I feel like I’ve been in a holding pattern waiting for the right smart phone platform/technology to arrive — one that fits into my lifestyle and, as importantly, integrates with the rest of my technology. I’ve used every platform out there and can confirm that each has advantages and disadvantages.
Early on, there was only one real player. Blackberry devices from Research in Motion offered me, primarily a corporate user of the technology at the time, integrated messaging, calendaring, web browsing, and other ‘amenities’ that were nice to have as a techie in the information technology industry.
None of the alternatives thus far have unseated my Blackberry. It has been at my side and continues to be a fantastic device for doing all I want to do with a smart phone.
Over the past several years, however, I have watched as Apple and Android powered devices have taken over while RIM’s Blackberry has been, seemingly, in a downward spiral. There are many arguments why the Blackberry has been in a free fall but I think we can all agree that a serious lack of creative releases from RIM is likely a lead cause. There is hope that RIM’s new OS, due out this year, will start turning things around for Blackberry devices. I am not so sure.
During my opportunities to evaluate Apple and Android devices, my common reaction was, “Sure, it’s nice, but I can do all this with my current phone.”
Then, enter Microsoft.
I have designed and implemented Microsoft Windows-based networks, servers, and desktop systems for 20 years, for clients all over the world. I have several PCs running varying flavours of Windows at home and on the go. I am familiar with and have invested a lot of time and money into Windows, corporately and personally.
Combine that with the fact I haven’t been all that impressed with smartphones on the market today – I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking this – and you have an opportunity for Microsoft and device manufacturers like Nokia and others to make a dent and become competitive.
Does the promise of Windows 8 hold the key I am looking for?
I have ‘played’ with Windows 8 on my home computer and on a tablet that was provided to me for evaluation purposes. There is promise there. However, personally, I am getting sick of waiting. I have listened to Apple and Android fans touting their platforms for years now and, really, the two-year old Blackberry I have is every bit as good as the Apple devices or any of the Android powered devices.
The one area where things diverge is in integrating, seamlessly, with all my other existing technologies. This is where the promise of Windows 8 carries extra weight with me.
Here’s hoping the wait is almost over!
UPDATE: June 18, 2012 – after an opportunity to test drive a new Android device over the past couple of weeks, I want to stress and reiterate that a secure, unified computing experience from Windows 8 is Microsoft’s hook for those of us still waiting to trade in our Blackberry, iPhone, and Android devices on smart phones and tablets that promise integration into the rest of our technology. Offer users the opportunity to use the same apps and methods on their smart phones and tablets as they use on their PCs at work and at home and you have a hook to entice users to upgrade to the Windows environment.
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