For a while I have been ‘coming over from the dark side’ – that is to say I have been embracing the world of Apple. To some that classes me as a geek, historically Apple products were the preserve of the ‘Guardian reader’ set, not a bad thing in any way, but a stereotype that probably didn’t help their marketing! This puts me in the minority, but if I am honest I don’t care, as I find the Apple way so much less stressful.
With the massive growth of the iPod, iPad and iPhone, Apple are now a major player in the hardware market (for example they have almost 80% of the tablet market). Historically they have been weak in the world of software – and by weak I mean they did not have the business market particularly catered for – that was the province of Microsoft – and still is. But for how long?
Computing in the business and home market is going mobile, we are all getting smartphones, and the tablet is making desktop computing far less of a necessity. Our PC at home is used rarely now, either iPad or Mac has taken over. Consequently we are all keen to have our data available where ever we are – cloud computing by any other name. And who is doing this best and appears to have a game plan going forwards?
In my view it’s Apple and not Microsoft. I have started using Apples iCloud with its Numbers and Pages packages – all my documents are automatically available on all my devices (including my PC). The program’s are nothing like as ‘belt and braces’ as Word or Excel, but who uses anything like the full potential of those packages – they are just too complicated! Also on an iPad the Numbers spreadsheet is way better than anything Microsoft or any third-party converter can offer.
Apples iCloud is in its infancy, MobileMe was not a success, but the mobile OS has developed and I think we will see great things from Apple over the next few years in mobile data sharing and working – they never get things wrong more than once!
And what about Microsoft? Windows 8 is just about to appear and from what I have heard it is just Windows 7 with a weird front end. Their Office package has a web version, but it is not catching on (probably due to being too complex). Microsoft may be about to start to see the end of their dominance – a good thing?