Who would’ve thunk — Microsoft and Apple fundamentally disagree about the future? Whereas Redmond’s Chairman Bill Gates loves Window 8 and its unified desktop + mobile approach, Cupertino CEO Tim Cook sees the Mac and iPad continuing as distinctly separate. It’s Microsoft vs Apple now and forever.

One of the less remarked sound bites Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered in his sit down with BusinessWeek is that, despite a lot of feverish rumors, the Mac and iPhone are not converging toward a single operating system.

“Customers want iOS and Mac OS X to work together seamlessly, not to be the same, but to work together seamlessly,” said Cook.

Back in October, Chairman Bill Gates gushed over the rightness of Microsoft’s desktop-mobile unification approach in Windows 8.

“It takes Windows into the world of touch, low-power devices,” said Gates, “really giving people the best of what people think of the tablet type experience and the PC experience — it’s a great upgrade…”

To date, Microsoft’s customers haven’t taken to Windows 8 and developers have generally shunned Windows Surface. All the while, Apple sales continue skyward and there’s no question who developers prefer to code for.

Nevertheless, Redmond has always been about the long game. So, has Apple already won or will Microsoft creep up for behind to steal the lead again?

Inquiring minds want to know…

via LowEndMac, images Hang the Bankers and Huff Po

  1. Microsoft does not have a “unified” operating system. It actually has 3 separate, incompatible operating systems that just look similar superficially.

    Windows 7/8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone are different from each other.

    You can’t run Windows 7/8 applications on Windows RT or on Windows Phone.

    You can’t run Windows Phone applications on Windows 7/8 or on Windows RT.

    Microsoft has made the 3 different operating systems look similar (to an extent) in order to give the impression that they are all one unified operating system… which they are not. But to do this, Microsoft has literally stuck the Windows Phone (formerly Zune) UI onto the front of the Windows 7 UI, and called it Windows 8. Unfortunately, having two completely different UIs with different interactivity, makes using both desktop PCs and mobile computers more complicated and less efficient.

    Microsoft’s approach is less “unified” than Apple’s. Apple only has 2 different operating systems (OS X for desktops and notebooks, and iOS for phones and tablets) compared to Microsoft’s 3 different operating systems.

  2. That’s not entirely accurate. You can run the apps from the store on RT and 8. These apps require the same code. Devs need to slightly tweak their apps for WP8.
    If you’re talking legacy (.exe) application, then you’re somewhat wrong again. Windows 8 and Surface Pro can run those just like all Windows OSs have in the past.
    So basically what I’m saying is, legacy application (.exe) are developed as the always were and will work on desktop and Surface Pro.
    Store apps are written specifically for either Windows Phone, or . Only 2 platforms to write for, and the conversion form one to the other is made very simple for devs.

    I hope that made sense to you.

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