MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

Summary: The synergy between these the new MacBook Airs and OS X Lion is powerful stuff, and demonstrates the big task ahead for Microsoft's work in progress, Windows 8.

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Unless you have been sleeping in a cave somewhere, you know that Apple released new MacBook Air notebooks and OS X Lion together. The joint release is significant because Lion is designed from the ground up to optimize the user experience on Apple hardware. The synergy between these Apple products is powerful stuff, and demonstrates the big task ahead for Microsoft's work in progress, Windows 8.

OS X Lion has a raft of features designed to make working with a MacBook Air, even older MacBooks, as intuitive as possible. The ability to have lots of programs running and easily get to any one of them is already changing the way I work with OS X. The handling of the small notebook screen is pure genius, as is moving between programs occupying the entire display via simple touch gestures. The hardware and software have been written from the ground up to work together.

Apple hasn't done this overnight, it has been laying the groundwork for this synergy for a while. It started by putting large touchpads on every MacBook, and carried it over to non-notebooks with the release of the Magic Mouse and Magic TrackPad. The groundwork for a touch optimized experience was laid even before the iPad hit the scene. The company had a good plan and has executed it well.

This is the giant hurdle Microsoft faces with the next version of Windows, not so cleverly codenamed Windows 8. The sneak peeks Microsoft has given us of Windows 8 show an exciting new direction for the platform. Windows 8 attempts to do what Apple has executed, making the OS work efficiently with the system in the user's favor. What will determine how well consumers react to Windows 8 when released will be how easy it is to use, especially on notebooks. Windows 8 must find a way to handle smaller displays intelligently like OS X Lion, and bring touch (not necessarily the screen) into the equation.

This is a daunting task for Microsoft as a software company. The legacy of Windows is that by design of Microsoft's business plan, it must work on a wide variety of hardware made by other companies; this is not a complication faced by Apple. Microsoft decided long ago to be a software company, and this is now a competitive disadvantage. If it has to compromise the user experience offered by Windows 8 to make it work on some hardware, it will not compare well with OS X. That is a simple fact of life in this competitive environment.

Computer users have evolved the last few years to expect systems to be easy, even enjoyable to use. In the early days of Windows we all expected things to be complicated, and keeping everything going properly required access to an "expert". Those days are gone, folks now expect their computer to just work, and be intuitive at that. This is the biggest obstacle facing adoption of Windows 8, as it means the OS must work on whatever hardware Microsoft certifies it for, and run well.

I am optimistic about the next version of Windows, more so than with any version in a long time. I hope that Microsoft's decision to broaden the scope of hardware that Windows 8 will service doesn't turn into a bad decision. Apple's ecosystem is getting better due to the limited hardware focus needed due to building everything internally. Windows 8 doesn't have that luxury, and that may be an awfully big a hurdle to jump.

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Topics: Microsoft, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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  • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

    OSx has always been a non issue when it comes to Windows marketshare. What you should be writing about as a Apple Fanboy is how the MacBook Air and OSx might convince the Apple faithful that they don't need an iPad. hmm, on second thought it doesn't look like it matters anyways because Apple will turn the Air into an iPad with a keyboard very soon.
    rwalrond
    • you're correct

      @rwalrond
      it is a non issue when it comes to marketshare. that's why he doesn't talk about it in the article.
      so. do you have something about the article to offer or was that just an opening for you to go on your anti-apple rant?
      sportmac
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @sportmac No anti-Apple rant here, I have Apple products, I develop for iOS. I responded to the title of OSX being a big hurdle for Windows 8. Why is OS X a hurdle for something that will surely eclipse it's marketshare within the first few weeks of being released? So in other words I refused to go for the flamewar bait that Mr. Kendrick is hanging out there and jumped right to the real issue he should be talking about which is how and when will Apple replace OSx with iOS on their laptops/desktops and how will that impact the iPad.
        rwalrond
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @sportmac

        The article is a waste of time unless you actuall like Apple. I heard about the launch but could care less. I'm not in a cave but you Apple Fanatics should step out of the orchard and play with a true OS like Win 7. For the price Win7 and a PC always beat Apple and their niche market.
        Rob.sharp
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @sportmac Please let the trolls alone;)....the sad true is that he doesn't care about the article, which btw he can't argue because he didn't understand or even try to, in first place.
        humb1962
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        Apple is now the 3rd largest PC vendor in the US at 11% and 5th largest in the world. If you count the iPad they are 1st in the US and 2nd worldwide (22%).

        They are also the number one PC vendor in profit worldwide, with or without the iPad.

        Overall Apple is the most profitable tech company in the world, exceeding Microsoft is profit and revenue. With 80 billion cash-on-hand (no debt), by this time next year, Apple will be able to buy Intel cash-on-the-barrel at $121 billion.

        Some people are behind the times when it come to Apple...
        studentrights
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @studentrights<br><br><i>"Apple is now the 3rd largest PC vendor in the US at 11% and 5th largest in the world. If you count the iPad they are 1st in the US and 2nd worldwide (22%). They are also the number one PC vendor in profit worldwide, with or without the iPad."</i><br><br>You're right, but your statistics have proven one of the bigger complaints that consumers have against Apple: They are the <b>third</b> largest PC vendor yet with the <b>highest profits</b>. Why? Because their products are significantly more expensive than their competitors. I can get a Wintel PC for half the cost of a Mac.<br><br>I'm neither a Microsoft fanboy or an Apple hater - I use both their products. But I'm not going to spend twice as much for an Apple PC that does the same basic things as a Windows system, especially considering they both use essentially the same hardware. If Apple dropped their prices I would probably buy a Mac.
        smtp4me@...
    • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

      @rwalrond he is clearly a Apple Fanboy or an anti-Microsoft, just trying to be humble and show that his opinion is non-biased. Look at his statements: "Windows 8 attempts to do what Apple has executed, making the OS work efficiently with the system in the user?s favor", "In the early days of Windows we all expected things to be complicated, and keeping everything going properly required access to an ?expert?...lol...

      However, one statement is true here. "Apple?s ecosystem is getting better due to the limited hardware focus needed due to building everything internally". But ARM should be able to handle this well for Microsoft.
      animageofmine1
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @animageofmine1 Contrary to what you may think, as a recipient of the MS MVP award for 7 years running, I am neither an Apple fanboy nor anti-Microsoft. I do call them as I see them, however.
        JamesKendrick
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @animageofmine1 / @rwalrond You both didn't pay attention in English class. Words that begin with a vowel are preceded by "an", not "a". AN Apple .... A banana...AN orange. Sheesh! And you guys are in IT??
        I12BPhil
      • There is nothing 'fanboyal' in what you have written here, so this opinion

        @JamesKendrick: ... that was constructed as 'accusation' is actually proof of its author (animageofmine1) religious zeal which can not stand any fair praise of what Apple does.
        DDERSSS
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @animageofmine1 Yes, one thing not mentioned here- Apple has ALWAYS had the limited hardware advantage over Microsoft, and so far has failed to make much of a dent in the desktop/laptop space despite that advantage. Because while it is an advantage for reliability/more profitable/more hw specific OS functions, it is not without disadvantages. i.e. lack of hardware flexibility, limited choice, &c. While MacOS X Lion will bring some much needed competition in the desktop OS space, and Microsoft can't sleep on Windows 8...in the same token MacOS X Lion in my opinion, even with a MacBook air is not all total wow factor. it's nice, but i can't see everyone going out to go and buy one...
        eatredmeatfeelgood@...
    • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

      @rwalrond Apple-fanboys and Microsoft-fanatics !! Girls girls girls your both pretty now can we stop the bickering. The article just states the bar has been set a little different and higher for MS . Personally I like the one up manship MS and Apple always do. It brings more innovativeness to the table. Apple will never beat MS because of the corparate ties MS platforms have. Thats a give me. Apple is not going for that they are going for the consumer electronics and using OS X to tie neatly into iPads, iPods , iPhones etc... and bringing them altogether. That is their strategy and they are doing a great job on it. I just downloaded Lion ( I also run Windows 7 via vmware and love it also ) and it is a gorgeous consumer (for lack of a label) OS. I am physced to see what Windows 8 has to offer also.
      m8trix310
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @m8trix310 This is the only intelligent response so far. Why do these forums always devolve into Apple vs Win fanboys? Don't you tired of the same knee jerk reactions, issue after issue? Who gives a crap? I don't. Apple vs MS is getting more competitive every year, and that's good for everyone, no matter which platform you use.
        RSBerman
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @m8trix310 Wow. Thanks, someone actually does get it. It's too bad that 98% of the posters here, just can't accept the fact that people like choice, and use what they like.

        Instead, most of the posters are probably insecure, and have to call one another derogatory names, when someone prefers a different platform.

        And no, I'm not calling anyone a bad name by saying they're insecure. That's an actual emotional condition..Please just let people use what they want without being so critical...Thanks..
        T-Wrench
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @T-Wrench No! Most posters here are paid astroturfers!
        I am Gorby
    • but of course you do

      @rwalrond
      words like "apple fanboy" give little cred to your argument. sorry. not buying it.
      sportmac
    • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

      @rwalrond

      Apple makes more profit from selling Macs than HP & Dell combined selling PCs.

      Apple now makes more revenue and profit than Microsoft.

      Is profit a "non-issue"?

      Apple is now the 3rd largest 5PC vendor in the US at 11% and 5th largest in the world. If you count the iPad they are 1st in the US and 2nd worldwide.

      This is similar to Apple share of the phone market, where they sell 3% of the worlds phones and make 50% of all phone profit (worldwide). Apple is 1st in smartphone marketshare (by manufacturer) just passing Nokia this week.
      studentrights
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @studentrights
        Just goes to show how many suckers there are out there willing to pay exorbitant prices for a toy just to display their conspicuous consumption! Who pays your tuition?
        Threatte
      • RE: MacBook Air and OS X Lion synergy: A big hurdle for Windows 8

        @studentrights That little qualifier "by manufacturer" means very little. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/u-s-smartphone-market-whos-the-most-wanted/ By platform they are no longer first, or even close to it.

        As for the qualifier itself, no, not completely accurate: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20070797-94/analyst-samsung-apple-to-top-nokia-in-smartphones/ See where Samsung will be passing Apple by the end of the quarter. If it hasn't happened already, which according to other new sources has.
        ariesghost