Windows 8 & Windows Phone 8: Microsoft is going through a massive resurrection. The company is dominant in the desktop/laptop OS market, but has been behind in the smartphone market. It has realized that providing common technologies and the typical "Microsoft" experience across form factors is key to its survival. Now, you will see it moving forward as a company toward the vision that it shared some time back on its 3-screen (i.e., Desktop/Laptop, Mobile Phones, TVs) and cloud strategy.
With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has embraced many common technologies that allow developers to build applications that work well across form factors (i.e., use of native C & C++ along with SQLite, DirectX, common NT Kernel, Xbox Live, Metro UI, Office). It also is filling the gaps that existed in areas like device management. This also means that for developers creating cross-platform applications (PC, Xbox, phone, etc.) Microsoft is offering a compelling environment with high levels of reuse. Moving forward, Windows Intune (Microsoft's PC management and security service), coupled with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack (SP) 1, will enable administrators to manage Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 devices.
Essentially when comparing Apple/iOS vs. Android vs. Windows from an app developer's perspective, there are key factors to consider:
So while innovation continues at a breakneck pace, what can we expect down the road? Perhaps lower cost devices; an all-screen strategy that uses the same platform across device categories, including TV sets; new services for search and social networking; and of course apps, apps and more apps.
Based on these observations, you make the choice. What is clear regardless of how you choose is that the chatter around the preferred platform will likely continue and that's a good thing. Competition breeds great value and innovation and from that we all benefit.
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