How Microsoft's approach to 'Windows Core OS' differs from Google's and Apple's

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Windows Core OS is a version of Windows 10 that can be tweaked for use on any device type according to our own Zac Bowden. Windows Core OS will allow Windows to run on wearables, PCs and a variety of other form factors, including mobile. Essentially, Windows Core OS enables the ability to remove specific Windows functionality that isn't essential to make Windows "lighter" and a better fit for the targeted hardware.

The key point here is that Windows 10 remains fundamentally the same version of Windows 10 regardless of the device it's running on. Because of the OSes flexibility, distinct Windows variants such as Windows 10 Mobile will no longer be necessary. Windows 10 will simply be Windows 10 on any device it is running on.

This additional information regarding Windows Core OS and the adaptable UI, CShell, is consistent with our previous analysis of Microsoft's One Windows vision. Of course, nothing exists in a vacuum, and Apple and Google have their own agendas. So what are the philosophical differences between Microsoft's one OS strategy and its rivals approach to personal computing?

Different perspectives: Apple's many platforms

Apple, Google, and Microsoft are the primary providers of personal computing operating systems. With Windows Microsoft has maintained a near 90-percent dominance of the desktop for decades, dwarfing its nearest rival Apple's MacOS. The script is dramatically flipped in the mobile arena where Microsoft has less than one-percent of the market. Android has over 80-percent of the market while Apple's iOS claims all but a tiny fraction of the remaining share.

Microsoft's personal computing strategy has always been to bring one Windows, in some form, to the range of devices people use. Conversely, Apple has an OS for all form factors. It has watchOS for wearables, iOS for phones and tablets, macOS for the desktop and tvOS for the living room.

Apple has a different OS for all device types.

The benefit to this approach is that each of these platforms is tailored for the devices they run on. The downside is they also each represent a different target for developers. Of course, Apple has 16 million registered developers and is a darling of the tech industry. Consequently, getting developer support even for disparate platforms is nowhere near the challenge it would be for say Microsoft. Sadly, Redmond, with only one platform, is struggling to garner developer support for its Universal Windows Platform (UWP).

Google's OS duality

Google falls somewhere in between Microsoft and Apple's approaches. Rather than one OS like Microsoft or several, like Apple, Google maintains two platforms: Android and Chrome OS.

Android runs on a broad range of device types from phones, to wearables to IoT devices. There has been little success in bringing a viable form of Android to the desktop scenario, however. Android simply doesn't yet have the level of comfort and consistency in a desktop context that Windows provides.

Chrome OS, a browser-based operating system, is Google's desktop platform. Chromebooks, which run Chrome OS have found growing popularity in the education sector. They're affordable, easy to maintain and because everything is web-based, a user's data is always easy to access from anywhere. Rumors of a merged Chrome and Android hybrid, have been floating around for years but have yet to bear fruit.

With all the excitement over Windows on ARM don't forget about Google's Andromeda

Ironically Microsoft adopted the moniker of Google's rumored universal OS, Andromeda, to describe (at least internally) its application of a single OS to rule them all.

Different approaches, same goal

Despite the different approaches to personal computing Apple, Google and Microsoft are all headed in the same direction. Each company has the goal of making mobile devices more powerful and more capable of doing what were traditionally tasks reserved for the desktop.

In less than 10 years smartphones have taken on web-surfing, document editing, messaging, emailing, increasingly more demanding gaming, job searching and a host of other previously PC-centric tasks. A combination of increases in processing power and apps have made the evolution of the mobile landscape a suitable replacement for the desktop for an increasing, but still limited range of PC-centric tasks.

Still, Apple, Google, and Microsoft recognize that because mobile is where most consumer personal computing is occurring mobile platforms must continue to become more powerful to accommodate even more desktop-type computing.


Apple's and Google's primary personal computing platforms, Android and iOS, evolved around smartphones and an app-centric model designed for light, touch-centric computing. These companies now have the challenge of maintaining the advantages of the mobile platforms that have made them successful while making them more robust in order to handle increasingly complex computing.

Consequently, they are in essence moving mobile-centric paradigms toward a more inclusive personal computing paradigm that supports desktop computing contexts. Apple's iOS-based iPad Pro, with keyboard, pencil and marketing lingo that equates the tablet to a PC are evidence of this.

The truth about Apple's iPad ads

Google has made a similar move by bringing Android apps to Chromebooks. Android-based laptop designs have also come to market. Samsung also brought the Continuum-type DeX dock to market which turns an Android phone into a desktop. Unlike Microsoft's UWP apps, however, Android apps aren't developed with the same consistency to scale to all form factors, dynamically provide a context-sensitive UI and conform to appropriate input methods. UWP apps can dynamically conform to monitor, mouse and keyboard or touch-friendly mobile interactions.

Windows Core OS: Then there was one

Both Apple's and Google's attempts to accommodate more complex computing are centered around keeping their successful mobile platforms distinct from their desktop OSes. Microsoft has the opposite challenge. It has been successful on the desktop, and with Windows Core OS, it is attempting to bring the power of Windows 10 to everything.

The advantage Microsoft has is that Windows 10 is already where iOS and Android are trying to get. As the standard for desktop OSes, it has in power and range of functionality what users and manufacturers are increasingly pushing their mobile devices to achieve. So rather than trying to make its mobile OS more robust or capable like the competition, Windows Core OS allows Microsoft and OEMs to trim full Windows down for mobile and other devices. It keeps all of the power of Windows while relinquishing features not needed for a given form factor.

Windows Core OS opens the door for potentially creative hardware designs that Microsoft may bring to the mobile and IoT space.

Of course, the app gap will still be a challenge if this nimble approach to Windows makes it to market. It does modernize the platform, however. If Microsoft ever gets past the app gap problem, leveraging things like progressive web apps, Windows Core OS and a robust ecosystem bring something unique to mobile that Apple, Google, and consumers may not be able to ignore.

Updated September 30, 2017: Several sources have come forward and told us the "Andromeda OS" effort is now internally referred to as "Windows Core OS." We've updated this article to reflect this.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • Great article my man. Can't wait to see what the hater have to say about it 😀 
  • Thanks raiden😉
  • You were right about this peice of the puzzle. Now, we just need your other predictions to come to light. I have faith you're on the right path, regardless of what the negatives think.
  • c'mon. "Great article"? Huh? Jason Ward is a solid author. This is not one of his finest works. Re-reading this article gives me the sense that we're witnessing the Titantic on its maiden voyage. The unsinkable, unstoppable juggernaut of Microsoft is on its way to deliver its cross-platform, cross-paradigm solution. Only problem is that I see iceberg written all over it. Dollar-wise Apple utterly dominates the high value, high profit mobile market. Android has mopped up the remnants, thereby providing Google with valuable search-engine market share and some app store income. Apple has also proved itself adept at outmanoeuvering competitors in the last 15 years. First it took over the struggling MP3 player market. Then it blew the completely ignored consumer touch mobile device market wide-open, and subsequently, through its consumer success, completely cannibalized the "mature" professional mobile device market, previously dominated by Microsoft and BlackBerry. Then Apple managed to dominate the high value, high profit laptop market (something like 70% market share of the $1000+ laptops). In the meantime it also managed to make the iPad the only tablet of note (it owns a shockingly large percentage of the tablet market), outcompeting much cheaper (and cheaper) Android and Windows tablets. In so many respects Apple has proved itself to be a 500 pound of computing that is incredibly flexible. With that history, Apple is Microsoft's biggest nemesis, and, Apple has a pretty massive head start on the most important market of our times--the mobile market. Apple is getting right into the "next big thing", AR and VR, and, unlike Microsoft, Apple has millions of devices in the wild that can support AR and eventually VR. This means that it can learn from hundreds of thousands of people actually using hardware rather than just a bunch of Windows developers with a handful of (very expensive) test subjects. Microsoft also does not offer a compelling operating system for manufacturers. The high end, high profit margin of most markets is dominated by Apple. There's little money to be made going after Apple's cake because Apple has stunningly high repeat brand loyalty. It's hard to convert someone invested in an Apple device into a loyal customer of your own. Not worth it. The medium and low end offer low profit margins and lots of competitors. It's hard to make money there unless you can differentiate yourself. Microsoft has not shown themselves to be willing to cede control over their OS the way Google has released Android. For mobile devices OEMs aren't truly beholdened to Google the way they would be to Microsoft. They are free to differentiate themselves. In the end Microsoft is playing for a strange niche. But, I suppose it makes sense. Windows has become a side-show for Microsoft, so, in terms of priorities Windows isn't a high one. For Windows to evolve it needs to be spun off into its own separate entity. Software and the cloud are going to make for strange bedfellows. In Apple's case, its cloud profits come directly from its hardware. Cloud and Apple still make sense. In Microsoft's case the connection between Windows and cloud profits is a lot more tenuous. Mark my words, Microsoft will split in the not-so-distant future. It won't be long before different aspects of the business end up opposing each other. Profit in one will mean stagnation in the other (and, given where we've seen Microsoft's profits grow I feel comfortable in predicting that Windows will be the division that suffers).
  • You consider 84% of the smartphone market remnants? Wow. Apple's really dominating those 16%!! Apple's a 500 pound [gorilla] of computing that is incredibly flexible? How is removing the home button and headphone jack flexible? How is releasing the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 at the same time flexible? How is adding a keyboard to an iPad to compete against the Microsoft Surface flexible?  Then there's the mindboggling suggestion that Windows is a "niche" player!? What an odd view of the world you must have. Do you notice a trend in the chart?  Get a grip.
  • Interesting analogy of the Titanic, you know if they built it the way it was designed it would have been a huge success, that's the moral of the story, don't cut corners... Thanks for the Pro-Apple speech on a Windows Forum though, we always appreciate you guys stopping by and sewing discord, lol.
  • First informative article from Jason..... Thank You!
  • Definitely not the first, but thanks😃 lol Quantum computing's pretty hot right now, here's my year old piece covering most of what was discussed (omitting the new language introduced) during the Ignite keynote today. 😉 Microsoft's do more vision of quantum computing: More where that came from: 😉
  • And, still zero information from netmann... SMDH
  • Keep waiting Rodney...
  • Lol
  • So do we know when MS will deliver, is it Redstone 4?
  • 😆😆😆😆
  • Really nice article. Oh, btw please fix the Win10 app - I can no longer submit any comments and the button "Read in browser" no longer works.
  • We're aware. And we're trying to get it fixed. The editorial team has no input on the maintenance of the app and believe me, we're yelling about it a lot.
  • Who is working on it to get it fixed?
  • It's outrageously buggy.  You guys need to whip them.  we are windows 10 mobile users. we need this.
  • Thanks and we've got someone looking into the app. We definitely empathize with you.
  • Is the app no longer maintained by the original developer?
  • Liquid Daffodil?
  • Hahaha - that serious reply or joke? IIRC, it was a single dev that made this version of the WC app. Can't remember his name though...
  • What'd I say?
  • Windows 10 is what iOS & Android aspire to be... Sure...
  • use the other and realise how full of ... Windows is ... i was actively supporting MS and Windows not anymore, they change their mind about how mobile should be that they never fully support it ... even HP stopped with the Elite X3 phone ... Even windows 10 has support only for Android and iPhone ... 
  • I tried the other two earlier this year.  And went back.
  • Awesome article as usual, You are one of the very few who have charted all the little nimbles of MSFT work that this is where they are all pointing to and they sure seems to be pointing to that. Some would argue that MSFT is slow in executing this and that competition might spring another one on them before Andromeda full realization. I think, they can not afford to be too slow, but MUST be methodical and execute as falwless as possible, don't rush bringing out any "Mee too product", must be unique and category defining... (Ok, Satya said same thing) So, Mr. Ward, my million dollar question for you is this, do you think MSFT pace on Andromeda as final piece of the puzzle is adequate or slow and why? What can of time table would you consider late, too early or right on the nuggen.
  • I am not a MS hater, SP4, 950XL, Xbox One, the wife has an SP3, 950 and Xbox One. We use Groove, Office 365, Skype numbers and subscriptions, so some might even go as far as to say I am a fan of MS. I fully intend to buy an Xbox One X, but unless MS can get into the mobile sector with a small form PC (No not a mobile) with some telephony installed (That allows me to keep my mobile number) the buying of the XBX could mark the Zenith of my life with MS. The main thing for me is integration, one OS, one cloud with many screens as and when needed. As mentioned many times before, if I have to leave MS on the mobile front the chances are I will leave on the other things as well, because MS have mucked about so many people. they have in reality less than a year to pull something special out of the fire or the long term future for them is not great.      
  • Problem is all the "power of Windows " doesnt really translate outside it's normal operating zone, and so far definitely not on anything remotely smartphone centric despite repeated tries at this "convergence". For all its power Windows 10 doesnt offer anything fundamentally superior to ios and andoid in the mobile space and at best will only replicate what those platforms have already done. Just because a feature exists doesnt mean it will actually be useful or successful.
  • Andromeda takes us to android. Like the titanic, Microsoft will founder... Its a mathematical certainty.
  • Looking at the number of comments, likes and dislikes on the forums, I think MS has blown it big time, they can call it whatever they want to call it.  Like other articles have covered, once bitten twice shy, MS keeps on biting.
  • I think that's true. I am generally an MS fan. I continue to use my Windows 10 Phone and likely will jump on a future Windows on Arm ultramobile PC with telephony. Hopefully that won't be its name :-) But I know I'm an outlier. By alienating so many of its fans, Microsoft has made its whole strategy so much harder to execute successfully. I think most of their development strategy has been sound, with one glaring exception: they failed to follow one of the immutable laws of marketing -- keep your loyal customers happy, because they are the gateway to additional customers, ESPECIALLY in new areas with new technology. One could argue that it had to break some partner eggs to escape the old software sales model to compete with Google Docs by offering a free web-based version and moving to WaaS, and all of the other changes those transitions required. A lot of former MS resellers (i.e., big MS customers) lost a lot from the transition to Office 365 and MS dropping various server hosting platforms. That drove much anger at MS. But that was a good move on MS' part, lest they fall into the Innovators Dilemma where they are trapped in the past by the preferences of their largest customers. However, for mobile, they destroyed their customers not to move to a more modern business model, but purely out of a "cut our losses" mentality, which is equivalent to kicking your customers in the balls. Not cool and not smart. This is both a tactical and strategic failure and it's so basic, I don't understand how MS could have missed this. I credit Nadella for the broad strategy of One Core, Andromeda, UWP, etc., but also must blame him for this point. There's no way lower-level people could have approved wholesale abandoning of the entire mobile customer base without his blessing.
  • I should add that I remain optimistic MS will succeed in this transition and ultimately triumph. I'ts just they made a huge unforced error, which makes it a lot tougher to win the game.
  • @GraniteStateColin; I agree and also remain optimistic as well. 
  • It's still dead on arrival in terms of mobile usage. No big OEM is going to waste their time knowing that Microsoft won't stay the course and will jump ship at the first sign of trouble.
  • Sounds like just a rebranding of Windows 10 Mobile or RT.
  • No big OEM, yet HP make the X3, which is Windows Mobile.  Is HP not a big OEM?
  • As a major player in the phone market? No they're not.
  • Great article, Jason. As I have always maintained, MSFT is a software company, first and foremost. Andromeda is playing to their strengths. iOS (and Android) developer adoption is due to numbers. The numbers favour them and the more numbers, the more paying customers. IF (and a big IF, because we all know MSFT) is successful, it will draw the numbers and developers will have little choice but to follow. The idea of "apps" on a PC is foreign to the majority of users, but not on phones. IF Andromeda converges platforms and apps are used across board........well!  
  • "MSFT is a software company, first and foremost" No it's not. It's rapidly becoming a CLOUD company, first and foremost. Software will soon become an afterthought. Microsoft is understandably on the hunt. The OS market is dropping rapidly in value. There's little to differentiate Windows 10 from any of the Linuxes from macOS. Hardware is the key and we're getting to the point where the barrier to building your own OS is going to drop. Look at recent (33 year) history. In the beginning (1984), there were lots. Apple DOS, Microsoft DOS and Commodore 64 were big and there were some smaller OSes. Fast forward only five years only two are standing--Apple's Mac and Microsoft DOS. Another 10 years and still only Apple and Microsoft. Then you briefly have an interruption by BlackBerry but that too gets wiped out and we're back to Apple and Microsoft. Google adds something new to the mix, Linux. It takes Linux and it turns it into Android, a highly successful challenger. So, we've now had a decade of THREE major OS companies, and FOUR major OS platforms (I don't count ChromeOS as it seems destined to be a flash in the pan). As Linux matures it's going to become easier for medium-sized players to carve out a niche. Apple and Google have successfully taken open source projects and built major operating systems on them. Of course, Apple was a dominant player to begin with but Google is a new entrant into the whole mess, and, it's adopted a completely different style. Perhaps there's only really room for one OS in each category? Apple is a hardware company first. Microsoft's Windows division is a software company first. Google is a search engine first. Who knows, but, I don't foresee much room for Microsoft in expanding beyond its market share ATM.
  • Not exactly, and No it isn't  a 'Cloud' company either... Microsoft is a Platform Company. Microsoft is also a Technology Company, in that they spend more creating new 'technologies' and 'innovations' than the other bigger companies combined, and they also distribute the technology throughout the industry.  The latter is the less known side of Microsoft, but when someone flips on their Mac or iPhone or Android device, a lot of the hardware technology and even the framework origins come from Microsoft.  Small examples... The entire 'modern' GPU is still based on Microsoft designs, just as the AMD/Intel SoC technologies come from work done by Microsoft's hardware teams. The reason the 'technology/innovation' portion ties into and bleeds over from the 'Platform' aspect of Microsoft is simple, innovations and technologies need platforms and platforms need new hardware to make what they want to do possible.  Another example... HoloLens is as much as Platform, as it is creating the hardware to make the Platform work.  Microsoft shares the hardware and even software technologies of HoloLens so that their vision of the Platform can exist with other companies able to participate and get the technology cheaper and into the hands of more people.   The HoloLens isn't cheap yet, mainly because of the expensive Laser Retinal Displays, but the room mapping and tracking technology from HoloLens is available now and being used by all the VR/MR partners, like Dell, Asus, Acer, etc.   This technology/hardware sharing is there to 'support' the VR/MR 'Platform' added to Windows. Microsoft also not only creates platform concepts but also all the supporting and lower level technologies to make the platform possible.  They don't just create a framework and an API set, or a base OS, or a kernel, they also create the compiler and language technologies and even the low-level hardware compiler technologies that are usually better than the once made by the hardware companies themselves, like Intel. So it is easier to just say, Microsoft is a Platform Company.
    (It is longer to say they are a Company that focuses on fulfilling technology visions via Platforms and creating the supporting technologies needed for the Platform, in order to get new technologies and concepts into the hands of users.) This is a vision that goes back to Gates himself, that first wanted computers accessible to everyone, ubiquitous, and easy to use, and eventually disappear as they become a part of our daily lives and not exist as separate entities, with NUI and ML technologies, started in the late 80s at Microsoft, making this possible. Microsoft has had some hard times...  First with the Monopoly rulings that limited everything they could do in the 00s, while other companies like Apple were allowed to bundle and brand technologies that Microsoft couldn't... Ironically giving Apple a near media monopoly for a while.  This created almost a whole generation of 'users' that don't know the old Microsoft that was the 'cool' company breaking the rules by making computing cheap and easy for developers, taking theoretical concepts and putting them to actual use in a way users could easily use and afford.  Microsoft did a lot for getting technology out to users really cheap in comparison to Apple and IBM that both charged a premium just to get into computing.  (Apple sadly still has this model.)   A direct result of Microsoft being the 'Prometheus' of the 90s...  Ever really wonder why OS/2 didn't do well under IBM?  Simple...  The OS/2 SDK kits cost thousands, while Microsoft was giving theirs away and offering $100 products like VB so ANYONE could jump into development. Secondly, Ballmer was a nightmare as he stripped the R&D and tried to move Microsoft to a faster profit return company, as in moving away from 'Platforms' and to emulating Apple with quick and profitable hardware sales.  This not only hurt their current work and 'vision' but also damaged their relationship with OEMs and all level of coporate partners.   Nadella and Gates have done a lot to fix many of the PC Hardware relationships, but now they have to work to get back their relationships with other software companies and other industries, including the bad blood Ballmer created with companies like Verizon.
  • "Microsoft is also a Technology Company, in that they spend more creating new 'technologies' and 'innovations' than the other bigger companies combined, and they also distribute the technology throughout the industry. " Bullcrap. Microsoft is no more and no less altruistic than any other tech company. They chase new technologies because that's where they're gambling they can make money. In the first two decades of life Microsoft was reknowned for its ability to COPY or BUY technology, not for innovation. Microsoft DOS was bought. Microsoft WIndows was a straight-up unpaid-for copy of Apple's work (BTW Apple paid for access to Xerox's work and then dramatically expanded on Xerox's work). PowerPoint was purchased from another company. For that matter, in the first two (or three) decades of Microsoft's existence it was run by a shrewd businessman who saw ways to take existing technologies and repackage them. By comparison, Apple, a hardware company was far more innovative in its first two (or three) decades, taking existing technolgies and re-inventing them or inventinging new technologies of thier own. Apple's contribution to developing new ways of computing has been substantially greater than Microsoft's--and, that's simply because they were hardware manufacturers so they had to do a lot more. That said, don't mistake Apple's contributions to computing for altruisim any more than Microsoft's current discovery of R&D. These developments were all about making money, lots and lots and lots of money.
  • Ed the new guy and TheNet Avenger, you're both right. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with pursuit of profit as the reason to go after a new market or technology. In fact, that's the only reason that is sustainable. Anything else would lead to companies going out of business, killing the idea anyway. I used to dislike MS for their business practices and limited innovation. Their standard operating mode was to leverage the OS to ensure their own apps worked while causing problems for their then-bigger competitors. Just enough to create uncertainty and doubt in the minds of customers for using competing products. Also, MS achieved dominance largely due to the stupidity of their competitors, who just made strategic and tactical mistakes left and right. But MS became much more customer focused than it's chief modern-day competitors. Apple forces you to do what they want. For Google, users are the product they sell to advertisers. Microsoft exists to make software and platforms to help end users as their core customers. That is the most customer-focused mission of the big 3. However, in one of the most horrific acts of self immolation I've ever seen a company engage, Microsoft has also floggeh its most loyal fans, Windows Phones Users (maybe not quite as bad as HP's Leo Apotheker destroying Web OS and saying HP was no longer going to be in the PC business). Worse, it's treatment of Windows Phones fans is not isolated -- where MS used to suceed through perseverence and iteration until they got new ideas right, today's MS has shown a "we will cut our losses and run at the first sign of trouble" with Windows Phone, Zune, Kinect, Band. OK, maybe not always at the "first" sign of trouble, but their backbone is weak and they are punishing loyalty. Lack of respect for loyalty ensures one thing: no loyalty. Their effective message to would-be fans, the very customers who are critical in driving awareness and market interest in a new technology, is "you can't trust us, don't try anything new we do, because we'll probably drop it and any interest we are now showing in you in a few months." I remain a fan of today's MS, because as you have both pointed out, MS is innovating more than its competitors today (even though it didn't in the past) and because they have a generally sound business strategy, which is necessary for long-term success. But I fear their mistakes in not valuing loyalty and taking care of their customer base will prove their undoing.
  • I like Microsoft's core product much more than I used to (until Windows 7 I found Windows useless compared to Mac OS X). I can't say I like Microsoft as a company anymore than I used to. It's too big for the good of the industry--it really needs to be broken up into smaller bits. What I can't get used to now that I'm paying attention to the Windows world is the bizarre fanbois that exist in the Microsoft sphere. They're not as bad a Linux fanbois but they're way worse than anything I ever saw in the Mac world.
  • I'm definitely a fan, but I hope I succeed at being respectful of everyone else. That said, I do dislike Google for their business model and corporate ethics.
  • More pointless gimmicks from Microsoft. There is no reason for your PC, phone, tablet, watch and TV to be running the same OS. It just dilutes the experience. You can't make the greatest desktop experience if you also have to worry about it running on mobile and vice versa. Microsoft needs to drop the gimmicks and just create the best desktop and the best mobile experience they can without trying to pointlessly tie the two together. Windows 8 should have already taught them that desktop and mobile don't mix. Apple knew this and Google is learning it.
  • There is every reason to have the same CORE operating system.  It makes development easier. I am not sure how it dilutes the experience.  Can you please give your reasons why it dilutes the experience, and then give the statistics that show it. With Google, Apple and MS all aiming to integrate the experiences, I am not sure why it would be seen as diluting it.  I see positives:Integrated experiences, with similar behaviour expectations on all devices.  Easy offloading of apps from one device to another.  Not to mention a simplified maintenance and upgrade process. With an adaptable UI, such as CSHELL's aim, it should maintain a good experience on all devices.
  • @Brendan White "There is every reason to have the same CORE operating system.  It makes development easier." Two major weaknesses in the notion that Microsoft is doing something special by making Windows "scale" to different computing paradigms: First, what do you think Apple is doing?  Exactly that! And, unlike Microsoft, they have working examples of that strategy in the field. iOS and watchOS and tvOS are all macOS operating systems. They're built on the exact same core of technologies each specialized for their own computing paradigm. Second, each category of device has its own nuances. There is no such thing as one interface to rule them all. Multi-platform IDEs already exist. Some don't even require you to change the interface if you're programming for Android and iOS. Microsoft is getting in on the Android and iOS and macOS development act with Visual Studio and Xamarin. I understand why they've gone that route. It's a defensive ploy to allow developers to develop for Android and iOS and bring those apps back to Windows which they weren't willing to do since it would require extra developer resources (why spend them when you can target iOS and Android--the two profitable markets... but, if you can recomiple for Windows by only providing a new interface, that's an acceptable expense).
  • Without getting technical, just think in terms of standardization, and why it matters and is important for the success of societies and technologies. All automobiles meet a certain set of 'standard' technologies and features. This makes it easier for drivers, road builders, city designers, etc. It also makes it easier for the Auto industry as they can provide the 'standard' set of features, and then SPEND MORE TIME focusing on the differences in their automobiles and the technologies they offer.  This is why everyone can depend on a car to work for them, even if they never saw the car before... It also means they can take time to learn the 'extras' of the car and do things in a Porsche or Corvette that they just can't do in their Buick or Fiat. By Microsoft using ONE OS model, it is not only eaiser for Microsoft, but also Hardware makers, Developers, and end users, as they can all expect a certain 'standard' of features no matter if it is their refrigerator, tablet, or supercomputer.  Developers don't have to write a 'Refigerator' or 'TV' or 'Supercomputer' version of their software, they can start with the base features, and tweak it if needed to work on all three and spend more time on what their software does and less time worrying about what OS, Hardware, or Form Factor it runs on.  This is were things become seamless, and some developers area already getting a bump out of this with the UWP as their Apps are available on WM10/Windows10/Tablets/XBox and even available on IoT devices - automatically.  
  • So you like what Apple is doing, right ? WatchOs
  • @cwilfried: Jason Ward is a bright guy. I'm surprised he's never recognized that watchOS, tvOS, iOS and macOS are all the same operating system. Apple's profitability and market dominance is evidence that Microsoft's strategy is the wrong one. A single OS to rule them all is a distraction. Take what you're good at and specialize for each platform. Developers are interested in making money. They'll make sure their apps are where they need to be to make that money. Plus, the IDEs already exist to allow a developer to target all those OSes with a single code-base. Microsoft's pie-in-the-sky vision is in the clouds. Microsoft is chasing clouds and making lots of money off that strategy. Sadly their Windows division missed the memo that clouds is what the Clouds division is expected to do and that Windows division is expected to compete with more eath-bound visions of software and platforms.
  • @bleached, that's not necessarily true. If the OS is truly just an enabling core in the background that runs everywhere, then it's easier to create experiences that adapt to the user wherever he or she is with less effort by developers, because they can reuse more of their code between platforms. Just like the music's scale and notes have discrete and specific values doesn't prevent musicians from composing great music or our alphabet doesn't prevent authors from writing everything from epic masterpieces to subtle poetry. Yes, these are limiting and preclude certain avenues of creativity, but on net, they do more help than harm, because they provide a common framework for shared innovation that is easily replicated and built upon. Of course, execution is important and it's easy to see how an OS could be overly constraining if it treats everything as a desktop. But One Core could be a great advance if done well.
  • Great article Jason - glad some more light has been shed on Andromeda. Hoping with the release of WoA devices we will get even more information on what's next. My contract for my 950XL expires in December and with iPhone 8|8+|X and Samsung GS8(or anything other Android OEM) not impressing me, I'm happy to wait. See you beyond the curve....
  • This has been the vision for a while now.  Windows 8 was suppose to be the all-in-one OS.  It's the execution we are waiting on.  When will this all happen?  When will another must have phone be released?  Those are my only two concerns.
  • What is the current stage of this project ?. Is it completed or not ?
  • Still in development.
  • Jason Ward normally writes decent articles that are slightly off base. This is an exception. This one is so far off base that a snowball in July has a better chance of coming into being! "Android has over 80-percent of the market while Apple's iOS claims all but a tiny fraction of the remaining share" Seriously? Android has over 80-percent of the market? If that's the case why is it that developers target first-and-forement the iOS market and Android is an after-thought. While 80% of devices made may run Android, there's a profound difference between a 0.5/4 or 1 GB/8GB Android device and one that's functional. Android is insanely fragmented. Android customers are low value. Most Android devices are little more than glorified browsers.
  • Hi Ed the fact that Android is fragmented does not take away from the fact Android, as an OS dominates over 80-percent of the smartphone market. Nor does developer preference for a particular OS take away from the reality that iOS takes all but a tiny fraction of the remaining share. You questions don't negate those observable facts supported by data from Gartner here: One reason devs may target iOS above android is because of the Apple ecosystem, pay, costs of dev, avoiding the fragmentation you mention etc. Still, Android has 80% of the smartphone space and iOS has pretty much the rest. Hope that helps.😉
  • Android isn't fragmented. Having all devices on version 4.0 or newer using the same Play Services means apps are compatible even with very old versions. Google directly updates and supports every Android phone back as far as Gingerbread! Fragmentation isn't an issue with Android.
  • Fragmentation is a HUGE issue.  Developers are needing to make sure any new features they add do not break the app on older platforms. Have you ever had to develop an app that may break on version 4 of Android if you use the new features in version 6 or above?   I would suggest not by your post.
  • I don't think you know what fragmentation is .
  • "Nor does developer preference for a particular OS take away from the reality that iOS takes all but a tiny fraction of the remaining share." Developer preference indicates where money is to be made!
  • I cannot understand the difference between this and Windows RT. If they want to emulate win 32 bits without recompiling sources there will be a cost in performance. Still not the moment for this OS to operate smoothly but that was the case with XP when it came out so who knows. They will also expect that developers will recompile their sources to arm. In the same platform it is easier.
  • Great article, Jason. Have you read the book "The Andromeda Strain" by Michael Crichton?
    The problem with the Andromeda organism was it was evolving so quickly, all efforts to contain it were always one step behind. I kind of have this sense of foreboding, after suffering thru every iteration of Windows phone, that Andromeda is more like the strain than it is something to base the future on.
  • knowing history is the key to make something right, andromeda is not history but non the lesskey if microsoft chose it as the name it means they keep that in mind and I hope this time they succeed
  • scroogles "OS's", and I use those terms loosely, are nothing but ad delivery systems for an advertising company that thinks it is a tech company.
  • I guess you haven't used Windows 10. Ads are built directly in the UI!bI can't think of seeing ads built into Android or ChromeOS. A quick search finds tons of articles about it and how to remove them.
  • Wow. Every version of Windows 10 in my house must be broken. I've never seen a single advert on the OS. 
  • There are hundreds of articles over the years addressing the ads Microsoft injects into Windows 10. You just haven't been paying attention or have your head in the sand.
  • @Richard Loveridge, nor have I. And I have Windows 10 on several computers I use or my team uses. I suppose there's the Store Live Tile that promotes apps. I guess that's technically advertising, but that's almost 180 degrees removed from Google's mindset where its users are the product they sell to their customers -- the advertisers. The only other thing I can think of off the top of my head would be that if you ask Cortana for something, there could be paid content in the results, because she uses Bing. Maybe, not even sure about that.
  • Directly above I link an article that lists several of the ads that have been native to Windows 10 including: Lockscreen Ads Start Menu "Suggestions" Pop-up Notifications (Try Edge or Office or Cortana) Ads in Windows Explorer! Store Live Tile This has been going on for a while now. Microsoft also "brands" you and tracks your useafe across Windows to better serve you ads. This wouldn't be a big deal if Windows was free, but it is actually really expensive!
  • No offence, but you are showing your lack of knowledge of Windows in general.  Every "tip" can be turned off very easily in settings and Microsoft give you the options to turn them off at install as well.  I have used Android, Chrome OS, iOS and MacOS and honestly, the privacy settings and ability to turn off advertising is easiest in Windows over all of them.  A quick visit to any Google site using a browser other than Chrome bombards you with multiple advertisements pushing to download Google apps, even if you say you don't want to see them again. You don't need to be a genius to work out which company is relying more on advertising, and it is not Microsoft.
  • @Brendan White. Hmm. Another post of yours I'm replying to? Microsoft's advertising is EVERYWHERE. You have to go to a lot of effort to turn those adverts off AND THEY KEEP GETTING TURNED ON. Very often I find that a major update turns much of that crap back on, and, Microsoft even puts adverts right into Windows 10 Professional. You've got all those horrible Windows Store place holders on the start menu. I NEVER asked for all those games to be pre-advertised on my Start menu. Apple does not do that. Period. Full stop. (if only it were that easy for me to go to an Apple desktop) Google's stock Android is not even that obnoxious. In terms of privacy destroying it's a tough call. Both Microsoft and Google are after your data and slurp it up. Apple, by comparison appears to do a better job of restraining its impulses. I suppose it's a quid pro quo. Apple users offer higher loyalty to Apple than other customers to other companies so in return Apple doesn't spy on its users as much. Microsoft ~ Google >> Apple
  • Ed, I agree that Apple does a good job avoiding including third-party stuff (for good or ill). Unlike Google, where the users are the product they sell to their customers (the advertisers), Apple and MS make most of their money from the users, so that's who they both prioritize. The content of your Start Menu never changes from an update. One tile, the Store, is the only one that will update with new apps. And just like everything else on the Start menu, you can leave or remove it and your change is permanent. At least I have never seen MS write over a Start menu across dozens of updates on many systems. When you configure your Start menu, that's yours forever. That MS includes a few (1 or 2, I think?) Store links to raise awareness of the Store out-of-the-box is hardly in the same league as Google's selling you as their product. Right click -> uninstall and they're gone. Forever. In fact, as a guy who hopes for Windows to return to mobile in some fashion (perhaps via Windows on Arm and Andromeda), I know that I'm dependent on the Store gaining popularity. From that perspective, anything MS can do to raise awareness and usage of the Store is a good thing.
  • "The content of your Start Menu never changes from an update" I strongly beg to differ. I've been surprised, shocked and annoyed over the past year at how often a "major" update by Microsoft has resulted in new tiles being added to my Start Screen. They're straight up blatant Windows Store ads for games--that I know I had removed before because I wouldn't allow games to exist on my computer, let alone on my Start Screen/Menu. Whenever you install Windows 10 Professional for the first time or do a complete "start fresh" from within Windows 10 Pro all sorts of ads pop up. Windows Store are the most obnoxious and are everywhere. Ever noticed Candy Crush or some PDF reader in your start menu waiting to be installed? Or, the one that took the cake, Microsoft started advertising on the Lock Screen. That was the most offensive and obnoxious invasion of privacy I'd ever seen. Your operating system is expected to be secure. It is privvy to your deepest, darkest secrets. It's also the home to your most personal and private documents. The fact that Microsoft is providing you with "targetted ads" (which you can supposedly turn off for "generic ads") tells me that they are quite happy to violate that privacy. I like Windows 10, but, I truly despise the way Microsoft is so free to destroy any semblance of privacy. Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare. Raising the profile of the Store by destroying privacy and security is the worst thing in the world. Wait until Microsoft gets hacked and we discover that a third party can sniff out any document on any Windows 10 device, anywhere. It's coming!
  • ED, no I've never seen it add ANY icons like that to my Start menu during an UPGRADE. There are 1-3 icons put there to promote Store use when you first install FRESH (including Candy Crush), but once removed they absolutely did not come back for any of the computers I've updated. I've also NEVER seen ANY ads on the Lock Screen. I was going to ask if maybe it's because I'm on Pro, but you said you had this happen with Pro for you. There must be something we're doing differently, but I'm not aware that I've gone particularly out of the way to disable ads. Is it possible you're applying effects that happen during an original clean install (which does add 1-3 Store promo items to the Start menu to get users to try out the Store, yes, including a Candy Crush placeholder) to the automatic system updates that happen relatively invisibly in the background and don't change the Start menu?
  • To prove I'm not crazy nor the only one: "Windows 10 users report that Candy Crush Saga and other unwanted apps usually appear on their computers after the OS has installed the latest updates. To stop Windows 10 from installing unwanted apps, launch the Task Manager, scroll down to Windows Update, right-click and select Stop to disable this feature." ( You must've gone out of your way to disable ads which should not be the default state. Here's another: Most notably, if you turn on "Windows spotlight" you give up any semblance of privacy control. And, Microsoft is sneaky . Rather than calling them ads which they are they call it "Get fun facts, tips and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen". This is dishonest. They're hiding behind "and more" to serve you ads on the most personal of devices.
  • You are comparing an expensive operating system with a free website. Ads in a free website is normal, ads built into an expensive operating system isn't. How are Windows fans are suddenly ok getting ads even if you can shut them off?
  • "That MS includes a few (1 or 2, I think?) Store links to raise awareness of the Store out-of-the-box is hardly in the same league as Google's selling you as their product. Right click -> uninstall and they're gone. Forever." It's way worse than Google. Google is up-front. If you use their search engine while logged you are tracked unless you disable it--at least you can disable it (provided they honour that setting). Windows is way worse. The operating system is your access to your computing device. All your confidential and personal documents and activities are in your operating system. Any unauthorized addition of a commercial nature to the Start Menu is a privacy violation, plain and simple. I commend you for wishing to make your living through that means. What I condemn you for is tacitly condoning (and not condeming) Microsoft's practice of violating people's wishes not be commercialized in their OS. Windows is an operating system that people pay good money for, either through direct purchase of the OS or through purchase of the device. Unless they explicitly consent to receiving a discount on the price when they pay for Windows 10, they cannot be deemed to have consented to advertising. You'd think that paying for a Professional license would be sufficient to protect a user from unsolicited advertising--it is not. Only with Windows Enterprise can you actually disable the privacy violations. Guess what, for regular users it's next to impossible to get Windows Enterprise. It's designed for Enterprise when privacy violations like what Microsoft does with its consumer OS are illegal in many places. If business is protected from Microsoft's prying eyes why can consumers not demand the same protection? You'd really think that Windows Professional ought to be sufficient protection. It comes with a heft price tag for nothing additional above what Home provides, so, you'd really think that that extra price tag ought to protect you from Microsoft's data mining and privacy violations--but it is not. Especially since it's small business that uses Professional. Microsoft had to climb down from the Lock Screen advertising when they started it last year. When I first saw an ad for Black Friday for Microsoft Store on my lock screen I nearly threw my computer out of the window. That's how disgusted I was by that privacy violation. It was too much for people have their privacy violated on a Lock Screen. Microsoft very quickly removed the ads. Unfortunately Microsoft has seen fit to re-introduce advertising recently which is worrisome (either that or a setting I had disabled has been reenabled by a recent update), but, what's interesting is that they've chosen to limit it to geographic "informational" advertising. I guess people are less offended by the advertising of geographic regions than by the advertising of consumer goods. PS I remember these privacy violations so vividly because it's so hard to get away from them. I keep turning the settings off yet they get reactivated after "major" updates (like the move to the Creators Update). After the CU it suddenly turned on a whole bunch of things I'd previously disabled, including resetting Edge as the default browser... yet another privacy violation of my choice to stay far, far away from Edge. PS 2 Windows Lite (see I can't even remember what the acronym is since Microsoft has already conceded people don't like the idea of Windows Crippled) will not take off. The fundamental premise that you must browse with Edge and you may only ever use Bing as your search engine is a blantant and disgusting commercial ploy coupled with more privacy destruction. On the one hand I wish Windows well, on the other hand I want to see it completely and utterly fail until Microsoft stops violating our privacy. Microsoft is not to be trusted. They have a long and inglorious history of anti-competitive behaviour. You already see that on display in what they envision with Edge and Bing being the only allowable browser engine and search engine for Windows Crippled.
  • ED, this is absolutely 180 degrees removed from my experience. It seems you've somehow turned your version of Windows into something you hate. If there's a mistake that MS has made here, it's apparently making it too easy for users to inadvertently turn on all of that stuff you describe. Mine NEVER does those things. I even updated my mother's laptop for her to CU a couple of weeks ago (finally). None of those things happened on her system either. I'm a bit of a privacy freak, so I too take these things seriously. If I experienced what you described, I would resent Windows, but these things just don't happen in my experience.
  • "It seems you've somehow turned your version of Windows into something you hate. If there's a mistake that MS has made here, it's apparently making it too easy for users to inadvertently turn on all of that stuff you describe." That's all on by default, NOT off! Leave default settings on when you install your computer and see what happens... By default you provide Microsoft with your location, you turn Cortana on which shares a tonne of personal data with Microsoft; in theory it's anonymised, but, given how poorly corporations treat personal data that's hoping for the best when reality ought to make us very leery of sharing with corporations who collect data for the goal of "sharing" (i.e. selling) that data with "partners" (witness the massive data breaches by the likes of Yahoo, LinkedIn (Microsoft), Tinder, Equifax). By default you also consent to all the "tips and tricks". These settings are all turned on by default. Want to have Windows spotlight on for Lock Screen? You don't even know you're consenting to advertising. Try turning on Windows Spotlight and see what happens. You won't be prompted for permission to show you advertising. I'm sure that little tidbit is hidden deep within a "consent" screen that you agreed to when the OS was installed. Is "informed" consent truly informed when the act of consent is so far removed from the act of enabling "Windows spotlight"? Windows 10 Pro's privacy problems boil down to informed consent. Microsoft's choice in hiding the true nature of what you're conseting to through weasel words like "tips and more", or, for that matter, NOTHING, demonstrates that they are not interested in being transparent. For all of Google's penchant of hoovering up data, they are at least transparent about what it is they collect, how to prevent the collection of that data and how to delete the data that has been collected. Microsoft makes it incredibly difficult to determine what has been and what is being consented to. They also force you to give up your privacy to use certain services that do not require that data to be used effectively. Using Cortana, for instance, requires giving up privacy and enabling most of the privacy destroying settings. I suspect that the EU will eventually get involved in this. They tend to be a lot more concerned with privacy than the US, and, given that there are only two jurisdictions in the world that Microsoft fears we'll have to hope that the EU eventually takes Microsoft to task for its opaque privacy approach.
  • Because of Microsoft's lack of transparency in Windows 10 I figured I'd document some of the ways that Microsoft is not-at-all transparent about its intentions: Ads on the Lock Screen "Get fun facts, tips and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen". Where is the word "ads" in there, and, make no mistake, they're there (I've left it on to see what comes through, not because I want ads). Most people wouldn't even know to look there to turn off the ads on the locks screen. Or, why does Microsoft need to serve you ads if Windows downloads pictures off the internet? If it's a quid-pro-quo "we'll serve you pretty pictures if you accept our ads" Microsoft should make this clear rather than hiding behind an obtuse setting! "Get tips, tricks and suggestions as you use Windows" in Notifications and Actions This turns off commercial adverts in the Start Screen for all sorts of Windows Store apps. How could you possibly know that this turns off Windows Store "suggestions"? Or, why is that Microsoft initially made it incredibly confusing to create a local account? Me, an experienced user, had to spend more than a little time hunting the first time for how to create a local account (it was beyond the ability of some mid-level computer users). Even now they still nag a lot after you choose to create a local account and it's not necessarily designed so that a non-technical user can avoid being sucked into creating or using a Microsoft account. I do also seem to recall that Cortana pipes up with a lot of advertising but I wouldn't know because I've disabled every aspect of Cortana. Ultimately Microsoft has chosen to obscure every single setting relating to privacy. They talk a nice talk about respecting privacy and anonymizing data, but, if they were sincerence they would make it clear what users consent to. You should not have to be a computer and Google expert to be able to control how your privacy is (ab)used by Microsoft.
  • The biggest difference in their approaches is that Google and Apple are actually producing products you can buy today. Microsoft is producing ZIP at this time when it comes to a mobile or even a mobile like product.
  • Mobile phones yes.  PC's no.  They have a whole line of Surface devices for you to choose from.
  • In my opinion the "app gap" gets to much attention. The only app. I wanted and couldn't get on windows mobile was snap chat. Got that on tablet and pc by downloading the blue stacks app. player.
  • I am currently at 68 apps on my iphone that are non existant on windows.   I use them regularly.
  • Wow!!!!! That's crazy. I use 5 apps pretty much. The rest are just a load of crap. What could you possibly use 68 different apps for? Most of the time website is much more feature rich than the pathetic apps on any ecosystem. 
  • Some people use 5 apps, some use 68. Personally the apps I use regularly that weren't on W10M (the last time I checked which was several months ago): 9 different banking/financial apps, 3 frequent flier apps, MLB TV, Sling TV, my VPN app, Amazon, my electric utility's app, my DSL providers app, 3 grocery store apps, HBO NOW, eBay, PayPal, Rover(my dog walker), & T-Mobile Tuesday.
  • website is **** on mobile....useless....hence the reason windows 10 mobile is a **** mobile platform.  I have many travel apps, navigation apps for mountian biking, hiking,  another for expedition travel in our off road vehicles, various airline, car rental hotel apps, banking apps, shopping apps galore...etc...I use them all because they are better on moible than their websites because they offer features on android and ios that are not on windows website use...
  • There is no denying the app gap, and anyone trying to play it down really is just a fanboy.  Windows apps are either non-existent or not updated. That said, apps are not the way of the future in the format they are currently in.  I use a Windows 10 Mobile and I did think moving from Android that I would miss the apps.  Truthfully, the Web experience has been almost as good for most of the stuff I do.  Obviously I use different things, so everyone has different experiences. 
  • Yes,  the big thing with web experience,  it's for static computing.  You do not have access to pay options, reward card options, hotel and rental car perks that you use with your phone while at hotel, or with a rental car,  etc.  It all boils down to yes, the app experince IS the way foward for the near future,  until they get the web to actually interact using NFC etc,  until then NOPE.
  • Wow, 68 apps being regularly used?  I top out at 8 with regular use.
  • Just a thought. What would happen if Microsoft did a "hardware non compete" agreement with Apple, unlocking access to iMessage ? Then, lets expand Office 365 Exchange services to include messaging. As a result, we could then receive and respond to messages through our mail clients on our connected Microsoft devices. With this simple strategy, Microsoft can use it's resources to enhance software on the 99% of the mobile market, which then fully extends the usefulness of our PC's across all areas of need. As for Chromebooks, and we based software: Much of the U.S. still has spotty internet connectivity, and our devices are overpowering the capabilities of the wifi networks we do access ( at home and business ). The total cloud based experience will continue to be a frustration until we see a significantly improved net infrastructure, and improved security.
  • "unlocking access to iMessage" Hahahahaha. Unlock access to iMessage. They'll NEVER do that. iMessage is such a stunningly powerful loyalty tool that Apple would never do that. They'll never open it up to a competitor because Apple sits in such a dominant position. Pretty much everyone I know has an iMessage presence--which means that pretty much everyone I know has an iPhone! The only reason that I still carry an iPhone is iMessage, and, chances are, I'll bite the bullet and buy a replacement iPhone when this one fully dies for that and that reason alone.
  • Hmmm ... you might want to review the history here.  There was a time when people said you would never see Office on the Mac ...but Steve and Bill knew better.  In fact, Microsoft has a long history of working with Apple.  A non-compete means that Apple loses no phone sales ( because MSFT won't be building any ), but suddenly their phones just became more valuable because they are tethered to the entire Windows line of devices which makes them more valuable than Android.  It is a very smart idea for both companies ... so yeah, maybe it is wishful thinking, but it really wouldn't surprise me to see it happen.  
  • @Tim Stone "you might want to review the history here" I lived the history :). There never was a time when the "Office" line of applications was not on the Mac. In fact, with the exception of PowerPoint, the modern incarnations of Excel and Word had their start on the Mac, not on one of Microsoft's own operating systems. While Microsoft and Apple have a long history of working together, they did so when they had mutual weakness. Apple has always (in my living memory since the mid-1980's) provided Microsoft with access to a high value market of computer users that its own operating systems couldn't (Microsoft has always been in the business of high volume, amateur, low profit margin customers while Apple has great following in the low volume, professional and high profit margin customers). Apple now sits in a position of strength because it owns the lion's share of profits in the mobile market. iMessage is part of that story because everyone who's important is on that messaging platform. If iMessage comes to a Windows operating system, even in the presence of a non-compete clause that kills Microsoft's mobile/non-desktop OS ambitions. It also reduces the pressure on users to get an iPhone--I wouldn't. I'd simply use my numerous Windows 10 desktops to access iMessage when I needed it! It would take me completely out of the Apple ecosystem for good since I no longer need an Apple desktop to accomplish what I need to with a computer anyway. There's no point to Windows getting iMessage through a non-compete. Microsoft is trying to expand its OS's reach beyond the desktop, not limit it. Apple might be willing to grant iMessage if Microsoft were to agree to limit Windows 10 to the desktop, but, what's the point for Microsoft? They'd be consigning themself to a future as a desktop-only company and the future does not lie with the desktop. The desktop is a low profit margin place to be. There's a reason Microsoft's profits now increasingly come from their cloud computing division and not their operating system division. PS Apple doesn't have to worry too much about Android. While there may be a lot of Android devices out there, they don't threaten Apple's profit dominance. The bulk of Android devices are underpowered for what they're asked to do and there's no equivalence among manufacturers so they provide a sub-par or highly unpredictable experiences. This gives Apple the edge. Apple may charge a lot, but, in return they provide a consistent experience. PS2 the experience with Windows desktops and Android mobiles is not the same. Windows is the unifying factor on the desktop. Windows on an HP is the exact same as on a Dell as on an Asus as on a build-your-own. There is no such unifying element on the Android "ecosystem" because each flavor of Android is customized by and to a manufacturer. Asus and Sony load up their phones with  different crapware--all of it bad. Others offer a bare bones approach. Others still root the device automatically so piracy can run rampant. You can't just jump comfortably from one phone to another. Going from one Android manufacturer to another is sometimes as jarring as switching from Asus Android to iOS.
  • @Ed the new guy, good insights and totally agree with all of that, with one exception: "Microsoft has always been in the business of high volume, amateur, low profit margin customers..." Microsoft basically showed the world the path to high margin sales in the form of software vs. hardware (prior to MS 30% profitability was considered very, very good for any major company). They are the model everyone else followed in that regard. Also, "amateur" may apply compared with Apple for graphic designers and in a few other niche areas (Frontpage as a web design package and set of server extensions comes to mind), but in general, MS has been the choice of businesses and professionals ever since MS dethroned IBM in the OS wars around the time of OS/2.
  • @GraniteStateColin I'd still say that the professionals used the Macs of the 1980's and early 1990's and that it was the support staff that used DOS and early Windows. With the exception of accounting you'd find a Mac on most professionals' desks in the 1980's and 1990's (much like you do today). The massive productivity advantage a Mac offered (in the mid to late 1980's and early 90's) made up for its relatively small market share, so for a person for whom "time is money" it made sense to invest in the much more expensive Macs than the cheap PCs. PS OS/2 was a Microsoft-IBM project. IBM did a better job of sabotaging OS/2 than did Microsoft.
  • @ED the new guy, I agree on part of your point on OS/2 (but I think Windows 95 was really what killed OS/2 in the marketplace). I don't think that's right between MS and Apple, but I admit I was pretty young then, so maybe my perspective is skewed. I was an Apple fan in the '80s (Apple ][+ and then //GS, never owned a Mac), but all Apples were always fringe computers. The Mac was relegated to mostly designers/graphic artists (Pagemaker and then Quark Xpress back then) and schools, and then it lost the schools in the latter '90s. Any serious work was done on PCs, mostly running DOS, then Windows replaced it with 3.1.1 for Workgroups. The chief apps were Lotus 123 and WordPerfect. Word and Excel were also used, but they had minimal market share before Windows. By the way, I was an OS/2 user for a while. Until Windows 95 came out, for me it suceeded at its marketing tagline: "A better DOS than DOS and a better Windows than Windows." When Windows was still just an application running in DOS, OS/2 was a full preemptive multitasking 32-bit OS. I used IBM's native Lotus Smartsuite for OS/2 with it. To this day, I still miss the Extended Attributes on files that made them much "smarter" than files in Windows are even now. But they were often getting corrupted... so a good concept, but poor execution.   
  • I would pay ALOT of money to have imessage unlocked to my windows 10 computer.  I would have ZERO need for a macbook then.
  • I really like the potential that this brings, but I'm pessimistic that we'll ever see it reach that potential. One tangential thought popped into my head as I placed my XBox One X pre-order. I realized my XBox One S was about to become surplus but since it's technically running a version of Windows and it's more than powerful enough, why doesn't Microsoft let us run Windows Store apps on it? Kind of like a Windows 10 S installation. I could easily run that instead of the 1500 watt monster desktop I have right now and it's quieter and nicer looking than the cheap generic PCs in the same price range. Haha I guess that's the biggest reason.
  • As a developer, I admire and am all for this concept of a universal platform. It is the smartest and coolest thing they could do with their operating system from an engineering standpoint. As a businessman, I see two real problems: User education and developer adoption Users aren't going to know or care about these changes until developers take full advantage of them and put out code that specifically shows off this approach. When will that happen? Will that happen? How much real impact will it have for users? Following the point above, how much will users actually appreciate the years of efforts that went into making this happen? How much direct impact does it have on them in the way of improved functionality or experience? Did they actually focus on solving any user problems with this? As they say for any business, you want to solve a problem, not build a solution in search of a problem.
  • Imo where this benefits MS is it will fit any device or form factor. This would include devices we currently have never seen before. Phones in their touch form will change. History shows this is a fact. The problem Google and Apple has is they would need to research and completely re write OS code to adapt. Android is terrible for example as a desktop. For AR it needs to tether with a phone. HoloLens for example runs completely on the same Windows 10 code as the desktop. It can run without the need for another device. Sure MS are struggling now making these things all work. But when it clicks, MS will be 7-10 years research on this ahead of the others. Apple and Google are fumbling around having different experiences across different size screens and devices. In fact the reason why he Phone industry has hit a technological stalemate is because that's all these OS can do. That's the limit. They need a complete re write and testing to go to the next step of devices. 
  • @Richard Loveridge, Thank you for the thoughtful response. While I understand where you are coming from, it all lies on the basic assumption that the competitors will have to converge their operating systems into one in the near future to compete on a variety of devices. Why can't they keep developing different systems for different devices? I'm sure they have some shared code in there to provide consistent interfaces and features. They also have no shortage of resources to handle 5 different operating systems, and have a history of being more driven to do that development quickly. Even with Microsoft having a system to work on multiple form factors, you can bet they are not going to miss out on those categories. They're doing just as much research and preparation for future device categories -- I am certain of this. Furthermore, the fact that they have a commanding lead in the leading technological category right now also means that they can continue to dominate that market while converging their systems behind the scenes, if that's the direction they choose to go. Microsoft chose to retrench and bring their "In Progress" status to the forefront, while the other guys will certainly dedicate resources to keeping things going while keeping their "In Progress" status in the background.
  •   There is one thing: ALL those other guys have a market, a real big one that is. Microsoft has a market too,
    but they have trouble expanding their market above and beyond what they historically have "owned". In practise, in many markets that Microsoft would like to address
    you already find (embedded) Linux pretty much entrenched. Microsoft should learn how to interface with Linux (already doing it in the server space, 2 out of 3 servers are Linux)
    and wrap their GUI around it (CShell or something). Too little, and - as usual - a bit late. .    
  • Getting 1-5% of the market is easy, growing it beyond that is hard. Growing your market from 90% is impossible. Apple has their 3% of the market, and have not grown it any more than that in years. Apple, for the first time in years, had a growth in their tablet product. And hitching your wagon to Linux is the worst possible thing to do. A lot of people like to claim that Android == Linux, but Android only uses the kernel, a small fraction of Linux. You can't open up a terminal window and start hacking Linux, installing and programming xterm (or whatever they are using now), etc. Claiming that Android is Linux is just disingenuous at best, but more or less a lie.
  • There is GNU, there is Linux and there is GNU/Linux. GNU/Linux is what you would call Linux distribution. Linux IS the kernel. And it is the major and constituting part of what is usually referred to as "Linux". And, as a matter of fact, the world runs on Linux, all the internet servers and many other servers run linux.
    A huge number of  "embedded applications" run on Linux too. What you refer to is Linux on the Desktop.
    And who knows what the market share of that will be in a couple years.
    And there is no corporation behing Linux on the Desktop pushing a business plan or anything. Anyway, Linux on the Desktop will not replace Windows anytime soon.
    Although, for many consumers that would be more than good enough.
    If you want to give it a try, maybe have a look at Solus Budgie. .  
  • First, @nohone posits that Andoid!=Linux. While correct, nohone misses the point. (GNU/)Linux is not putzing around in a terminal or being able to run a specific set of applications. It's a philosophy and a huge set of high quality and freely accessible libraries. GNU/Linux provides a rock-solid basis on top of which anyone can build an OS. You no longer need to spend millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars building or buying an OS and an interface. It's right there for the taking. For that matter, you're not limited to GNU/Linux. There is also the BSD family of open source operating systems, also there for the taking. Second, @nohone also misses Apple's impact. First, Apple's desktop market share is substantially bigger than 3% and has been so since the 1990's. Second, Apple's market share is disproportionately high, because Apple's desktops have a much longer life than the competing Windows clones. While Windows desktops fail prematurely because of underpowered hardware or over-loading with junkware or malware, Apple's keep on ticking. The same applies to Apple's mobile presence vs. Android. Every single Apple mobile phone provides a solid set of features--most notably, good camera, and stunning screen. These keep Apple's mobile devices relevant for many years longer than their contemporary, cheaper but relatively underpowered (SoC-wise) and underprovisioned (much lower res screens and lower quality cameras). As such, Apple devices last longer in the wild than do the cheaper Androids. Disclosure: I don't own any Apple desktops and the one Apple phone I do have is from 2011 (iPhone 4S) and was a hand-me-down. While it's much slower than molasses and is pretty much useless as a general use device the camera and screen are still higher res and higher quality than the $200-range Androids of 2017. The one and only reason I run an iPhone instead of an Android as a phone (I carry a much newer and faster Android for internet access and apps in general) is because it has iMessage and it seems like every single person I know uses iMessage. Only my partner doesn't and she's so technically uninclined that we've not yet activated data for her phone anyway. That one little iOS program has helped me out in a pinch more than once. For that matter, even if I were to have paid for the iPhone (it was a hand-me-down), the cost of the device would have actually paid for itself in savings since iMessage allowed me to avoid an additional $500 furnace repair bill two winters ago! Had I been on SMS or on Android I would've ended up spending an additional $500 that I didn't need to.
  • While i agree that Apple desktops have a long lifespan due to them having total control of software and hardware.  I disagree with you making the blanket statement about Windows PC's failing prematurely.  You have cheap budget PC's that may only last a year and you also have premium PC's that can last just as long as an Apple desktop/laptop.  I know this because I have two i7 powered PC's from 5 years ago that are still going strong.  I also have a 1st gen Surface Pro that's still trucking along.
  • Five years? That's nothing. I expect Apple hardware to be functional for at least a decade. While a small portion of the PC market is indeed serviced by high quality machines, the vast majority of PCs are lower quality than Macs, and, even more importantly, underpowered compared to contemporary Macs. That underpowering of devices means their functional lives are shorter, even if the hardware doesn't fail outright (I see many people simply discarding PC laptops at the first sign of trouble but they fight tooth and nail to keep their Macs going). That's the nature of the market. PC makers largely target high volume, low profit computers. Macs exclusively target low volume, high profit computers.
  • Microsoft should remove the "Windows" part from the name, or it will fail miserably
  • Last i checked nothing else other than mobile has as you put it "failed miserably"
  • You mean other than every Microsoft mobile platform?
  • Yep, meant mobile....corrected ☺
  • hey doctor remmo, what MISERABLY FAILED, was android that couldn't last a full week in desktop. or the chrome that came to stay as google said. but it already seems to be fading. and fast. not a late to the market dumbed down and destroyed OS that fought for 8 years. windows has full success in servers, desktops, VRs, ARs, MRs, consoles, cars and cloud. even wearables that the company decided to end for the time being where successful they just where not complete as company wanted. windows phone was never a weak platform it just wasn't looking as bad as android or iOS. familiarity costed those 8 year to seem unnecessary.
  • Yes
  • @RMBSCC.... :))) Windows successful in cars? :))) what AR? what VR? :))))) In servers? LOL You are the living proof of a brainwashed fanboy enjoying the **** thrown by Nutella & Co.
  • @remno Microsoft needs to split into three independently run companies: Cloud Services Windows and hardware Software Apple covers the same three domains but their integration makes sense. Its integration revolves around selling hardware, and, what doesn't come directly from hardware sales is still related to its presence in the hardware arena. Microsoft is a different beast. Its cloud services are largely independent from its desktop operating system. Its non-Windows software is also partially independent from Windows. Look at Office. It's a juggernaut, but, it is not and has never been a juggernaut because of insider access to Winodws or preferential treatment by WIndows (unlike Internet Explorer and Edge). Office is good on both macOS and Windows, and, with the exception of the mid-to-late 90's (when Office on the Mac received less TLC than on Windows) there has never been any undue interference by the Windows OS team on the independence and funding of the Mac Office business unit. With Office as a unit completely unrelated to Windows I wouldn't be surprised if Office would've been more flexible, even entering the Linux market.
  • Quem sabe em 2027.
  • I'm not convinced. Microsoft have made many mistakes. And they had a good thing going with Windows Phone 8, and marketshare was on the up. Apps were also coming onto the platform. But then for some reason they saw fit in W10m to just undo all that work and good reputation they had built. At this point their phones could magically cure every illness in the world, grant full immortality, break every Android and iOS app so neither platform has any apps anymore, and have every app bug free and with more features than their iOS and Android counterparts ever had, and still not stand a chance. We've been burned so many times, they over hyped/over promised, and severely under delivered. The trust is gone. I don't think they can turn that around. And yes, I am a jaded former Windows phone user myself hoping they can turn things around but realistically I don't think they can.
  • I don't know Daniel.  Full immortality would be a nice feature to have.
  • "trust is gone", "we've been burned so many times", "they had a good thing going" This tells me you have an emotional investment in the company as opposed to its philosophy or approach. It may be worth re-evaluating what it is you use your devices for and whether a competitor (e.g. Apple) might be a better fit. Companies don't rise or fall on the backs of small communities of fans. Apple is a good study in that department. Apple has a niche and they understand that niche--they provide products that "just work". It's the philosophy that people are attracted to, not the company. Granted, there are a segment who are simply attracted to status, but, those same people will jump ship as soon as another company comes out with a trendy hot ticket item. For them flash is more important than utility. Microsoft, to a limited extent, is beginning to appreciate the value of Apple's philosophy, however, their execution is still far from perfect. They get that Apple works on an "it just works" philosophy. They get that Apple's products are sometimes trendy. But, Microsoft sometimes over-emphasizes the one over the other. Windows 8 and its approach to touch are a good case study. Touch was trendy. Touch was the next big thing. By Windows 8 Microsoft had a stable operating system that was well designed; 90% of the way there in terms of the "just works" philosophy of Apple. The problem was that Microsoft threw that "just works" philosophy out and went whole hog for touch. Windows 8 was a touch OS put on a desktop and people hated it, and rightly so. It didn't "just work". Windows 8.1 and 10 were a major climbdown but only a partial recognition that Microsoft's OS and interface finally were getting there in terms of "it just works". Microsoft couldn't let go of the whole trendy touch thing. Apple has rightly kept its desktop OS far away from touch, preferring to keep its touch and desktop OSes distinct. Microsoft is trying to have a single OS to rule them all but, while Windows 10 is mostly solid, it still has major warts in the "it just works" department. The attempt to shoe-horn touch and mobile apps onto a desktop paradigm is not going well. The interface of UWP apps is mediocre at best and downright horrible at worst. "It just works" isn't there for the touch part of Windows 10's interface.. Also, the stability of Windows 10 is sometimes suspect due to Microsoft's approach (philosopical) failings. For example, this afternoon my laptop's battery had drained DESPITE ME GOING TO THE EFFORT LAST NIGHT OF ENSURING THAT IT WAS FULLY CHARGED BECAUSE WE WERE HAVING UNPREDICTABLE POWER FAILURES. Why? Because of Windows 10 update. That's the epitome of it just works failing. This was a philosophical failing. Microsoft considers forced updates important and has done so at the expense of ANY user control over the update process (e.g. being able to postpone updates until such time as a laptop is connected to power or when a user knows they don't need their computer). The process had improved relative to Windows 10 in 2015 and early 2016 and I hadn't noticed problems in 2017. But, forced updates have suddenly been giving me substantial problems in August and September of 2017 across a wide variety of Windows devices. Also, Microsoft's approach to Windows Hello and to sleep have been problematic (sometimes related). They don't get that you should turn off the IR camera if it doesn't find someone in a specified time. This has been a problem since the beginning. Sleep is also a problem that "just doesn't work" on Windows laptops. Over the years and over a few iterations of Windows (7, 10) I've found that different laptops all have sleep issues. Most of the time when you close a lid it will go to sleep, however, there are times that Windows doesn't sleep the laptop and your battery drains. This never happened on Mac laptops. An "it just works" failing for Windows. Don't get me wrong, Microsoft has made huge strides in the "it just works" department. For decades I was exlusively a Mac user. Macs were so much more useful than Windows. In the 1980's and early 90's it was a slam dunk. There simply was no competiton. Mac was so far ahead of DOS and Windows 2.x and 3.x only those who had never spent substantial time on Mac would be deluded into thinking that WIndows was more useful. By the mid-90's Windows 95 was starting to change the game since the interface had improved dramatically and Windows was taking care of many hardware problems, but, Mac still held a substantial advantage because of the integration of hardware. This advantage holds right to today with macOS becoming Windows' peer in terms of depth of engineering. However, and, here's the catch, Windows has become "good enough". Hardware headaches under Windows 7 and 10 are far fewer than they used to be with pre-2009 incarnations of Windows. Even the interface is nearly polished enough to pass as quality engineering. In its OS Microsoft is "good enough" in terms of "it just works". Good enough for me to have completely migrated to Windows and to realise that I'll never be able to return to Apple's ecosystem because I'm now too invested in Windows.
  • Apple have the smallest Marketshare OS with everything combined. Which makes it even funnier that they sell so few Iphones, Macs and Macbooks yet make so much money. This means their fanbase is paying WAY to much money for their devices. IMO over the next 10-15 years MS vision of 1 OS is the most robust going forward. It's by FAR the hardest to achieve. But when its achieved will reap great benefits. Imo its much harder for Google to accomplish that as they have no Desktop OS whatsoever. Apple could do it, but are about 7 years research behind. Let's see what happens over the next 10 years. I think alot of crow will be eaten by many phone users. 
  • Funny Richard,  thats what they said 10 years ago,  yet here we are!  Time to clean the nutella **** out of your fanboy eyes!
  • @Richard Loveride This is a Microsoft fanboi or Apple hater response, or both. Either way, get real. Apple users aren't overpaying relative to their Android peers. In fact, you could make the argument that Apple users are shrewder than their Andoid peers since their devices lose value at a slower rate than Android devices and they can resell them for more! Thus, any supposed price premium paid for an Apple device is made up for in terms of its higher resale value. That's not to say they're not overpaying. Personally I think they are, but, then again, I'd never pay $1000 for a device that I could sit on and break. That's not unique to Apple devices since you can do the same to your high priced Android device.
  • Rodneyej, we're not haters, were just people who don't have the overly optimistic view that you have. Microsoft have buggered things up so badly with mobile, why on earth would anyone imagine that they will suddenly come good. Dress it up how you like but the great majority of people out there don't give a monkeys about Andromeda and One Windows. They just want a phone that works and has access to the same apps as everyone else. In the end I'm not sure why some people on here are so damned keen for Microsoft to re enter the mobile market. They've never been anything more than a sideshow and they are just a company which wants to make a profit. That's all. They've never shown any loyalty to us. I'm not sure why we should be showing any to them. What I think is important is that if we love mobiles as much as we do, we shouldn't be leaving ourselves hamstrung by blind loyalty to an ecosphere on which Microsoft pulled the plug over two years ago. Essentially, Microsoft have given up the ghost. I think it's time we did too. Lets all get out there and enjoy what's available and stop crying over what isn't.
  • Amen
  • I'm still waiting for Andromeda with my X3 but you are right.
  • I want more apps(Uwp) than android. That's all i need in Lumia phones.
  • Lumia phones are dead. You better get used to it. What you have in your hands (if you still are passionate enough to own a Lumia) is a few among the last of a kind. Something about o become extinct. There is absolutely no way you will see any mainstream apps coming your way. Not even in UWP. 
  • After getting sim card (hardware) problem. I use my Lumia for accessing internet, mail. On the other side, I'm not happy with MS Strategy. I would like to buy an Android phone just for a change.
  • Now if only they could deliver powerful computer over air/net, we wouldn't need any great hw or OS to scale. Just AR glasses. Big thx for hololens.
  • so... 4 questions... 1 - are you sure about this ? 2 - When ? 3 - How ? ( a big update ? ) 4 - Who ? are the manufacturer and third party's
  • Ok...since nadella has now publically stated there is no room for a third mobile  platform...can the fanboys give it up about "the new surface phone"  thats OBVIOUSLY NOT COMING!
  • What's it to you? Are you iPhone sales middle man?
  • He is just a realistic user, trying to save your fanboy @$$3$
  • NO.  I am just a realistic user who was once a windows phone super fan.   However,  the writing is on the wall...ITS NOT COMING.  RIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH.   Please netmann,  don't fanboy out and think it is....because it's not.
  • That's fine Steve....Just keep it to yourself.....There are thousands that are switching away from windows phone....Are windows phone fans telling those people not to switch?! I don't think so....
  • Microsoft has the power, the know how, and the push to be able to achieve this, their problem is that they are racing to beat Apple and Google instead of looking at what they already have and simply evolve it before Apple and Google gets there with their "mobile" OSes. It will be only a matter of time before Google unleashes their version fo Andromeda to Desktop, Tablet, and Mobile or Apple pushes iOS apps onto MacOS, WatchOS, and TVOS. Why isn't iOS on tablets, wearables, apple tv yet is still confusing.
  • "Why isn't iOS on tablets, wearables, apple tv yet is still confusing" Because the touch paradigm doesn't translate well to other paradigms. Apple has steadfastly and wisely avoided bringing touch to the desktop. As Microsoft has so adequately and sadly proved, touch on the desktop is a gimmick. Either you're a tablet or you're a desktop. You're not both. My laptop now has a (farily well liked) touch screen. Initially I used it to try it out, but, 8 months on, I find myself completely ignoring the touch screen now. Windows 10 is a poorly thought out finger touch OS. I now fully understand why Apple has stuck to keeping iOS for touch and macOS for desktop computing only. Touch adds little value and lots of UI headaches.
  • Touch is awesome on laptop and desktop.   Apple has not added touch to their desktop devices because they would have to totally re code MacOS,  and they are to lazy to do it.   IOS is essentially the same as IOS 1 with features added every go round.  Same with OSX/MacOS,  Its essentially the same OS as OSX 4.0.  They just add features.   Microsoft totally recoded windows many times to make it better and go with future technology....It unfortunately gets bagged for this,  but there is no denying it,  touch IS the future,  and at some point,  MacOS WILL be touch or it will go away.
  • I have multiple touch Windows 10 devices. I've watched others (both adults and teens) using their own Windows 10 touch devices. Touch is not part of people's work flow. If they've got a stylus they'll sometimes use it but touch is a take-it-or-leave-it affair The only time I now use touch is to activate the login screen if Windows Hello fails to do a facial recognition. As for Apple, I'm guessing you have only superficial experience with Apple and are not much of a developer (or, if you are have absolutely no experience with Apple's software). iOS is macOS. At the core they're the same operating system. As for your complaints about Apple, they're evidence of Microsoft fandom (or Apple-hater) :(. You assert that "Microsoft totally recoded windows many times". No they haven't. Windows 8 and 10 are the first major rebuild of Windows since Windows NT became the foundation for consumer Windows. For that matter, even Windows NT dates back to the late 80's! Microsoft is not in the business of rebuilding Windows on a regular basis. That was their whole shtick in the 1980's, 1990's and 2000's. It's only recently that Microsoft has been taking a page out of Apple's playbook and focusing on the customer's needs rather than the business sales channel. If you're looking for a company who recodes all the time, objectively it's Apple! Apple frequently does a complete overhaul to bring its OSes into the modern era. In the past quarter century Apple has completely cut ties with its previous operating system or platform on a predictable and regular basis. Now that macOS is a robust OS they're also in the habit of completely retooling their OS for different platforms. Regardless of your ignorance of Apple's and Microsoft's history, Microsoft is doing one thing right. They've been working hard at improving the end user experience of Windows 10. It's a much better operating system than Windows used to be--to the point where I have completely migrated all my workflow to Windows. But, what Microsoft isn't is a company with the flexibility and vision of Apple. Apple knows what its customers need and makes sure it gets there before its customers do. Microsoft still doesn't get it. Microsoft damaged its reputation by chasing touch with Windows 8. It was a disaster. Windows 10 climbed down from the touch paradigm a bit, but, not enough. Microsoft's software division has become a much more responsive company, but, it needs to cut loose from the cloud division if it wants to eat some of Apple's and Google's breakfast. Personally I'd love to see Microsoft enter the mobile market in style because only through increased competition will Android and Apple have to up their game. But, their one-OS-to-rule-them-all strategy simply isn't going to be the wedge. You need sharp deliniations. Apple has it right with macOS and iOS. Apps on iOS work well on iOS. They wouldn't scale to a desktop. Microsoft needs to learn that lesson. It's pointless for devs to waste time working on a single app that will work on everything. The business logic can stay the same (as it does for macOS and iOS apps that are related), but, it's the interface that needs to be retooled for different computing paradigms. Whatever. I didn't buy stock in Apple when I ought to have. Microsoft doesn't look like a good buy now :(.
  • @ED the new guy, I think a lot of the Vision that you ascribe to Apple really was personal to Steve Jobs. He was a visionary. A lot will say that a well managed team has more wisdom and insight than any individual, but Jobs was a rare specimen, able to see simplicity in what inherently becomes complex when viewed by a group. Without Jobs at the helm, Apple can maintain good design and excellence in execution and stellar customer service (all very important), but at least for now, MS seems to be the company driving the vision, followed by Google (though seemingly in random directions, hence the formation of Alphabet), with Apple coming in last. Of course that could change, but right now, in mid-2017, MS is definitely more visionary than Apple.
  • There's a huge difference between research and success. Atari. Amiga. They were at the forefront of research. They had software and hardware that trounced MS DOS and the crap that was the IBM PC world. Atari and Amiga weren't nearly as intuitive as Mac but they were still better than MS DOS. Look at who's left standing. The useless Microsoft was left standing and Atari and Amiga are long gone. Jobs may have had the capital to take an idea and make it official company policy, but, iOS was a project that had to be hidden from Jobs. Had he gotten his hands on it prematurely it would've been cancelled. As for Microsoft, it now has divided loyalties. Its profits are coming from two disparate and unrelated markets--the cloud and software. And, cloud is growing at a remarkable pace. For Windows to succeed as an ecosystem Microsoft needs to split into two--cloud services and software. For that matter, even software needs to be split up. Microsoft Office really doesn't make sense as a Microsoft software. Their Windows and Mac divisions are given autonomy in their design decisions and both make outstanding products--Microsoft does not play favourites in terms of giving Office for Windows an edge over Office for Mac. Being part of Microsoft and linked so closely to Windows restrains what Office can do. Office may have made the leap to Linux by now if it hadn't been so closely tied to Windows.
  • Agreed.  Touch is great on laptops/desktops.
  • Great article! I enjoyed to finally read something optimistic, instead of all the whining about "Microsoft abandoned us"... Windows 10 is already great on phones, and it would only be normal evolution if it becomes better in the future. Microsoft didn't abandon existing Windows 10 Mobile platform, especially if you look at the sheer number of bug fixes and improvements with every new build. Someone is still investing a lot of man hours in this! By the time my Lumia 950 and current Windows 10 Mobile both become old and obsolete, I'm very sure there will be a adequate replacement available on the market... and that's not going to be any android or ios based device. These two are, and always will be just for plain smartphones, while even current Windows 10 phones are already beyond that category!
    Just look at the fact that best, stlll not available anniversary-best-ever-new-beginning-iPhone X brings "novelties" such as high DPI OLED screen, tap to wake, face ID, wireless charging... I mean, come on... what are they going to "invent" for Xs? GLANCE SCREEN, Super sensitive touch...?! Clearly, classic smartphone is already exhausted and near end of it's era, which is normal. Same thing happened to feature phones and Nokia. At the moment only Microsoft has a way to leverage ever more powerful hardware that fits into phone size package, and run next generation of devices. They can do now, what Apple did with iPhone ten years ago, and lead the way for a long, long time!
  • I had read this before when they made us believe the support for Universal Windows Apps was guaranteed and they were the very first ones ignoring and abandoning it. Microsoft should stop making promises and then changing the whole game. Specially when we have invested our hard earned money in hardware they declare obsolete after just 2 years.
  • Very true. Microsoft can't be seen with trust at this point that is for sure. I am talking from a publisher point of view. Regardless, we will support their initiative with Mixed Reality but there is not way to bet the house on it. It may be successful, it may not. I am not going to hold my breath. 
  • The only issue I have is that people dont run operating systems. OS is something for the enthusiast and professional. Normal people run apps to get things done. WIndows is looked at as something that lets people run Word and Excel but is all about work. Consumers do the fun stuff on their tablet, chromecast, and their phone. Their phone is their most personal device. Of course Microsoft can produce an ultra-mobile PC. However most normal users have a PC in their pocket. It's called the phone. Microsoft have had no play in mobile for 2 years. Consumer brand awareness in mobile is non-existant. It will be harder today to reboot mobile for the 4th time in 10 years after disappointing all their advocates in business and among the fans. The technology might be great but it's going to be huge marketing effort and a truly "must have" product if they want to come back.
  • Jason this is extremely inaccurate, you should re-read about andromeda and may be you'll change your perspective, it isnt one OS to rule all form factors. "Because of the OSes flexibility, distinct Windows variants such as Windows 10 Mobile will no longer be necessary"
    Andromeda will still result in "distinct" variants. Like W10M which is W10core + telephony stack and protocols - non essential feature stripped off from W10 desktop. Now, does Andromeda change that? Answer is No, the supposedly new OS will still be W10core+ some features - some other features.
    Andromeda only makes it easier for MS to maintain the code and churn out these "distinct" OSs, consider it like LEGO, Remember how band3 was cancelled because W10IOT was too heavy for Band and they could'nt further optimize it? They are trying to avoid such situation but make the code more light and modularizing rest of the code. Even during initial W10 days WC went about claiming that it is a single OS running on mobile and desktop and took a long time to change that narrative, dont do it this time. it doesnt make any difference to consumers, may be Watch OS, TV OS, IOS and MacOS also share a code base but Apple doesnt make a big deal about it as consumers wouldnt care or may be they are completely different OSs and Apple maintains the all seperately, it doesnt matter to consumer as long as they get what they want. handshake works perfectly between IOS and MacOS while its still broken on W10 so I think this oneOS or oneCore concept is overrated as it is just a technicality and doesnt bring anything to consumers.
  • Great article.
  • Nice article, with nice points, alas, what is threatening for Microsoft in my opinion is the recent benchmark claims that the new CPU from apple is more powerful than the intel one in macbook pro.   This means that Apple is just a a couple of steps away from replacing the aging macOS with a more agile and lightweight OS that every consumer of apple products already knows and loves. Accessible and powerful. That means it could be a huge hit in education, and the mainstream consumer, with a wealth of apps etc. etc. etc.  The Andromeda initiative will appear outdated and "too little too late".
  • Too late. The age is coming to an end.
    Once nuclear wars begin, no one will care about smartphone OS, app gap, Andromeda etc again.
  • Great article man. 
  • But it all converges at one point, that's the thing and to sound like a broke record... everyone carries a smartphone................................. We are not at the point were we have nano machines inside cells that do all the computing, let alone using a smartwatch to handle our computing needs. Until either of those happens, smartphones will be the balanced piece of the puzzle.
  • I feel like this "One Vision" story has been a bit of a broken record for quite a while now, it just takes a different name every six months.
  • assumptions to something that we never seen
  • Apps are a phase...sorry, but this is the most important thing to take away - apps as we know it will dissapear. However the two big will try and postpone the transformation from apps as the apps is  their strength that gives them a stranglehold on the industry.  
  • won't matter. It will fail! Who the F cares about Microshit anymore, besides fanboys?
  • I do.  I love my windows 10 devices as desktop machines.  WAY better than MacOS,  or chrome,  or even linux.   Just windows on phone failed.  Not because it was not great.   Because Nadella wanted to shitcan it asap.
  • Andromeda OS [One Windows] is a great strategy but it will succeed only if Microsoft plans to introduce winux filesystem which can run android apps natively without the need of an emulator
  • "Sadly, Redmond, with only one platform, is struggling to garner developer support for its Universal Windows Platform (UWP)." I love UWP, but I can tell you why it's stalled. Microsoft (as usual) can't figure out which direction they're going in . So UWP was meant to be the replacement for Win32 as Windows moved to a phone and tablet first environment. But back then, tablets had limited storage and limited RAM, so UWP had to be slimmed down.. a lot.. and to improve security, they adopted of all things, Apple's iOS sandboxing approach. Everything about UWP is designed to be touch controlled first, pen controlled second and mouse controlled last. So now, UWP apps are really not well designed for desktop users. Worse, since Windows Phone is dead, the really important platform in this model no longer exists - so there's no 'all platforms' model here. Without it, you're faced with 'Win32/.Net' and full access to everything in an easy to code environment with almost no restrictions.. or UWP where you can't see most of the file system, have all your familiar namespaces arbitrarily changed, many controls and classes kind of just 'different' or missing parts for no reason. Then add the actual portable system: Xamarin and things just go from annoying to surreal. They have XAML, but it's different for no reason as well. And it doesn't work the same as WPF.. except when it does.  It's a nightmarish dog's breakfast... and most of us, faced with all of that or just giving in and sticking with Win32 and full .Net take the simplest route. Xamarin gets a pass because it does something you can't do with Win32: build apps on iOS, Android and MacOS. I'm hoping that soon, Microsoft will just bring Xamarin's XAML into sync with UWP and then expand UWP so that it fully encompasses WPF giving us a true 'one platform'. 
  • This! They changed so many things compared to .Net/WPF for apparently no reason. Some APIs are the same but reside in different namespaces, some APIs have similar or same name but with different arguments and so on. Its a big mess. At this point i cannot possibly see how they would manage to merge .Net with UWP.
  • In addition to what you say, which I agree with, one thing that UWP Windows apps have lost is consistency. Common OS UI elements across apps (menu, status bar, ribbon, you name it) were there to provide consistency and reduce the users' learning curve when switching from one app to another within the same OS. However, if you look at current UWP apps - even the ones developed by Microsoft like News, Groove and Paint3D - they all look different and provide no consistent user experience. While this may not be a major issue for tablets/phone apps, it is an issue for LOB apps.
  • +1000 UWP apps are a dogs breakfast. Each app is distinct from the other and you've got to hunt in each one in different places to do things. Microsoft is doing a lot of things right with Windows 10, but the UWP interface is not one of them. They forgot that what makes customers happy is consistency and quality. Apple stumbled on that formula a LONG, LONG time ago. In the 1980's Mac applications were much harder for devs to code than DOS and even early Windows applications because the event driven graphical user interface paradigm is a lot harder to wrap your head around as a dev than simple command-line utilities. What that meant, however, is that Mac users were much less forgiving of half-baked applications. You had to come up with something well written that used the menu structure that we still see in macOS today and EVERY SINGLE Win32 Windows application (Apple menu, File menu, Edit menu, etc.). Microsoft had that consitency (to a moderate extent) starting with Windows 95 but started diverging from that in Windows 8 and took it all the way in Windows 10. BIG MISTAKE. UWP is floundering. The quality of UWP app interfaces is low and they're not being used (I can honestly say I don't enjoy using ANY UWP apps... the only one that I use regularly is Edge and I really don't like its interface decisions). Windows 10 is great when you don't have to deal with the interface decisions of UWP. UWP will only succeed if the touch paradigm that's forced on users is removed. Microsoft will need to split its OSes. It needs a desktop OS and a touch OS. The mistake with Windows 8 was that it put a touch OS on the desktop. The mistake with Windows 10 is that it's putting touch on top a desktop OS. Neither solution is good. Separate the two. Touch for touch devices. Desktop for desktop devices. Apple gets it. Touch on the desktop is nothing to write home about. That's why the company that blew the touch market wide open has stayed away from integrating touch into its desktop devices. It's waiting to see when Microsoft succeeds before it jumps into that mess (Microsoft already proved with Windows 8 that touch on the desktop is not a good idea... I don't think Apple's going to do touch on the desktop until some proves it is a good idea).
  • "Microsoft will need to split its OSes" Chuckle. Reading that I realise that I am tilting at Wind(ows)mills around here. Jason Ward seems convinced that Microsoft has a shot at being all things to all people. Apple's resounding success (starting from a position of relative weakness) demonstrates quite nicely why it's better to be really good at what you do than to be mediocre at a lot more things.
  • Nn
  • Good read! Thanks Jason! 😊
  • The app gap is a real issue, I still see Centenial as being central to solving this issue. Microsoft needs apps in its store to get people using the store. I haven't looked at the newly rebranded store, but I sincerly hope they're working on discovery. Issues like the fact that it's impossible to find themes or edge plugins by simply engaging store are real issues. Lets not even mention the embarrasment that when slack was launched in store I couldn't find it by searching for "slack" in the store search. It had no idea what I was looking for. I had to do a *bing web search* to find it in the *web store* then click to launch store.  Microsoft has the right peices, but as usual they're over looking the details. They need this squared away and someone in management there needs to notice things still aren't clicking the way they should be.  
  • NIce article but still we need to see if MS will continue to fail in the mobile sector... I have a lumia 950XL and is good phone but MS need to do something phenomenal to take some share back
  • Looking forward, but will take with a pinch of salt.
  • Well let us see in 2019. If a new win 10 phone is ready by then my Lumia 950 XL might be retired. Let us first see how Microsoft deal with us the last loyal users these two years.
  • The same thing they said with Win 10 mobile and now it`s dead, i simply don`t trust anymore MS on this one and retired all my WIn phones and when with iOS (never thought i would ever own an Apple product)
  • As long as someone such as Nokia or HTC build the phone, I would trust it and use it. However, based upon my experience with the 950 and Band, I will stay far away from them, as much as I would like to have one otherwise.
  • Thank You Jason for shooting straight and giving good information. I have recently started reading your posts/articles. I apreciate your effort in giving accurate information on Windows 10 and W10M and explaining whats really going on instead of slinging around inuendos and rumors based on opinions of trolls. There for a while it looked like to many people that Microsoft was throwing in the towel because of the posts of people who were supposed to be representing MS interests, but not having the facts, posting negative commentary. Its good to know whats really going on. Its hard to sift through all the troll mire sometimes.
  • The Core OS is useless if you can not buy a mobile phone with it.