In 2016, Microsoft achieved OneCore, a unified platform kernel which is designed to provide a cohesive Windows experience across form factors. Out of your desktop contexts of Surface Laptop, Surface Studio or Surface Pro (in laptop mode), to augmented reality with HoloLens at the tablet modes of Surface Pro and Surface Go Microsoft is striving to produce Windows 10 one OS for any. Conceptually the idea is fantastic.
The execution, however, fails to get results due to limited developer support, a poor app ecosystem and an underdeveloped touch urinary incontinence which all creates a less than ideal tablet experience. Windows 10 with numerous legacy desktop apps and multiple input modalities is unmatched for productivity. Still, Apple, Google, and Samsung boast superior tablet experiences even more robust app ecosystems. In addition to quests to earn their productivity options more competitive is very slowly narrowing Microsoft's entrenched lead.
Ironically, this route to challenging Microsoft's productivity forte was paved by strong touch and ever-evolving tablet experiences. Furthermore, Samsung's Infinity Flex Display that expands a smartphone onto a 7.3-inch tablet emphasizes an evolving touch experience that has been allowing rivals to succeed in a hybrid phone-tablet device category. This accomplishment, also bolstered via strong tablet UI and ecosystem, beats Microsoft's long-rumored and somewhat similar Surface Andromeda project to push.
An evolved touch and tablet experience has proven critical to Microsoft's rivals advancing their productivity computing strategies and in addition bringing ambitious new form factors to distribute. Microsoft needs to fix its Windows 10 Tablet Mode and get it fast.
Windows diminishing impact
As iPad Pro, Chrome OS, web-based productivity suites and smartphones remain to evolve, the part of powerful Windows desktops becomes less important for many users. Windows PC alternatives are increasingly meeting users computing needs. Unfortunately for Microsoft, this reality highlights the dominant role of touch-centric mobile os like Android and iOS and fewer powerful desktop OSes like Chrome OS from the everyday lives of users.
These alternative platforms and ecosystems accommodate specific productivity tasks while remaining closely bound to a touch-centric mobile UI. Many folks become more believing that Windows' desktop-centric, touch-unfriendly OS is overkill for the majority of computing activities. This "reassures" users that touch-centric UIs usually relevant for a lot of of their present and future needs. Besides it bolsters user investment in these platforms and ecosystems when they become more productivity-centric and made aware of users at younger ages (i.e. school).
Microsoft is improving its productivity tools like To Do, Microsoft Teams, Office 365, updates to Windows 10 as well as. In relation to much-needed improvements to Windows 10 Tablet Mode, however, Microsoft stays falling short. Our deep-dive in the next Windows 10 update 19H1 reveals that Microsoft has not moved the needle the least bit toward improving Windows 10 tablet mode. That's not so good for Microsoft's present and future touch-centric computing investments.
Microsoft is hiding its tablet behind productivity
Microsoft recently launched Surface Go as "a Surface for everyone", because it's a Surface Pro in you will discover way excepting its smaller size. Unlike Surface Pro's "most versatile laptop" productivity positioning Surface Go is defined as a leisure tablet.
Microsoft is pushing Surface Go to be the Surface that will be always together with for watching videos, reading music and surfing the net. This tablet focus seems bold, brave or little using touch considering Windows 10's comparatively poor tablet ecosystem and experience.
Perhaps Microsoft's marketing deal with watching videos, web surfing and learning music is held by data since most used tablet activities. If you have perhaps that emboldened Microsoft to push a tablet, sustained by its productivity messaging, against better tablets that are as good at productivity. Circumstance, Microsoft is hiding its tablet weakness behind its productivity forte with Surface Go and Surface Pro while not doing anything to improve its touch-centric tablet experience.
For Samsung, Google and Apple the beat continues on
Meanwhile, Samsung is advancing its mobile computing strategy into a hybrid phone-tablet via its Infinity Flex Display maintained its successful touch UI and ecosystem. Samsung's One UI supplements the event.
And Google's recently announced native Android support for flexible displays gives the foundation for touch-centric, context conforming mobile computing:
We just announced support for foldables at #AndroidDevSummit, a replacement form factor coming make a point from Android partners.
Android apps run seamlessly for the device folds, achieving this form factor's chief feature: screen continuity. pic.twitter.com/NAfOmCOY26 - Android Developers (@AndroidDev) November 7, 2018
Furthermore, Apple is rumored to be really working on a folding phone concept which regardless of whether launches will also take advantage of a more mature touch UI and mobile ecosystem. Microsoft is falling way behind here.
With out using a mature tablet mode Microsoft:
Is slowly losing ground to productivity scenarios fueled by less powerful mobile OSes. Does not supply competitive slate tablet experience. Is being beaten to publicize with hybrid mobile form factors that bridge phone and tablet categories.
Will Windows Core OS fix things … in 2012?
Microsoft's Windows CoreOS is rumored like a "more" modular form of Windows and it can be tailored by OEMs to precise devices for particular experiences. CShell is known as a UI that's going to provide a seamless experience between device states.
Perhaps Microsoft is reserving advances in Windows 10 tablet mode for improvements that are planned for Windows 10 CoreOS in 2019. If yes that could help the UI experience. Microsoft still will need to build an app ecosystem, likely through PWAs, Project Centennial and developer support to round out the Windows 10 tablet experience to coincide with Windows CoreOS and ideally a Surface Andromeda 3-in-1 (phone-tablet-PC) .
That take a hostile commitment to its traveling with a laptop touch experiences, however, that Microsoft has yet to prove it actually has.