Windows 8's Ecosystem: Pathetic or Superb?
I was looking over the comments in the Windows 8 review and one complaint stuck out to me more than any other - numerous people complained about the 9 that Tom gave for "Ecosystem." What bothered me was not the complaints themselves but rather the arguments used to support said complaints. Everyone is calling BS because, in their minds, 5000 apps equals a poor ecosystem.
They're just confused!
That's when it hit me that people have a horribly confused, and terribly inaccurate understanding of the term "ecosystem." I concluded the following - what I consider to be Windows 8's single greatest strength.
The synergy is unparalleled
For one reason or another the tech world has come to define the term "ecosystem" as a euphemism for "app store size," but that definition is simply not exhaustive, especially if the term is intended to echo the concept of an ecosystem in nature. An ecosystem is far more than the number of apps available in a platform's marketplace, just as a natural ecosystem is more than just the number of species living in a pond. It is about the way that every part of an ecosystem works TOGETHER to improve the function as a whole.
In Windows 8's case the ecosystem refers to its interconnectivity with a vast array of related products, i.e. Xbox hardware and services, Windows Phone integration, simple, seamless transition from PC to PC (whether RT or full Windows 8), out of the box compatibility with thousands upon thousands of existing PC accessories, legacy application support, perfect Skydrive and Live service support, superb and easy to use networking capabilities, apps of course, and so much more, and this list will only grow with time. The fact that this unprecedented level of platform synergy exists before the OS has even been officially released to the public speaks to the immense strengths inherent in Windows 8, and is what allows Windows 8's ecosystem to receive a score of 9.
Whether you like Windows 8 or not, support its progress or wish it absolute failure (something I will never understand), you simply cannot deny that it truly defines the potential of a strong platform ecosystem, and that all platforms can learn something from what Microsoft has done, in the same way that Microsoft has learned from its competitors.
Am I just an idiot?
So, what do you guys think? Am I looking at this in a way that makes sense, or am I simply an idiot and apps really are the only aspect that matters? Does Windows 8's ecosystem absolutely suck or is it the single greatest platform ecosystem we've ever seen?