Friday, I was at the Windows 8 dev camp in Microsoft's French office.
I went because I was looking for an answer to this question : why does Microsoft made something like Windows 8 ?
I think I came back with an answer : they're trying to mix PC, tablet and mobile.
When I say to mix I mean to keep the same UX on both.
I like this idea.
I also like the fact they're working with manufacturers so they move this idea to hardware : you can now buy TRUE tablets, not only gadget like the ipad.
So what ? Tablet PC isn't a new thing.
Yes, of course. But this time, it's tablet with the power of a pc, not a pc with a touch screen, a device with OS made for touch screen (and keyboard/mouse) not touch adapted to OS.
We talk here of what could be called Global User eXperience.
Apple made a (really good) work to give user a great experience on macbook, they also made the same kind of great work on ux with iThing but they didn't think global : MacOSX is not iOS and iOS isn't MacOSX.
For Google, they missed to make GoogleOS another global success. It's a shame because they won't be able to fight with the same weapons.
So I think Microsoft have now the capabilities to fight hard with Android.
Apple will soon fall because hype won't be enought on the coming years.
Don't take it wrong, I'm not saying Microsoft will be the next winner.
I said that, at this point, we have 2 competitors.
The winner isn't known yet and challengers could (re)appear to trouble the game.
Google fights with an messy OS available on a lot of devices including tablet, phone, notebook and TV but not PC in work office.
Microsoft fights with a OS for dummy, hiding a true OS you can switch to when needed, available on tablet, phone, notebook and PC but not TV.
So who is the leader ?
Google could clean their os to be as simple as iOS while Microsoft could move to TV (with the help of the next xbox ? Xbox and TV on a same device ?).
I see here a war between home (android) and office (windows).
It's a challenge because "basic" home consumers changed the world some times ago buying a mass of iOS devices, and killing RIM and Symbian.
I can't wait to see who will move first !
A very interesting year is coming and, yes, you have to count now with Windows Phone 8.