Shift in mobile

September 2013

If we look at the design paradigm of Windows 8 we can see that Microsoft is pushing for a single device. A devices that can be extended using peripherals to augment the needs of the user. The problem with the Microsoft Surface is that it fails to bridge the gap between the mobile and desktop experience. It encompasses the failings of both a laptop and desktop, without functioning well at either.

When compared to the Ubuntu Edge, the Edge offers the capabilities of a phone while being able to provide a desktop experience when docked. You can dual boot between Ubuntu and Android depending on which system you need access to at the time. The main lacking feature of Ubuntu OS is the fluidity of the layout for the mobile viewport, my perception is that Microsoft with eventually combine Windows Mobile and Windows OS to create a single cohesive experience.

While the desktop and mobile experience might be converging the use cases for users remain separate. Users on mobile devices have different expectations and we should not try to recreate desktop experiences on mobile but instead optimize for the each platform independently. We need to do a better job of understanding mobile use cases and not strive for feature parity. If the majority of mobile users only use a few key features then put those front and center.

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

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