Author’s Disclaimer: For the record, I have a Dell desktop and a Gateway laptop (both running Windows XP), along with a MacBook Pro (Mountain Lion), iPad and an iPod along with an iPhone (older version; doing quite fine, thank you) that just replaced my old and trusty Samsung (RIP, sadly).
Nowadays, you have to be ambidextrous: you need the ability to work within the realm of Microsoft as well as Apple IOS because if you can’t, chances are you’re going to lose out on a lot of opportunities. That said, I’m not about to grace any discussion about which is better – Microsoft or Apple – because frankly, it’s all pointless: you might as well argue about vanilla versus chocolate ice cream. There are far more (and overlooked) important things afoot to consider that brings a whole new context to this discussion.
First hand, the traditional notion of ‘everything on one box’ is pretty much gone; it’s now all about distributed computing. During the past decade, we’ve moved away from stuffing everything on one box, starting with the notion of conducting back-ups owing to data loss, moving to plug-on hard drives, and then moving into remote back-ups. As technology advanced, so too did prices drop offering greater availability for services that heretofore were not financially feasible for many. And with all of this came (in part) the notion of ‘cloud computing’. It’s no longer just about how big your or strong your PC / box is; it’s more about where and how you access you data in relationship to your box / PC.
Secondly, connectivity has dramatically improved. We’ve moved away from traditional cabling and into wireless connectivity – with a vengeance. Wireless is everywhere and it’s only going to increase (little known factoid: did you know that chances are, you are – at most – only about 20 miles away from the nearest Starbucks? Of course, this does not apply in remote areas such as Montana, Wyoming or the Dakotas, but don’t worry; that’ll change). This development strongly underlies the growth of the tablet market: so long as I have a good connection, I can read and process my files without having to carry a bulky 8 pound laptop as was so common back some years ago.
Thirdly, it’s no longer just about ‘software suites’; it’s about ecology. Ecology is a big new concept – while at the same time, it’s as old as the hills. When you went with a specific approach – MS / Windows box, Apple or Linux – you became ‘married’ to that concept. To be sure, there was some ‘bleed-through’ – i.e., Linux can work (to a certain extent) with either Apple or Windows boxes, but overall, for the average consumer or business entity, it was an all or nothing approach. Fast forward to the present time, now you’re finding yourself making choices that went far beyond just which PC / Box you’re buying: it’s now what format are you going to listen to your music? What phone service are you committing yourself to? What television / cable / subscription service are you committing yourself to – FIOs, traditional cable, Apple TV or just winging it on your own via Netflix or other open Internet options (i.e., YouTube)?
And lastly, the nature of data management also has changed: sound, graphic and print files are merged together in ways and means underscoring tremendous creativity, raising the bar for competitive services and advertisements; consumer and political outreach programs as well as new notions for political activism and creative / artistic endeavors. It’s now more about what offers you the easier means to grasp your data, exchange your endeavors and advertise / distribute? It’s a lot easier to do all of this if you’re sharing / existing within the same ecology.
This is the new Ecology paradigm: what ‘system’ offers you the most convenience, less cost and unifies everything in a manner that’ll make your life easier to manage? To be certain, for some, this notion of ‘unification’ is not a desirable aspect (note Wozniak’s comments earlier this year about how he doesn’t have cable service and prefers to use his data / cellular service for his own Internet surfing) but for the average consumer market, this is the new bonanza: getting everybody to sign up for as much as they are willing to do so. Some companies – such as Verizon – got this early on: witness their various ‘bundling’ packages (Verizon doesn’t sell as comprehensive a solution as does Apple or Windows as Verizon doesn’t quite have a complete ecology developed as of yet).
The battleground is not just about which flavor do you prefer – Vanilla or Chocolate – it’s now all about the bowl and how that bowl works best for you; everything else is simply a matter of taste.