Last month I was just about to buy a MacBook Air. This would have been my first Mac laptop. I’ve always been a PC and have been all my life (of course I have an iPhone, obviously).
Before I hit go for the order, my sensible side told me to do a bit of research as to what else was out there in a similar form factor. Samsung electronics spent a reported $9.5bn on marketing last year and some of that went on a big screen in Picadilly Circus that I cycle past daily. They often advertise the series 9 laptops there and so that’s the first place I looked and I remembered all about the upcoming Windows 8. Which will change things.
Windows 8 is a new operating system from Microsoft. It has been designed from the bottom up. It’s the same operating system on your Laptop (which will have a touch screen) on your tablet (which will be your laptop's removable screen) and your smartphone (which will run also Windows 8).
This is such a wonderful change from the Apple world where the iPad and the iPhone’s operating systems are siblings but the place you spend your working day, your PC/laptop is a very distant cousin who you’d find hard to recognise as part of the same family - even when standing next to the other two devices.
The iPhone is now just another smartphone. In 2007, Steve Jobs said that Apple had a 5 year lead on the competition. In 2012, it appears that he was exactly right. With the launch of the iPhone 5 there are a number of comparable devices on the market in terms of functionality and I believe that the choices of which smartphone to get next will be tied to my entire digital environment rather than having the latest bit of tech in my pocket.
I think that when the knee jerk upgrade to latest version of Windows (Windows 8) happens there will be a huge userbase going through this though process and some very good looking laptops/tablets and smartphones to satisfy these needs.
So I think Windows 8 is one to watch. Unless the next generation Air has an iPad as a (removable) screen...