You may have noticed (or will after you read this) a new icon showing up in the system tray (lil icons by your clock). It looks like this…
If you click that you can “reserve” a free upgrade to Windows 10. After you are done laughing at that statement – windows and free in the same sentence and all – give it a click. For a lot of my geek friends this is old news but as I have a lot of nongeek friends I thought it worth the digital ink.
I may be getting my hopes up but what I am most impressed with is not what I have seen of Windows 10 (which is basically what Windows 8 should have been – am guessing there must have been a gas leak when they thought Windows 8 up) but the shift in the business model. It is incredibly smart and with all the user feedback going into Windows 10 it should be a win for both Microsoft and the consumer and that is the shift – the win has been heavily tilted to Microsoft for a very long time in my opinion. I use Windows yet I have an iPhone and up til recently the two of them seemed to pretty much hate each other. I say recently because with the new office apps for iPhone (which are pretty darn good) it feels like Microsoft has stopped the petty “on our platform only” attitude and are trending toward extend and embrace. Long story short – making lives for guys like me who support both Windows and iOS easier. Now I hear that Windows 10 will be on mobile devices and Microsoft is making it easy to port apps from iOS and Android over – I think someone finally fixed the gas leak in Redmond.
I love my iPhone 6+ and if Microsoft really wants me to have a Windows phone they are going to have to match the hardware which is flat out impressive. The screen is brilliant, overall the phone is fast, the camera is excellent, the graphics are amazing and the battery life is pretty darn good. One thing they could give me – even if it was just for MS apps, photos and music – that would win me over is a shared file system with a file system browser and the ability to plug into the computer and access all of it just like the phone was a giant thumb drive. The iPhone is so locked down in this regard it makes me feel that Apple thinks everyone is a thief who will copy the whole world without their protection. When it comes to phones it is time to put the owner back in charge of his content.
I have a vision for what I hope becomes reality in regards to phones. At some point I see the phone as the central component of a whole computing system. You will come home slip the phone into a dock and up pops a desktop on a monitor plugged into the dock which also provides expanded storage, keyboard and mouse etc. Once in the dock all your apps switch from app mode to desktop programs. Any data you want always in your pocket can be stored on the phone and all those pictures you took can be easily dumped to the storage attached (or built in to) the dock. You could manage your music and videos the same way. This system will not be powerful enough for hard core gamers or designers but for many it would be perfect. You could build “dumb” laptops and tablets on the cheap that would rely on the phone to snap in and provide the brainpower. My iPhone is darn near as thin as a laptop express card already. I think there is a lot could be done with that digital swiss army knife we call a smart phone. The first company to go that way will get my moola. As focused as Apple is on selling content and protecting that content – it may well be Microsoft that ends up blending mobile and desktop experiences into a happy seamless experience. I am already keeping an on the Surface which after Windows 10 might become an iPad and laptop replacement for my non-power users. We shall see….