Let me start by saying I am not an Apple zealot. My purchasing decisons are based on acquiring what I believe is the best technology for what I need to do at work and home. Just to tell you something about myself. I currently own an iPhone 4S but my previous phones have been an LG Optimus Quantum (Windows 7) and a Samsung Galaxy S (Android). I currently use a MacBook Pro 15″ but have used a Dell 5150 and a Lenovo T41 both running Windows XP. Lastly, I’ve used a Sony Vaio SZ running Ubuntu. I’ve used all laptops for Java development. My desktop is a Gateway mini-tower running Windows 8. I also own an iPad but have used a Blackberry Playbook as my main tablet. At home, my server, if you can call it that, is a Sheevaplug running Debian. It was my attempt to be green and to reduce my environmental footprint.
This year, with the release of Windows 8, I was pretty interested to see all the new laptops that would be coming out. Every company is coming out with “ultrabooks”. However, I was interested in seeing the ones that differentiate themselves from the pack. Three laptops that caught my attention were the Asus Taichi 11″, Lenovo YogaPad 13″, and the XPS 12 Convertible Touch. Now, I’m not going to provide a product review of each laptop simply because I haven’t actually tried out any of these laptops. The reason these three laptops caught my interest was because all three try to be both a Iaptop and a tablet. I like the innovative idea of a Taichi having duo screens. The Lenovo YogaPad screen has its special 360 degree hinge. Finally, the XPS 12 Convertible Touch has a flip screen. However, in the end, I realized none of this really matters.
Now, I admit I like Windows 8. That’s right! Even though I currently use Mac OS X and iOS, I do like Windows 8. I like its new approach to using tiles and particularily live tiles. Microsoft is clearly trying to reinvent itself to focus on the consumer instead of primarily business customers. Windows 8 is an approach at creating an ecosystem which encompasses both laptop, tablet, and phone. It’s all about the ecosystem.
What is my ecosystem? It’s clearly Apple based. I value the importance of using iCloud to sync my documents, pictures, and music across multiple devices. Windows 8 users will also get similar benefits using a phone, tablet, and laptop in Microsoft’s ecosystem. Android is the most popular mobile OS and exists in the Google ecosystem. However, Google’s desktop offering is Chrome OS which is not making much traction in the consumer market.
What does this all mean? Hardware should not be the primary consideration for purchasing decisions. You should consider what your ecosystem is and what technology supports it. In the end, technology is about an ecosystem which supports your work and lifestyle.
Before I forget, one other reason for purchasing the MacBook Air 11″ is simply weight. I commute to work everyday and my MacBook Pro 15″ feels heavier everyday. Call me weak or just old. Either way, I’m going to be happy using a “ligher” tool for my ecosystem.