The Problem

The lack of focus on the Windows ecosystem is hurting enterprise businesses. If we look at the new design paradigms of Windows 8, we can see that Microsoft is bullish on a single device that will adapt to the peripherals around you.

Devices such as the Windows Surface that can be extended using peripherals is ultimately the future of mobile. The problem with the Surface is that it had not done a great job bridging the mobile and desktop experience. If we look at the device from a hardware perspective, it encompasses the failings of both a laptop and desktop, without functioning well at either.

On the other hand, when compared to the Ubuntu Edge, the Edge offers the capabilities of a phone while being able to provide a desktop experience when docked. From a software perspective, you can dual boot between Ubuntu and Android depending on which system you need access to at the time. The Ubuntu OS main lacking feature is the fluidity of the layout for the mobile viewport, my perception is that Microsoft with eventually try to combine Windows Mobile and OS to create a singular experience thereby reducing the complexity of maintaining separate codebases.

Proposed Solution

Although the desktop and mobile experience are converging, the use cases for most users remain separate. Most users on a mobile device has different expectations than when they are on a desktop. A common oberservation though is that most designers try to recreate desktop experiences on mobile instead of optimizing for the desired use cases.

We need to do a better job of understanding our users and not strive for feature parity on mobile. If the majority of mobile users only use a few key features then put those front and center.

Prediction

I would expect to see Apple follow suit and provide some convergence between iOS and OSX in the coming years. Although, I do not expect them to copy Microsoft’s lead on some of the key features of the Surface, notably the pen and keyboard.