Steve Clayton of "Next at Microsoft" interviews Bill Gates and gets Gates' opinions and impressions of Windows 8. You probably expect Bill to say that he loves Windows 8. He does. But, there's one thing he says that mirrors things that I've said for a very long time: Windows is really headed toward a "single" platform. That means that at some point in the very near future, your Desktop, your Phone and your Tablet will all share the same operating system. That's a significant step in the right direction for computing.
The true significance isn't readily apparent for what a single platform brings to users, both private and corporate. But, it's big. Really big. So big, in fact, that I'm a little surprised that Bill didn't spend more time on it nor did Steve capitalize on it for his interview.
If I ever have the chance to interview Bill Gates, I'd discuss with him.
Since I haven't had that privilege yet, here is why I think that a single platform is huge.
A single platform creates a single environment or "window," if you will, into your computing world. A single platform means that all of your documents, all of your applications, all of your games, all of your browser history and all of your knowledge are kept in one place to be shared by all of your devices that are all exactly alike.
It means that I can buy one set of applications that will run on all of my devices. No "lite" versions or mobile versions required. The other thing it means is that I can have one desktop "personality" for all my devices. I don't have to keep track of three or four different looks, locations or setups. It's almost like having a roaming profile except better.
The thought of a single platform for all devices is exciting for me and for Bill Gates. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had partnered up in 1975? Can you imagine? But, maybe things do work out for the best. We'll never know what could have been. That's the stuff of science fiction and the movies.
Bill also eludes to some other points of interest in his interview. Sometimes you have to listen between the lines. Here are my speculations from that interview:
- Microsoft is going to converge all of its OSs into a single OS for all devices.
- They're going to incorporate gesturing, think Kinect, into the OS.
- Physical keyboards will be obsolete.
- On screen keyboards will also be obsolete.
- Gesturing and voice control will replace keyboards.
- Applications will become OS extensions rather than standalone apps.
- App Stores will replace regular software.
- Natural interfacing (Touch, gesturing, voice) are the future.
But, for whatever the future brings, it will be interesting to see who'll bring it to us first and who'll bring it to us best. My guess is that no matter who you ask, you'll get a different answer. One thing's for sure, Microsoft isn't sitting on its haunches waiting for Apple to make all of the innovations. I'm expecting big things in the next 18 to 24 months. Watch this space for details.
What do you think of the Bill Gates interview and my speculations? Do you think that we're getting close to a converged platform and more natural interfacing? Talk back and let me know.