Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Is Windows 8 Enough to Move Back to PC?

In short, probably.  Here's how I got to this point:

I am fairly new to Apple products.  I bought in to the entire ecosystem (iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, and MBP).

I am a Systems Engineer by trade.  Most of my work involves Microsoft Windows server systems and applications.

I prefer to upgrade my computers at the latest every 3 years.

Let's start by looking at my Apple favorites:

I like a nice flowing UI with fancy design elements

  • Icons, windows, and overall system use is very pretty (yes, this does matter, obviously)

I like easy to use software

  • Almost every application and system setting is easy to use and easy to keep up-to-date
  • Apple Updates are not very intrusive and don't bug you constantly

I like quality hardware

  • No doubt about it, Apple produces quality and hardware specs which are largely unrivaled by the mainstream PC market.
  • Quality does, however, come with a price.

I like how well Apple products work together

  • The Apple ecosystem is a huge reason to keep everything Apple.  And it reminds you every time a new feature is released for iOS or Mac OS X.  
  • Apps work well together (main apps) between iOS and Mac OS X.
  • Pushing things to AppleTV is great.

On to Windows

Now that Windows 8 has been released, I feel like they have improved many of the items which drew me to Apple Mac OS X:

Windows 8 has vastly changed UI experience

  • In short, I think they did a great job.  Skeptical at first, I have now embraced the start screen concept.  Also, the UI has improved look and feel.  It flows and is pretty to use as I have come to love using Apple products.

Windows 8 is easy to use

  • I am used to Windows.  In my professional life, I use Windows all day every day.  I know the ins and outs of the Operating System as well as how to do common activities.  Windows 8 has added  some behind the scene improvements for re-opening apps during automatic update installation and other workflows that I feel have improved the overall ease of use.
  • Windows has made some major changes to the UI; but use it for a bit and many workflow items require fewer steps and are easier to use. (They have some room to improve; but overall a great change).

Windows 8 can be found on a variety of hardware platforms

  • OK, this one is how it always has been. You can buy a POS windows computer (no names) or you can buy a beast of a computer.  There is a large variety of hardware, including custom hardware kits, that works with Windows.
  • Here's my suggestion: If you have had issues with hardware in the past, start pricing your new PC with hardware specs similar to the Apple product line instead of pricing the new PC based on price alone.
  • Touch.  Touch is exclusive to Windows at the time of this post.  Apple needs to get with this for their Macbook line to stay in the game.  I wasn't sure I wanted touch or would even use touch on a notebook until I spent some time with one.  You will find yourself wanting to touch your screen more often than you thought you would.
  • Price is also an upside to Windows systems.  If you can deal with less than amazing hardware, your Windows computer will be far cheaper than an Apple computer.

Here are some areas that Windows Next can improve:

  • Windows Next add have a little more customization to the Start Screen
  • Windows Next should improve some of the issues and add features to the Windows App screen locking/viewing.

More thoughts

  • Is Microsoft developing an ecosystem?  We shall see.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

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