Microsoft, lost in the mobile woods for so long, may have finally found a way back. Despite some problems, Microsoft seems to be on the right track with Windows 8 for tablets, not to mention the long-awaited Mango release for smartphones. But Microsoft's potential resurgence may have as much to do with Google's Android problems …
Writing it is only the start
Once they've forked Android, they'll need to maintain and update their fork. Ultimately, they either end up with a badly out of date OS, or write their own.
I guess the alternative would be to create a new fork later down the road, but what cost compatibility?
Sorry, Matt, but I really think you couldn't be more wrong on this one - the aspect you've missed is end-users. They don't want the look of Windows? Oh yes they do, for the most part. What they DON'T want is the forking of Android - the strength of it for uses is compatibility and familiarity of the user interface - same as with Windows. For either system to move away from that is insane.
Oooh! it feels like I'm really living in the future.
And look, now I've made my computer totally f' in useless too.
Give me my f 'in keyboard and mouse and leave me alone you bunch of swipy handed cretinous f' in idiotic f' wits.
An open source guy says he likes the new windows UI...what does he really mean?
Why we'll all end up Windows Tablets
It suddenly dawned on me earlier why Microsoft is going to sell these things in droves.
The reason being that a significant number of us that work in the IT crowd carry hefty laptops into work. High chances are that it's probably a Windoze laptop, love em or hate them they're still very standard across a significant number of businesses. They probably have a Dell or HP logo on them.
If someone were to offer me a tablet that could replace these hefty beasts, which also doubled up as a replacement desktop computer that I could plug a standard screen, keyboard mouse into and get a standard Windows Desktop I'd bite their hand off.
As yet I've seen a few Samsung Android tablets comes close, but even then sadly I live in a Microsoft world and work with many many Microsoft based customers...
Much though I have a love/hate relationship for my HTC Android based phone I can see myself opening up a brand new Microsoft tablet box some time in the next two years..
Bite my hand off
I was doing this with a Motion Computing M1300 slate Tablet PC 8 years ago.
Productivity? Why not Windows 8?
If you can get by with an iPad at work, then either:
1) You are a lot less important to your company than you think you are.
2) Your field of business is a lot less skilled than you claim it is.
3) You want to show off how important you are by pissing away good company money on an over-priced executive toy.
4) You don't actually need a mobile computer to do your job at all.
Actual productive workers need a mobile device with a proper OS because otherwise they can't do their jobs.
Android Market - sorry for the rant
I'd like to buy an Androind phone but am put off by the shocking Android Market Place. Why does nobody talk about this ? Browsing the Market Place is like looking for shareware circa 1994. In fact logging in through FTP and reading the 00Index file was actually a bit less clunky. And in quality terms, many of the apps are like something we hacked together in BASIC on our Dragon 32s. An app to count your turnips is useless and we certainly don't need 25 versions of it.
The reason no one talks about it here, is that the comment forums are for the most part populated by nerds, geeks and socially dysfunctional Apple haters who are intellectually incapable of understanding why your observation is important, and don't care in any case.
These groups WANT Android to succceed because they are against anything Apple created. The fact that the Android market is in fact exactly as you have observed, is merely irritating to ordinary users - not to geeks, nerds etc. You obviously don't hate Apple enough, or aren't geeky enough to think that the clunky Android store and its contents are an indicator of just how wonderful Android is.
Personally, last time I had an Android slab in my hands (ASUS Transformer), I managed to crash the OS and require a hard boot withing 15 seconds. Android really is a marginal OS in quality terms, and the Adroid Store is IMHO worse than you describe.
Thumbs up from me.
Since Jim 59 remembers FTP (and the way it worked) and since he also reads El Reg, he definitely IS a geek/nerd/etc. ... just like the rest of us :-)
@ Jim 59: I had a lot of fun with my Acorn A5000 and StarFighter 3000 in 1994. That year became even better as the Risc PC got release. Much more fun back then than there is now. Although the soap opera between Apple and Samsung is kinda interesting >:->
As for how bad the marketplace is. If it's as bad as you describe (with your reference to Dragon32 BASIC). Yikes! Then perhaps Amazon getting in the Android-picture might be a good thing, I guess. At least for consumer interest content.
The big question here is if Microsoft's efforts are any better? They certainly have the will (and power) to dethrone android from it's position. Unfortunatly they have their own history working against them. As a lot of ppl don't like how M$ simply ditched Windows Mobile and its associated featureset for an crippled but goodlooking alternative with a far less advanced featureset. Sure over time they'll add the (missing) features (just as Apple did with iOS) but will that be enough? Will consumers swallow this (again)?
I can only tell you what I will swallow. And M$ propaganda is taken with a big grain of salt and lots of resistance.