsoft were to release Windows 10 for iOS and Android, and make it so device owners could continue to run their favorite apps, Windows 10 usage would jump through the roof overnight. To me, as someone who migrated from Android to Windows Phone a couple years ago, I know that Windows Phone 8.1 is just a better device OS. I'm not locked into the horrid iTunes ecosystem and am not having to give up all my privacy just so Google can make money. In this respect, sticking Windows 10 on an iOS or Android device makes perfect sense.
Now, let's turn to PCs: MacBook and Chromebook.
Imagine if Windows 10 could install on a MacBook or Chromebook. Users of those computers would no longer have to compromise. Let me explain before you jump off on a fanboy rant.
My Dad recently bought a Chromebook. He was looking for a computer he thought would be easier to use. After fiddling with it for a few hours, he brought it to me to set it up for him. I spent the next 45 minutes getting it into working order for him, only for him to realize he couldn't install the applications he wanted to use. He still has the Chromebook, but it's now a $200 paper weight.
Last week I sat in an all-day meeting. For the first time in my life, I was the only person in the room not using a MacBook (I was using my Surface Pro 3). Like Rip Van Winkle, I thought I had slept for 100 years and woke up to a crazy new world, or had unsuspectingly boarded the Space Shuttle the day before instead of a normal airplane and had been transported to a new planet. I spend a lot of time at IT conferences, so when traveling I see more PCs than MacBooks, so this was a shock for me. But, as the day wore on I started to wonder if I was missing something. Hmmm…maybe I should consider using a MacBook.
But, here's the thing. During certain parts of the meeting, we spent much of the time chatting about what the MacBook couldn't do versus what it could do. And, what I mean is that we talked about specific pieces of the business we wanted to work on in 2015, some of which requires using the company's backend systems. The backend systems and infrastructure are designed for a PC environment, for which the Mac OS is not a good fit.
Popular phrases I heard:
"Well, a Mac can't do that."
"Well, you can do that, but you have to use this workaround I found."
"You can do that if you install this other application. Use this one instead."
Macs work great for most people. What's that phrase about using the right tool for the job? Using a Mac in a business world is like trying to use a feather to hammer a nail. Apple does a much better job with business these days, much better than a Chromebook, but it's still not perfect and the value definitely still swings to the consumer side.
So, what if Microsoft provided a Windows 10 that could be installed directly on a MacBook or Chromebook? Consumers could still choose the hardware they wanted, whether it was based on the cool factor (which seems to be the case for MacBook users) or cheap price (i.e., Chromebook), but still be able to run applications and do actual work. Win, win, win. And, win – dows.
Could it happen? No. Will it happen? Hmmm…
I'm just going back to my next 100 year nap and see what happens next. For a really deep shock, wake me when Blackberry is the new industry standard.