Microsoft’s Windows 10 event was chock full of surprises and insight into the direction of tech giant and its next operating system.
One thing that wasn’t a surprise, according to Stephen Baker, Vice President Industry Analysis, NPD Research, was the focus on cross-platform integration for Windows 10.
As part of the announcement, Microsoft revealed that multiple devices such as phones, tablets, 2 in 1 PCs, clamshells, and all the way up to 84” Surface Hub devices will all run the same basic OS.
“Continuity between devices is now a core function of the operating system,” Baker comments. “Certainly both Apple and Google have been moving in this direction and now Microsoft has joined the trend.
“It is a clearly a great accomplishment to build something that runs well on multiple types of hardware platforms and supports apps that cross all those platforms – and the talent it takes to build something like that should never cease to amaze us.”
But it is not just a software story according to Baker, because creating an integrated platform really means a platform.
“It requires integrated hardware, services, apps, and a sales channel that can absorb the complexities of integration and explain it to the customer,” he explains.
“So while most of the analysis is likely to surround the hardware, or apps, or services that are required to make this all work seamlessly I am going to focus on how to get this into the hands of the consumer.”
Baker says selling a solution to consumers, a “works better together” story is an extraordinarily difficult task, one that has been mastered among corporate channels but not to consumers.
In today’s consumer environment, where choices in some ways seem to be multiplying and in other ways seem to be shrinking, Baker believes finding the right sales channel along with the right message is paramount to be able to deliver a complicated message like that in an environment that normally look for simple.
“Of course Apple has been the leader in this by virtue of its ability to be both a quality software developer and a hardware manufacturer, but also because it has become a great retailer,” he adds.