Breaking down the Microsoft and Apple ecosystems

Image Credit: Pinoytutorial

Two massive companies are building out their ecosystems and choosing the one that is right for you will be based on many factors but it is best to take a look at the entire picture before picking your path of travel.

As Microsoft and Apple build out their platforms, it will become more expensive to switch between the two platforms as to get the best use out of your device, you will need the companion products to go with it.

Apple was arguably first out of the gate with this interoperability of its products. We are well aware that Microsoft did have some of these functions well before Apple did but it is all about implementation. A perfect example would be Shadow copy in Windows and Versions in OS X Lion. Microsoft had the idea and implementation first but Apple managed to implement it in a way that is easier to use for the consumer. 

Microsoft and Apple cross paths in many areas as each develop their ecosystems. Apple has had a jumpstart on building its portfolio in terms of interopability but Redmond is pulling out the big guns with Windows 8, Xbox and many other products.

Desktop:

As soon as 10.8 features were unveiled, comparisons of Windows 8 and Mountain Lion (10.8) began popping up, rightfully so. Microsoft has been slowly releasing Windows 8 features via blog posts and with a consumer preview right around the corner, Windows 8 is about to become a mainstream conversation.

Microsoft is betting on its Metro UI and Apple is betting on its blended OS X/iOS interfaces. Microsoft will have its traditional desktop as well as a new start area that is bathed in Metro styling and applications. This metro interface also extends to the tablet and Windows phone with the added benefit is that porting Windows Phone applications to desktop Metro experience is relatively frictionless as seen by this video.

The Microsoft desktop experience will be transitioned heavily with the introduction of the Metro interface and store process as the only applications allowed in the Metro arena will be Microsoft Store applications. Essentially, it will act as its own app environment much like Apple currently exhibits on its iDevices.

Apple has taken a slightly different approach but similar in basis. It is blending its iOS/Desktop experience into one seamless product. Unlike Microsoft that will have a traditional desktop and new metro UI for cross compatibility, Apple is building this all in to the main desktop experience.

It’s a different approach, Microsoft has a hard line currently between Metro/Classic desktop and Apple has blended the lines with applications like Messages that is a free text based service from desktop client to the tablet and phone (we fully expect messages will eventually include free calling as well like Skype).

Apple’s App Store is also a walled-garden experience that is similar in nature to what Microsoft is building in to Windows 8 Metro experience. Apple’s App Store allows for a simple purchase process as well as safeguards to prevent against malicious applications and 10.8 will also introduce a new trusted certificate process for loading applications from third-party sources; Apple is trying to head-off malware as it platforms becomes larger and targeted by malicious individuals.  Microsoft’s store will be more robust in features that allow for trials and returns, something Apple does not currently offer(in most regions) but will also have fewer applications until it can manage to catch Apple.

Both platforms offer a store that contains pre-screened applications and cross compatibility but take on this approach from two different angles. Who is taking the right approach? That’s a bit subjective and it all depends on your needs.  

This is a high level view of both desktop based approaches, certainly Apple and Microsoft offer far more in terms of usability but the division line is simple, Apple is blending iOS/OS X and Microsoft has the classic desktop and the Metro interface.

Cell Phones:

The iPhone and Windows Phone are the yin and yang of the mobile world. In one hand, you have Apple’s iPhone which has been a game changing device and introduced many features to the mobile phone segment and has sold millions upon millions of devices. On the other hand, you have Windows Phone OS, a reboot for Microsoft that delivers a new interface, a wide range of hardware, and Microsoft boasts that it allows you to get things done faster with its “smoked by Windows Phone” campaign.

But, when you remove the branding and the hardware, at the OS level, the devices are relatively similar in functionality. They both surf the web, have app stores, sync with a dedicated software package, allow you to control other vendor specific devices (iPhone can control Apple TV/ Windows Phone can control the Xbox360).

Apple has strict control over updates and applications and is the only vendor who produces a phone with the iOS software. Because of Apple’s tight control, it offers end users assurance that their devices will always been updated in a timely manner provided that are not outdated by Apple’s standards.

Microsoft on the other hand does not produce hardware but licenses its software to vendors such as Nokia, HTC, Samsung and others. Microsoft also has modest control over pushing out updates to its devices and has proven that it can control the carriers to a modest degree but it is not perfect.

The cell phones offer the first step in to the ecosystem world after the desktop, if you buy an iPhone, it’s logical to purchase an Apple TV as a companion device for media sharing and likewise if you have a Windows Phone, it make sense to purchase an Xbox 360 as a companion device so that you have full functionality within your ecosystem.

The division line of ecosystems begins to show its face here as a user with an iMac, Windows Phone and Apple TV, doesn’t reap the full benefits of their devices and a Windows user with an Xbox 360 and an iPhone misses out on some cross compatibility too (although Microsoft did put out an Xbox Live application for the iOS platform).

What it comes down to is that the iPhone is in a tightly locked walled-garden and Microsoft has a walled garden but it’s walls can be overcome by carrier neglect.  The choice comes down to if you only want one option for a phone but has guaranteed updates and carrier support but no ability to differentiate or Microsoft’s approach which is multiple vendors and devices but a modest guarantee of update support provided carriers are not going to inhibit the process.

Both mobile devices have their flaws and strengths; it’s the consumer choice about which device (and ecosystem) fits their needs.

Tablets:

Apple kicked off the tablet frenzy with the iPad even though Microsoft was technically first out of the gate many years before. But, if sales are your measurement stick, the iPad was the start of the tablet revolution and Microsoft once again finds itself playing catch-up.

The iPad runs iOS and Microsoft’s tablets will run either WOA (Windows on ARM) or full-fledged Windows 8. To clarify, and to keep it simple, WOA will be the Metro side of Windows 8 and to get applications you must go through the Microsoft Store; to understand more about this distinction, see this post here.

For this breakdown, we are going to say that Windows 8 tablets are WOA devices as they will most likely cost less and compete head-to-head with the iPad.  With a WOA tablet, you will get a finger friendly Windows 8 that will be identical (from what is known about the UI) to the Windows 8 Metro interface. The idea for Microsoft is to make a WOA device the same experience as the desktop to ease the transition from one platform to the other. Your Windows Store apps will work on both the desktop Metro environment and the WOA device and possibly even on your Windows Phone (this feature is not confirmed yet by Microsoft).

Apple takes the same line as its iPhone, only they produce the hardware and you only have one model to choose with minimal look and feel. Microsoft on the other hand will again work with multiple vendors giving you a wide range of tablets running its OS but the update path is unknown at this point.

Apple has the edge currently in this domain as its tablets are already selling by the millions and peripherals are easy to find. With Microsoft still, at least, a few months away from kicking out WOA tablets, this arena is still in its infancy as some of Microsoft’s puzzle pieces are being built.

Image Credit: Apple.com

Messaging:

Microsoft has two distinct messaging applications in its portfolio, Live Messenger and Skype. Apple has in its corner iMessages which integrates natively in to the iOS platform to auto-detect other iOS users and avoid SMS fees. Apple has an excellent implementation with iMessages on the iOS devices as it is not a separate application and is automatically deployed as opposed to Microsoft’s offerings. But, Microsoft’s products can work on multiple platforms including iOS/Android/Windows and others which provide more avenues for access whereas Apple’s software (excluding iTunes/Safari) can only be used on Apple devices.

Apple’s product is more intuitive than Microsoft’s, but Microsoft’s applications have broader scope; which is better? That’s for you to decide.

Productivity:

There is one area that Apple has ventured in to that it does find itself considerably disadvantaged and that is the productivity software (iWork). Microsoft, in no uncertain terms, dominates the productivity suite with its Office product. Many have long referred to Office as the ace in Microsoft’s sleeve as nearly every business uses it and the majority of consumers have some variation of the platform at home.

Apple’s iWork integrates in to its cloud offering (iCloud) and Microsoft has it’s sharing ability to save directly to the web too via Skydrive.

Apple’s iWork does work well with a small group who don’t need all the features of Office but that being said, it is not nearly as distributed as other Apple products.

Without drilling down on each platform, Microsoft has the ability or inability to make its products work on any of Apple’s devices and as such, gives Microsoft a leg up in this area.

That being said, Microsoft has been delivering its Office product to OS X but has been slow to adopt iOS with only OneNote being deployed. But, there has been a lot of noise around Office coming to the iOS environment and we already know that it will land on WOA and is deployed on Windows Phone.

Unlike other hardware based products, Office is not as engrained in the ecosystems as other items mentioned in this article as it is a killer feature but it is multiplatform at the moment. 

Image Credit: Apple

Cloud:

Cloud is a simple term for offsite storage that can be accessed from anywhere at any time. There are many benefits to this as your data has multiple storage safeguards but at the same time, if your host has connections issues, you can find yourself without any of your documents.

Apple’s iterations of Cloud is known as iCloud and Microsoft’s is branded as SkyDrive and both have their own twist on how Cloud should operate and both will be deeply involved with the next generation of operating systems (Windows 8 and OS X 10.8).

iCloud is currently baked deeply in to iOS 5 and 10.8 that neatly ties all of the platforms together via the cloud. Take a photo on iPhone and its shared everywhere (for better or worse) if you so choose along with contact management, email, even iWork is all distributed with iCloud.

SkyDrive will be baked deep in to Windows 8 as well that will offer seamless integration between cloud and desktop/metro experiences. The integration will also allow for application synchronization, file sharing, and much much more and will compete head to head with Apple’s iCloud.  

Image Credit: Microsoft

Entertainment:

Microsoft and Apple both have their own vehicles for getting content in to the living room; Apple has it’s Apple TV and Microsoft has the Xbox 360.

For Apple, its product is all about getting you to purchase content from iTunes and watch it in your living room or stream music from another Apple device (or iTunes in Windows 7). Put simply, the Apple TV is a content extender and does not offer much in the way of proprietary content.

The Xbox 360 on the other hand is a full-fledged gaming console that has turned in to a media hub for Microsoft. The platform offers you the ability to stream content, purchase content and also play dedicated games for the platform.

Both products have a different approach to the living room but offer similar features with the Microsoft iteration being more robust. But, in the ecosystem environment, if you have mobile devices such as a Windows Phone, you are out of luck interacting with Apple TV. On the other side, an iPhone can not interact directly with the Xbox 360 (the Xbox Live app can not control the Xbox).

We certainly know that many people mix and match iPhone and Xbox lifestyles but Microsoft and Apple both have the ability to lock each other out (which Apple already does on Windows Phone from accessing Apple TV). While not a major issue, its one more step in the ecosystems that shows staying within one vendor turns your device into a more capable piece of hardware.

Lifecycle support:

When you make an investment in to these platforms you expect them to have a useful life of several years. We know that cellphones are typically tied to contracts of at least a year, typically 2 years but sometimes more. For that, Apple is keen to keep its device supported for at least two generations to live out your contract but know that beyond that timeline, in some cases, you will lose features as Apple moves on or your device may not be supported at all.

The same can also be said about Apple’s desktop OS as well as 10.8 will drop support for some of the first Intel based Macs that are now 6 years old. While we could argue that is beyond the useful life, we know that some hold on to their desktop and laptops for far longer than that which could present an issue to some.

Microsoft in the mobile environment is untested as to how long it will support its new OS. For the time being, it would appear to be that 2 years is a safe estimate but until we go through several hardware/software revisions, we will not know this answer and carriers have the ability to block updates that can kill the lifecycle support sooner too.

The desktop environment is a no brainer, Microsoft does an exceptional job at supporting legacy hardware and software and buying in to the Microsoft desktop environment is without worry for support lifecycle.

WOA tablets on the other hand is an unknown variable as to how long the software will be supported as the devices are not currently in the market.

Wrap-Up

Both Microsoft and Apple offer compelling ecosystems that offer a full range of products that interact well with each other. Each platform has their own quirks and products to choose from but ultimately each ecosystem can do the same things as its competitor. What it really comes down to is personal choice. Apple and Microsoft are feverishly working to make your next dollars go in to their bank accounts but at the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with either platform.

 

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65 Comments

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I'm sorry, I think it's a weak article lacking much critical analysis or thinking. It's un-biased, congratulations.

Big difference being of course that OS X has one seamless interface that's being used for everything. While on the other hand you have Windows 8 where you suddenly have to deal with two completely different interfaces with one set of apps running Metro and the other set still running on the classic desktop.

I have no problems with this article. I'm weirdly surprised.

Except this typo: "Microsoft, in no certain terms", should be uncertain

It has taken Microsoft a long time to get an ecosystem but I am glad it is coming together. I wish Zune would have made it but perhaps a Windows Media Player (windows phone without the phone) could take its place. I have an XBOX, several Zunes, Windows 7 devices but Android phones and tablets. If Windows 8 is a game changer, I will feel better about moving to a Windows Phone and tablet.

OSX remains a non event. It is too late to the OS game to matter at this point. So there is no real OSX ecosystem that matters. iOS on the other hand may have a future assuming it can get back from being distroyed by android. At the end of the day, apple gets all the press but just like with the mac, their marketshare in OSX is 100 times smaller than it should be for the amount of press it generates....must be all those fanboys in the journalism and graphics arts field with macs that keep pushing stories up.

neonspark said,
OSX remains a non event. It is too late to the OS game to matter at this point. So there is no real OSX ecosystem that matters. iOS on the other hand may have a future assuming it can get back from being distroyed by android. At the end of the day, apple gets all the press but just like with the mac, their marketshare in OSX is 100 times smaller than it should be for the amount of press it generates....must be all those fanboys in the journalism and graphics arts field with macs that keep pushing stories up.

What? Do you even know what an eco-system is? did you even read the article?

At the moment Apple has the most powerful eco-system.. whether that changes with Windows 8 will remain to be seen. Microsoft's eco-system is just starting to come together and move in on Apple.

And when did Android destroy iOS? Android has a bigger market share because it's available on 100s of devices that hit all price ranges.. That is the ONLY reason.

Uplift said,
And when did Android destroy iOS? Android has a bigger market share because it's available on 100s of devices that hit all price ranges.. That is the ONLY reason.

Many people don't seem to realize that there's no need to have a 80% market share to matter. Apple clearly demonstrated this.

I couldn't change if i wanted to.. All i have is macbook, apple tv, ipads and iphones.. well i could, and probably have a few quid left over, but i don't see microsoft offering anything quite as powerful 'yet'.. airplay, mirroring, icloud, rentals, purchases, and all the rest of it.. everything is just so seamless.

Uplift said,
I couldn't change if i wanted to.. All i have is macbook, apple tv, ipads and iphones.. well i could, and probably have a few quid left over, but i don't see microsoft offering anything quite as powerful 'yet'.. airplay, mirroring, icloud, rentals, purchases, and all the rest of it.. everything is just so seamless.

From the consumer perspective, absolutely. Their ecosystem is well-polished and seamless.

[quote]iPhone which has been a game changing device and introduced many features to the mobile phone segment [quote]I wonder what exactly iPhone 'introduced' except for maybe integrating a phone function into a music player.

I still feel the iPhone = iPod with calling ability just as iPad = iPod with a bigger screen.

Apple has mastered the art of repackaging the same idea and selling it as if it is a world changing new revolution. That is not saying the devices are bad products, just that they are hardly world-changing by themselves but the hordes of sheep falling for it create the market which then makes it happen.

just my few KBs (cts are soooo y2k.. ;^) )

I would say that they iPhone is more than an iPod with the ability to make phone calls. I'll agree that the iPhone was just a repackaging of other ideas when it was introduced, but it was a welcomed repackage because, to me, browsing the internet, listening to music, getting apps, and viewing photos/movies on the smart phones of the time just sucked.

I also disagree with the statement that their stuff isn't world changing. If you look at the smartphone and tablet market after Apple stepped in, it's hard to argue that they haven't influenced it. The market mocks Apple's rumored products, then reacts when they're released and become successful.

And your, "hordes of sheep," comment. The 1990s called...

Besides making calls, what other functionality did the iPhone add? And at the time I used a Nokia N95 which could do most if not anything the original iPhone could and then some. So to say other phones sucked is IMO ignorant at best.

Apple is good at one thing and that is marketing. They do not produce anything ground breaking but are able to market what they have as if it is/was.

Again, I am not saying their products are bad, just very well marketed while not as earth shattering as they want us all to believe.

Great article. Lets have some more well thought out, unbiased, and informative editorials like this. This is probably the best article that Neowin has ever produced (so far), and I hope there are more like these to come. Kudos.

Apple had it limited and overpriced. Microsoft made it affordable and accessible with abundant choice and customizability.

xpclient said,
Apple had it limited and overpriced. Microsoft made it affordable and accessible with abundant choice and customizability.

too much choice with poor quality control by many of its hardware partners.

kaffra said,

too much choice with poor quality control by many of its hardware partners.


See THAT'S the thing. It's the nature of the licensing beast, but it's VERY frustrating.

kaffra said,

too much choice with poor quality control by many of its hardware partners.


MS has an overview of hardware that has gotten the license from microsoft to have the 'made for Vista' or 'made for 7' stickers and info.
you want hardware that's been checked by MS to ensure windows can run it without any issues. MS has a list (to lazy, go google it urself )

"...in some cases, you will loose features as Apple moves on..."

Isn't it suppose to be LOSE? Not loose? Why is this such a common problem with everyone... damn.

loose /lo͞os/
Adjective:
Not firmly or tightly fixed in place; detached or able to be detached: "a loose tooth".

lose /lo͞oz/
Verb:
Be deprived of or cease to have or retain (something): "I've lost my appetite".

shadodemon said,
Shadow copy sucks on Mac!!! You have to an external device for it to work, unless they changed it on Lion or Mountain Lion.

Which I see as a plus. If your Mac crashes, and it's in the shop, you can just plug that drive into another Mac and gogogo! You can also use it to restore any new or old computer to the state that your last Mac was at.

I've been using cloud storage like Dropbox and Google's products like Documents, Calender and such. I'm very interested to see what skydrive has to offer in regards to Cloud storage for Windows 8. I'm aware of what is has now, but I'm not touching it because Google's cloud storage products offer so much more with my devices.

I'd be a dedicated Windows user moreover than I am if Microsoft will support Google in terms of programs and plugins that Google could develop within the Metro UI and Desktop experience.

With Microsoft I like the freedom and I as a casual user can avoid malicious malware and still have the advantages to a huge ecosystem that keens to my personality; by that I mean the interface. There are so many developers creating themes and desktop gadgets and I'm sure coming soon really useful Metro UI apps that give me info in realtime instead of having to open an app to inform myself.

Just a quick tip: The brief on the front page says "singe devices"... I guess in Apple's case, that might be true though!

I agree that moving between platforms will become a lot more difficult especially with the rise of App Stores and many vendors unable to offer cross-grades for those who switch platforms. Personally for me I've thrown my lot in with Apple for a variety of reasons but I think the biggest is that Apple have a long term strategy and they're sticking to it. From the very first Mac OS X release till now the eventual goal is to remove Carbon from Mac OS X and make it a pure Cocoa based operating system from the top down with the additions of technologies from iOS being ported over to OS X Mountain Lion to make developers lives a lot easier.

For me as an end user I like this (the direction of OS X etc) because developers know there is a long term schedule - that there is a general trend towards a direction and it hasn't changed over all (apart from maybe the pace of changed sped up in some releases but slowed down in others). Compare it to Windows where there has been leaps between .NET to WinFX, then Silverlight, the launch of Direct2D/DirectWrite but no effort to moving any OS component to the new technologies thus third parties have little or no confidence it in being a robust real world API etc. Unfortunately every time I see the direction (or there lack of) when it comes to Microsoft it reminds me of the old 'Sun Microsystems' plan: http://static.arstechnica.net/...cle-thumb-640xauto-4590.jpg

Mr Nom Nom's said,
I agree that moving between platforms will become a lot more difficult especially with the rise of App Stores and many vendors unable to offer cross-grades for those who switch platforms. Personally for me I've thrown my lot in with Apple for a variety of reasons but I think the biggest is that Apple have a long term strategy and they're sticking to it. From the very first Mac OS X release till now the eventual goal is to remove Carbon from Mac OS X and make it a pure Cocoa based operating system from the top down with the additions of technologies from iOS being ported over to OS X Mountain Lion to make developers lives a lot easier.

For me as an end user I like this (the direction of OS X etc) because developers know there is a long term schedule - that there is a general trend towards a direction and it hasn't changed over all (apart from maybe the pace of changed sped up in some releases but slowed down in others). Compare it to Windows where there has been leaps between .NET to WinFX, then Silverlight, the launch of Direct2D/DirectWrite but no effort to moving any OS component to the new technologies thus third parties have little or no confidence it in being a robust real world API etc. Unfortunately every time I see the direction (or there lack of) when it comes to Microsoft it reminds me of the old 'Sun Microsystems' plan: http://static.arstechnica.net/...cle-thumb-640xauto-4590.jpg

So Apple moving from one programming platform to another is a good thing (Cocoa -> Carbon), meanwhile Microsoft moving from one programming platform to another is bad?

I don't think you understand what Microsoft's programming platform is. There has been .NET with WinForms that has existed for 10 years (10 years ago last week, I may add - Feb 13). A few years ago, the XAML based UI languages were added. WinFX/WPF, Silverlight (for the web and Windows Phone), and now WinRT are all based upon XAML. XAML development tools were released 5.5 years ago, and people have been using it all along. The .NET framework has developed a very clean API that has 10 years of stabilization behind it. XAML is just a XML declaritave way of creating UI. It is converted into C# or VB code which then talks to libraries that generate the UI.

WinRT adds additional capabilities to it, such as JavaScript and HTML binding (with a rendering engine that has evolved over 17 years, hardly unstable), but the core libraries are still there. Code written in C#, VB, Managed C++, and other languages still work with WinRT. All the work that the Microsoft platforms are converging on XAML. Yes, there are some differences between them, for example, there are features in WPF that are not supported in WinRT, but those differences are because of platform differences. For example, there is the ability to modify the glass frame around a WPF app, but that is not necessary in WinRT. The platform is also converging, Apple has the desktop libraries and mobile libraries, with differences in what the iPad supports and what the iPhone supports. The iPad, for example, supports the PopoverController while the iPhone does not (though, this can be compared to the difference I mentioned with the gladd frame support in WPF, however). And the mobile libraries are different than the desktop libraries on the Apple platforms (XML parsing is different on the Mac and iOS, as one example).

While Apple has focused on bringing together the iPhone and iPad similar development experience, they have a seperate one for OS X. Microsoft has decided to keep the development experience the same for desktop and tablet, with a slightly different one for the Phone - and there has been talk that Windows Phone 8 will have the same environment on the phone as Windows8. So while you may think that Microsoft is going in many directions, I see it converging around XAML and managed code using a technology that has been around for a while.

And don't forget, the iPhone was once an untested developer platform with a very immature API.

In the MS fan department I see it like this. Microsoft has finally learned a lesson that whatever "IT" is "IT" needs to be idiot proof. Not saying idiots flock to Apple but....

On the left we have XBOX, an easy to use device that you can't screw up. On the right we have WinPho, and even easier device to use, that you can't screw up. In the middle we WILL have Windows 8.

On the Metro side we will have the last piece of the easy to use MS puzzle. And with the lack of "chrome" and confusing buttons everywhere, it is ridiculously easy to use, however it does need to have more "discoverable" features. Hopefully they took care of that in the next version coming up.

Lastly we have the need to stay in line with big business and even us small business guys and consumers that don't want to see the Desktop go away. They have that covered but there will be a DOS to Windows like cosmic shift coming that people will need to just plain deal with.

I look foward to giving Apple the competition that they have been missing on their convertible cruise down this hiway. But mostly I look foward to the next gen of cool devices that will cost MUCH less than the I-Ware.

Apple has the consumer market because the Pad and Phone are so easy to use. But anyone that thinks that the Mac OS is any easier to use, has only been using one system longer than the other. Both are extremly stable, and user friendly and Windows simply is NOT plagued by the instablility and malware issues that it once had. End of story. It's still a big fat target, but I fix them for a living, and I just don't get those calls in NEARLY the #'s I once did. Almost negligible at this point.

I can't WAIT to own a thin, light, laptop, with a touch screen and a keyboard. Every time I try to use an IPAD I go right back to my laptop and the only thing I miss is the abilty to touch in certain spots and type in others, without the stupid thing slipping and sliding all over the place. I want it on my LAP.

Regarding iMessage, I think the implementation is brilliant. But it often glitches for me when sending iMessages to other phone users (iPhone 4, latest iOS updates). The message equivalent of "double posting" happens; the iMessage will fail (weak WiFi, etc.) and will send it as a text, but the recipient will receive two texts (one marked as iMessage and the other as text message). This is very frustrating and happens once every day or two. Many friends/colleagues have shared this same experience with me. Anyone else have these issues?

Apple's product is more intuitive than Microsoft's, but Microsoft's applications have broader scope; which is better? That's for you to decide.

How is it more intuitive? WP7s messaging hub automatically supports FB / MSN (and eventually Skype I'm guessing), and you can choose from which account to send a message (or let it automatically do it for you). So they're exactly the same in that aspect and as you pointed out, iMessages only works on iOS and OS X. MSN/FB/Skype works on iOS, Android, Windows, OS X, Linux, etc etc etc.

What I do hope though is Microsoft makes an API for the messaging hub. That way other services like IM+ Beep, Whatsapp, AIM etc can all link in and you could have a central place for all your contacts / messages.

/- Razorfold said,

How is it more intuitive? WP7s messaging hub automatically supports FB / MSN (and eventually Skype I'm guessing), and you can choose from which account to send a message (or let it automatically do it for you). So they're exactly the same in that aspect and as you pointed out, iMessages only works on iOS and OS X. MSN/FB/Skype works on iOS, Android, Windows, OS X, Linux, etc etc etc.

What I do hope though is Microsoft makes an API for the messaging hub. That way other services like IM+ Beep, Whatsapp, AIM etc can all link in and you could have a central place for all your contacts / messages.

I agree with the API idea, that would be awsome! Also extend the API of pictures hub etc so that 3rd party software is more easilly integrated (as in not having to wait for a version update to include other services).

Wooo! In before the crazy fanboys!

In all seriousness, it's great to see an article objectively comparing both ecosystems. +1 for smart journalism.

Hopefully we can have some intelligent discussions about both without the "OMG teh applez are shiny and overpriced toys" and the "Windows 8 is ugly ew metro".

Isn't iMessage and MS built-in Message hub functionally the same?

If another user with WP7 has a Windows Live Messenger or Facebook account, then the messaging program will automatically chooses those instead of SMS. If it can't send via WLM or FB, then it defaults to SMS. Essentially, this is the same as iMessage. Am I missing something?

Plus, it seems the Messaging hub would be more advantageous because anyone with WLM or FB can communicate, but iMessage requires an iPhone, iPad, or OS X Mountain Lion (basically, only the Apple ecosystem).

I think for the first time, microsoft is really pushing on apple's turf or trying to. They want to get the not so tech inclined users to use their product which is good news for everyone.

fsX said,
2012 is the year of Linux.

Yeah. They all finally realize that it doesn't have a chance and give up desktop and focus on toasters.

Linux toasters

Great so now I'll have to compile a wheat toast kernel when I feel the need to make some wheat toast. And then again for sour-bread, rye, white etc etc

(and just in case you didn't realize, I was being utterly sarcastic)

Cøi said,

*Desktop Linux!! it has all servers and stuff already!!1!11 Linux iz da best

Who give a **** about servers, man ? Look on Android. ICS failed to stop fragmentation and Google once again wan't to split to tablets and phones with Android 5 just like with Android 3. People are tired of this ****. You may not see this propably thru next 2 years but Android sales on tablets shows exactly that people got the lesson from smartphones and don't wan't this shity fragmentation there.

After desktop linux and Android people know exactly that OpenSource is failure. Some may like it, but most prefer something that is consistent.

mantragora said,
f**k, why there is no option to edit your own message ?

The Edit button is only available before you reload the page
Edit: Ok that was wrong, but it does dissappear after a while

Cøi said,

The Edit button is only available before you reload the page
Edit: Ok that was wrong, but it does dissappear after a while

Its also hard to find and if you open the reply link in a new tab it'll add your comment to the end of the comments and instead of replying. I do this a lot.

War war and war.... it's all neowin can now offer... war between "factions". News about browsers marketshare, smartphone marketshare, OS marketshare ect... bah

Did you even read this? I made a considerable effort to be unbiased and showed no sway towards either platform. Thanks for the assumption!

Edited by bdsams, Feb 20 2012, 3:30am :

fenderMarky said,
War war and war.... it's all neowin can now offer... war between "factions". News about browsers marketshare, smartphone marketshare, OS marketshare ect... bah

I didn't notice any flame bait within the article. Cards were laid on the table very nicely, leaving decisions to be made by the reader.

fenderMarky said,
War war and war.... it's all neowin can now offer... war between "factions". News about browsers marketshare, smartphone marketshare, OS marketshare ect... bah

This was a very unbiased article and I even itched for some prejudice.

fenderMarky said,
War war and war.... it's all neowin can now offer... war between "factions". News about browsers marketshare, smartphone marketshare, OS marketshare ect... bah

Typical internet denizen. . .

Good job on the article bdsams

bdsams said,
Did you even read this? I made a considerable effort to be unbiased and showed no sway towards either platform. Thanks for the assumption!

Doesn't matter. War never changes. /s

fenderMarky said,
War war and war.... it's all neowin can now offer... war between "factions". News about browsers marketshare, smartphone marketshare, OS marketshare ect... bah

There is no war. Google already won people. Go home, party's over. Android will take the market by essentially becoming the mobile variant of what Microsoft was back in the 80s/90s. Apple in time will become as irrelevant as they always have been by pricing themselves out of the market... the iOS devices will just become the new Macintosh.

whoa, what a ton of content to muse over, lots to consider moving forward when making a simple purchase one thing to point out is the interoperability between the platforms could change if Apple or Microsoft want to do it.

Edited by gregalto, Feb 19 2012, 10:53pm :