Android Notebooks and Mac OS XI: The Downfall of Windows?
In the past few days reports have surfaced that Intel is beginning to push OEMs to Android based notebooks rather than Windows based. This is following lacklustre PC sales following the launch of Windows 8.
If this does happen, it could present a considerable threat to the future of Windows on consumer PCs. For some time, consumers have shown a preference for simple and mobile systems such as iOS and Android as opposed to Windows which is comparatively clunky and bogged down by legacy features. This could make Google's offer of a simple and easy to use, "no frills" operating system quite appealing to consumers. Furthermore, the general disapproval of the new Modern UI among consumers gives them just one more reason to look at alternative operating systems.
Android isn't the only potential threat to Microsoft's desktop dominance. I can also see Apple making a move for Microsoft's territory. Since the launch of Mac OS X Lion back in 2011, Apple has gradually been moving OS X from the traditional desktop paradigm to mobile with annual releases. Consumers have responded far more positively to these changes in OS X than to the ones in Windows 8.
Users have responded better to OS X "iOS-ified" apps (above) than Microsoft's Metro apps (below)
Over the next few years, I see Apple continuing to move Mac OS to a more iOS-ified version of the systen (lets call it Mac OS XI for now), perhaps with a hidden file system, more prominent App Store and removal of unneeded legacy features. Combined with lower cost MacBook Airs (starting at $999 for 13", $840 for 11"), Apple's offer of a simpler operating system that is unhampered by legacy features (unlike Windows) an attractive sales pitch.