Tablets

Which is the superior mobile OS: iOS, Android, or Windows 8?

Donovan Colbert believes that any of the three mobile OS platforms could be best for you, depending on your needs. Do you agree?

In a recent post on TechRepublic, blogger Seb Janeck admonished mobile platform pundits for their incessant rivalry over which mobile OS platform is the best. Actually, comparing Android to iOS to Windows 8 (RT or Pro) is really missing the forest for the trees.

The fact is that all three of these OS platforms have their strengths and weaknesses. Depending on what you're already using and what you want to get out of your computing experience, any one of these three choices may be the superior option. Understanding your own goals and each platform will deliver the most positive experience possible. Failing to understand this will lead to disappointment. Fortunately, I'm here to try and help you make sense of the options available.

iOS

Let's start with Apple's mobile platform. By far and away the most polished, prestigious, and arguably popular mobile OS platform, there's no doubt that Apple started the modern post-PC era. There's a lot to love about iOS -- it's reliable, the hardware is gorgeous and cutting-edge, and it has the largest library of content and applications. Honestly, it's the perfect content consumption device for end-users who simply want to absorb and aren't interested in doing a lot of creation.

I'm not sure why so many technology bloggers want to paint the iPad as a productivity platform. Of the three platforms, iOS is the weakest in content creation and productivity. iOS is aimed squarely at average consumer markets and it's hugely successful in reaching this group. The iPad is so simple that toddlers and chimps can pick it up and understand it. I like to tease about this, but that's the key to its success. It's an appliance designed to empower nearly anyone to enjoy the benefits of digital devices.

However, having an easy device comes with sacrifices, and the biggest one is that iOS is the least suited for professional use. Sure, there are exceptions. Some niche industries, most notable the medical and music industries, embrace the iPad and drive a lot of app designs. Ultimately, I think that a more powerful and flexible mobile OS platform will become equal to or exceed iOS even in those fields -- but for now, Apple enjoys a lead. Otherwise, if you're not in one of those very narrow niches, iOS is only the best choice if you want a machine primarily for consumer applications with little or no professional productivity in mind.

Android

I believe that not only is Android the most popular smartphone OS, but it's also now positioned to be the dominant tablet and hybrid OS by the middle of 2013. It's no wonder, because Android is (in many ways) the "Windows" of mobile OS platforms. With multiple device manufacturers competing on price, quality, features and other positions, Android devices offer a flexibility that iOS cannot match. There's something for every budget, goal, and desire among Android-based devices.

Android is the middle ground. With many of the features (and liabilities) of a true mobile OS, Google has tried to walk a line in offering the same kind of intuitive, light-weight mobile experience as iOS but with the power and flexibility of a traditional Windows desktop OS. They've done a pretty good job at this, which is reflected in the popularity of this platform.

However, the process has not been without compromise. In making a more flexible and powerful platform that supports more devices, Android has become less of a consumer appliance and more of a power user's playground. While that may sound good to a lot of potential users, it means that Android is not as stable, predictable, or well designed as iOS. Things are just a little less polished.

At the same time, for true power users, Android falls just short of being able to deliver a completely satisfying experience. I've been using Android daily for several years, chasing a replacement for my Windows laptop. Part of my shock that iOS users are chasing this goal is my disappointment with Android in this regard. I can leave the PC notebook at home for trips and travel, but I've had to adjust and learn "work-around" methods that include saving the heavy lifting for a real PC. For some users, this is good enough. If you want a little more power on the road but are still okay with needing a PC to finish things up when you return, Android may be a good solution for you.

Windows 8

Microsoft has positioned themselves to compete with the encroachment of mobile OS platforms on the traditional PC, but Windows 8 is a complex platform in all its myriad forms. Windows delivers much of the mobile OS platform nearly as well as the previously mentioned platforms, but it retains a distinct focus on corporate business productivity as its primary role. Even the ARM-based Windows RT is aimed at users who are strongly invested in Microsoft's business platforms. If you want the strongest integration with Windows domains, Exchange, Office, and Microsoft's cloud and intranet solutions, Windows 8 is simply worlds ahead of either iOS or Android. The business-oriented apps are also far more advanced for enterprise-oriented goals, content creation, and organization.

The sacrifice here is that Windows 8 reflects Microsoft's philosophy on enabling powerful business applications that reward a steep learning curve with tremendous competitive advantage. This is the least intuitive touch-screen platform, the social integration is the most uneven, and the apps and consumer content are the sparsest (at least on the mobile side of the OS). You've also got some platform fracturing that can be confusing.

Windows RT is aimed at people who want a very lightweight device that offers a lot of the hardware features of competitive tablets, with a somewhat crippled version of Microsoft's "Classic" Windows mode. The crippled Classic mode still offers the best corporate productivity platform of any mobile tablet device in this class for professionals in Microsoft shops.

Windows Pro devices are really just full-fledged traditional PCs with a touch-oriented GUI. They can do everything a PC can do, but they offer mobile, touch-oriented features too. These devices do not generally deliver the same true instant-on and true 8+ hour battery life as mobile OS platforms, nor the quiet fanless operation. But if you're a heavy professional content creator in a Microsoft business and you want a device that offers many benefits of touch-screen mobile devices, there may be no better choice for you.

Remember, there's no platform that's truly superior to the others in this roundup. They all have benefits and compromises, so you need to select the platform that appeals the most to you. Depending on your needs and tastes, however, you might end up picking a platform that isn't the best solution for you.

Which device platform best fits your needs? Let us hear your questions and feedback in the discussion thread below.

About

Donovan Colbert has over 16 years of experience in the IT Industry. He's worked in help-desk, enterprise software support, systems administration and engineering, IT management, and is a regular contributor for TechRepublic. Currently, his profession...

185 comments
toptop72
toptop72

I like android cell phones because it has a wide range of free applications, but android system developed very fast and updates take too long to be available <a href="http://www.cellularphonesforseniors.net"> Cell Phones for Seniors</a>

ashu1210
ashu1210

In my point of view i like windows 8 because the features is awesome and always come up with latest updates!

Ankita1133
Ankita1133

Thanks for comparison among all the mobile OS platform. Now I correctly choose the platform best suited for professional use.http://www.linkites.com developing applications for all the 3 OS platform as per the market user demands

Sergio.Kovalli
Sergio.Kovalli

I love computers, and all operating systems.

Each of them in one way or another may be more or less useful, depending on the location of various media (media) and different environment to work on different content.


You are absolutely right when they say that there is some better operating system. Thank you for an objective view. 

I think the best operating system is one that every man for himself to write individually.

MrRaven
MrRaven

what I am getting from this?? .. if your a windows PC  fan - you are more comfortable with windows mobile os, same with apple - those of us who are sick of both go with android, it is really as simple as that.

we can all argue till we are blue in the face, but the fact is that we use what we are comfortable with - and serves our particular needs. All of these products are good.. but just as in the computer market, the fight continues.

soybean765
soybean765

i am a foreigner.my friend was asking me to illustrate your article to him.But i was confused at the word "takeaway" .This word is at the begining of the article .can you illustrate it to me ?is it a name or means introduce ?Thank you !I am looking forward to your reply

eclecsis
eclecsis

Would you please help me on the above mentioned subject?

bkob024
bkob024

Ive been using all three of these OS for a long time now (windows 8 since it came out and since why in the early days of android and iOS). I totally agree with the post that none of these OS are gonna be better than the other since theyre all geared toward curtain markets. iOS does well because well, first off its apple, and we all know so many people have a huge hard on for anything for apple. They definity have their thing going for them with the nice flashy devices the constant updates, although i dont like it since i jailbreak any ipod/iphone right away since you can do so much more with it that way and the newest update usually takes a while to crack. I know the majority of iOS users dont do any of that but it feels so naked to me since i am a die hard android development fan. I dont like not being able to customize and make my device look unique. iOS is also closed sourced along with Windows and that means theres no way to have a development side of those OSs. iOS is so popular because it appeals to the majority, that being people who just want a really nice media consumption device. Its been amazing how well they do even when their devices dont have a LOT of the features out there on Android phones. I feel like Apple does that on purpose, like they totally could have made the iPhone 4S have 4G but it took them like a year to have that. But thats how phone companies get you, by releasing new features. Ive never seen anything major come from an iOS update either, just minor bugs and fixes otherwise it still looks like iOS did back at 3.0 with not a whole lot more options. Android has come from the very bottom and continually expanded and changed to better suit this technologically inclined age. Android 2.3 gingerbread is miles away from where they are now with 4.2.2, and googles suppose to announce Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie in May at Google I/O. before we know it android will pass iOS up with its updates. Notably though for android only 20% or so of all android users actually have the latest version most are stuck at 2.3.4 since those devices arent compatible with the new versions since android also has tons of low end devices as well as the higher end ones, it wasnt til lately that i noticed the phone manufacturers partnered with android are really starting to put out super high end devices that actually work well can show off what android can do, i think that a big part of that is that Google bought out android and they have the vision and resources to take it to unseen hights, i cant wait to see whats out in a year when i get my upgrade OOoooooo i get excited just thinking about how badass phones will have gotten by then. I hear from people the time that they hate android cause the phones are cheap and dont work right . you get what you pay for if you ask me, i use to have prepaid since its cheaper than contract but the trade off was that the phones that you could get ranged from barely functional to alright but super expensive. I had 5 diffrent HTC desire 4G on boost mobile within the first month i bought the first phone, on all of them the screen would go out in the middle and they would constantly hang up on people or call people on it own. I got rid of that phone real quick since it cost me 300$. I ended up with my Galaxy Nexus on verizon and im satisfied. You pay more on contract but at least my phone works, what good is a phone if it doesnt work right as a phone? I really think that the companies that make the prepaid phones make them cheaper on purpose so you have to constantly fuss with getting a phone that works and end up spending more money anyways. The only problems i have with my phone are just glitches that happen when i have a custom Rom and start changing to many things. Ok now windows is great for a mobile OS since its already been firmly established and porting it over to be portable was probably better and easier than redesigning a new windows mobile OS. I like Windows 8 on portable devices since you can have all the power of a laptop/netbook but the functionality of a tablet, Windows 8 was designed to be mobile and be on touch devices so its a bit different when using just a mouse since you cant move the mouse as fast or accurately as your finger. I also have a problem with the fact that they changed a lot of things about windows to the point where doing my development stuff is way way more difficult, thats because since its a mobile OS now they had to put in all sorts of safeguards so that less knowledgeable folks dont completely brick their device but its a huge pain in the ass to get around them since you have to do a special restart and disable those settings then wait for it to restart again to have it acknowledge the change, My computer takes forever to get off the initial screen when booting so that makes it even worse, very tedious work figuring out the intricacies of Windows 8, it definatly has a steap learning curve and there are almost no tutorials built in to teach people how things work now without the old start bar and hybrid functions. I can see why so many people are having a hard time liking it when they cant figure it out and have no help (although so many people overlook the fact that google is amazingly helpful when trying to learn something.) I always hear " oh man how did you figure that out?" and i always reply "Um, i googled it, first thing that popped up told me what to do." I learned all of the android development stuff from google and even an idiot can follow instuctions right from a website explaining all the ins and outs, the dos and do-nots. Even if you mess up you can always get back to stock and start over. WIth ALL of that being said I will just say that all three OSs have their merits and their problems. All of them appeal to their respective markets. Apple has the general user market, android appeals to the more experienced people while also having the option of exploring even more things like rooting and custom roms, windows is going to appeal to business people and mobile device users who want to maintain a user interface theyre familiar with and windows 8 is great for multitasking, besides the galaxy note line for android, windows 8 is the only other OS that can truely multitask and not just keep moving app to the backburner for easy access later, I still forget to use the recent app button on my phone instead i take that longer route, but thats usualy only a difference of one or two taps. I love a challenge though and like to expand my devices to do things that they weren't designed with like Themeing your UI, and changing fonts and icons on the status bar . Thats why i stick with android since all of that is impossible on the other two OSs, you cant even easily side load apps onto iOS or Windows, android just has a setting that you can disable to install apps from your storage, that allows for cracked apps and all sorts of other fun stuff, at least fun for me, other people just tend to look at me weird with all my smart talk and nerdyness and then ask me if i can do it to their phone, thats not a good isea to do though if you dont know how custom roms work and how to install them correctly cause you would have to bug me to fix it if anything goes wrong. Developing and Rom testing are my hobbies in my spare time, if it wasnt for what i know about development i would have had to wait for the newest update on my phone since verizon takes 4 extra months to release the new update for my phone, thanks to the Cyanogenmod Team and Google AOSP (android open source project) i had android 4.2 before most other people with my phone, i cant wait to see what 5 has for features.

jdawg011
jdawg011

These are hard to find. Although RIM (BlackBerry) certainly deserves some credit for starting the "modern post-PC era" along with Apple.

rboisjoly
rboisjoly

Thanks for the article. I cannot wonder though where some of this information comes from. You state that iOS is a less capable platform for creating content, but I'm wondering how the others are more capable, especially for students and teachers who need to create rich-media using tools like movie editing tools, podcasting tools, presentations, spreadsheets and such. The iPad has both the more traditional Office-like tools like Office HD, DocumentsToGo and such, which offer some options, but also the more focused and rich Pages, Numbers and Keynote, and not ignoring iMovie, Pinnacle Studio, GarageBand and the rest of the very capable audio, video and explanation-creating software. Tools like iStopMotion and Animation Studio and so many more which offer all sorts of creativity to create some pretty amazing documents. Sure, maybe not quite tied to the business world, but I find it very difficult to create this level of document on other platforms. It sure is not perfect, but I find it would at least require some sort of support of your claims, I'd be very happy to learn more. There are lots of unsupported claims which seem like they are obvious, but which others contradict. Is Android really taking over the tablet market in user-base or is it simply distribution before sales? Who can check this? And from what some are saying, obviously Apple themselves, but still, most of the Fortune 500 companies are using the iPhone or iOS in some sort of measure if I'm not mistaken. Thanks for supporting your claims so we can make better informed decisions and thanks for the article, it does try to paint a global fair picture.

mark.cooper
mark.cooper

I come from a Windows Phone 7.5/8 and a Windows 8 Enterprise tablet perspective and agree with your article. Consume/watch = iOS. Immersive = W8. In between, with many quality variations, = Android. Mark Cooper crazy Ohio driver

drfaisal
drfaisal

... there’s no platform that’s truly superior to the others in this roundup. They all have benefits and compromises, so you need to select the platform that appeals the most to you. Depending on your needs and tastes. Personally, I have bought and used iPad and gave it away to my son, got a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, use it and gave it away to my daughter. Now on Fujitsu Q702 and using it till now as it serve my purpose but with only one big compromise, that is the battery life, which I can live with...

arjayfon
arjayfon

After trying to use Android for maybe 2 years, and dealing with my Wife's iPad, I retired the Android machine, re-rooted it, returned it to factory and will give it to one of the kids. I am very pleased with my current device, an Acer W510 with the keyboard. I updated the OS to Win 8 Pro, have Office 2010 Professional, and even successfully installed my 3D CAD software. Between the 64 Gb on the SSD and an additional 64 Gb Micro SD, I have ample storage and system which is, frankly, faster than I expected. With the keyboard attached, it is easy to use and the extra battery has kept me from coming anywhere near to the end of battery life after a full day. With the keyboard detached, the tablet itself is light and I think easier to hold than the iPad. Yes, there was some brain damage getting it set up. There was some very strange WiFi connectivity issues that had to be worked through. And, yes, there are the constant stream of updates. This may be enough to eliminate a lot of the iPad crowd, but then they don't have a tablet which can technically replace a full featured laptop on an extended business trip. Add my Windows Phone, my Win 7 desk at work, and my Win 8 laptop at home and I actually have a very nice system that syncs beautifully across the board. I am certain something else better will come along in time, but it is a heck of a system at a not too outrageous price.

GSG
GSG

I admit that I haven't tried windows 8, but I have briefly played around with the iPad, and we had purchased one at work to see if it was compatible with any of our systems only to find it out wasn't. I have an android tablet, and while I can do a few things related to work on it, I cannot do some of the most critical tasks. So, as I get ready to leave on a trip an hour from now, I'm lugging my laptop (why did I have to buy such a huge laptop?). I will keep my android phone close by, though. It's been invaluable this past month while I've been taking emergency trips to unfamiliar places. I can get lost in a 10 x 10 room with one door and a map, so the navigation features of the phone have saved my bacon quite a few times this past month.

Seadaddy611
Seadaddy611

I wonder where Ubuntu Linux fits in this mix. I'm sure linux distros are adapting their flavors of linux to run on the ARM and other mobile processors. I just wonder how well they are making the transition. Have they done well enough to risk over-writing the OS that came installed in eprom on the tablet?

Phaolan
Phaolan

I like what I've seen so far on the inaugural video's. The OS will be able to use Android driver and it also helps that I am an Ubuntu desktop user.

EmilyWood12
EmilyWood12

If we discuss about android, If you like flexibility, freedom and like to customize your phone, Android is the one for you. Also, it has a phone for nearly every budget. However, apps can be of low quality sometimes, but that's changing gradually. This is the only OS that offers true multitasking, ie, apps can run uninterrupted in the background. iOS for those that like beautifully designed apps and a phone that works seamlessly, but doesn't allow you much freedom in terms of customizing and sharing, go for this. It is also the only OS that guarantees you an update for at least 2 generations ahead of the one which was in your device at the time of purchase. However, the UI is getting dated and lags functionality when compared to Android. and last but not least, Windows Phone - If you like a beautiful, bold new UI and love to try new stuff, then you can go for this one. However, the number of available apps is quite less when compared to iOS and Android. Read more at :- gm.kochar.com

programit1
programit1

I think Android will take over the general mobile areas, due to its ability to run on the latest and greatest hardware, people have a choice, and is not limited to a single company with 3 mobile products. Windows will become a major force especially in more serious applications and business ventures. (Pro version not RT), primarily because of available software that will soon be adapted or rewritten to suit, but also because it can integrate seemlessly with desktops and current data. IOS is loosing its appeal due to its restrictions and limited hardware. (The novelty is wearing off!) Apple have lost the "wow" factor! My Prediction is 2013 will be year of Android and 2014 will be Windows (pro SP1)

KBabcock75
KBabcock75

This was a good even handed evaluation of what is out there. Should be interesting how this progresses.

deveshprabhu
deveshprabhu

Hi! I did go through the article and have been using Android for about 2 years now with the Galaxy S and Galaxy S III, and I can't comment on this article based on my limited to nil experience on the other two platforms. I'll try and get myself or wait till someone gifts me the other two devices so that I can experiment on them and then will give my analysis as the one that I get from this article would be inclined to the thoughts of the author. Some things just have to be experienced to be known... Devesh Prabhu

TNT
TNT

I largely agree with your analysis of these three platforms in that iOS is a great consumption device. It does have a stable OS and beautiful hardware, though I wouldn't say the hardware is cutting edge. Proprietary connectors, 4:3 screen ratios and STILL no mini HDMI out puts it behind the curve in terms of hardware. That may not be a deal breaker for the majority of users out there, but for public speaking of any kind, from the classroom to the board room, these are serious hold backs. Android does everything iOS can do, and then some, though not with the same level of elegance. I agree with that, and that people can forgive a little less spit and polish when they get a similar product for half the price (or less) with generally available and usable ports. No beef with your Android analysis as long as you're talking Nexus-level devices. The readers based on Android are not the do-everything tablets you describe, but offer a true consumption niche that does quite well when compared with that purpose on an iOS device for a lot less. Will it do everything an iPad will? No. But if you just want content consumption they can offer better screens for reading at very reasonable prices. Windows 8 Pro tablets are everything you say except complicated. I've been using Windows 8 Pro on a desktop for 3 months and do not miss Windows 7. It is so much easier than other versions of Windows once you learn how to get around. It may not be as intuitive as iOS, but its hardly a complicated monster. I was confused at first because you mention Windows RT in the intro, but when you discuss Windows 8 its clearly the Pro version you describe. RT is a new OS, and yes it isn't as capable as Pro -- yet. It will eventually become the new Windows. It has distinct advantages such as no registry (like most other modern OSes) and a very light footprint. iOS and Android have a three-year head start on RT, so give RT a little more time and I believe it will offer so much more than the others. But why mention Windows at all if you don't mention the other key new player in this space: Ubuntu. With an OS that scales nicely from consumer devices like phones and tablets to hard core corporate devices like desktops and servers -- on the same kernel -- it has every bit as much a chance of upsetting the dominance of Apple and Google as Windows does.

viswanathan.suresh
viswanathan.suresh

Another aspect to the iOS vs Android vs Windows debate is the issue of assset depreciation. Writing again from an enterprise perspective, I wonder what the useful life of smartphones and tablets are - particularly when they can no more be upgraded or repaired. Seen from this perspective and the fact that even the oldest iPhones are capable of running the latest iOS, I would argue that an enterprise could at the very least expect an useful economic life of 2 years from an iOS device and say a salvage value of 0. For an Android device, the difficulties in upgrading would mean that it would have to be depreciated over 1 year and will have a salvage value of 0. Hence, over a 5 year period, emabrking on the Android platform will mean greater outlays than on the iOS.

viswanathan.suresh
viswanathan.suresh

What the author misses is the fact that a convergence of sorts is taking place between smartphones & tablets - "phablets" if you will. In that game, iOS is far superior to both Androids & Windows. Most Android users have different versions of the OS on their phones and tablets and the user experience across these platforms is in-consistent. Even more so if the hardware comes from two different manufacturers i.e. there is both hardware & OS fragmentation. And from the point of view of enterprise support, trying to cater to the needs of large numbers of users with different versions of Android and on varying form factors - phones & tablets - will be a cost driver and an upgrade hell. A nightmare in short. According to Google's own statistics, 54% of users are still stuck on Gingerbread (Android 2,3, released in 2010) and only 2,7% are on the latest Android version 4.1 - a.k.a. JellyBean. To this complexity, one needs to add in the confusion that will result due to different firmware and operator skins that sit atop the OS. Few enterprise IT shops will be able to develop cost-effective support models for this chaotic situation. Google has now attempted to stem this fragmentation by changes to the legalese in the for using the SDK - but I doubt that will have any immediate impact. Other than driving heavyweights like Samsung to OSes like Tizen. This situation is not the same as the DOS vs MacOs battles of the early 80s. Microsoft retained full control over the software releases and the APIs such that there was no "forking" of the OS. Hence, hardware variations had minimal to no impact for the end user or the IT support shop. That is not the case now, the combination of hardware & software fragmentation for Android will result in difficult to support IT assets and poorer quality apps. A situation the tightly integrated iOS avoids.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Weighting in at 10gigs, a third of the size of a 32gb tablet is used by the OS. iOS and Android weight in at about 100megs. 0.1 gigs So is Windows 8 100 times better? Because its a 100 times bigger...

jfuller05
jfuller05

Thank you for a reasoned response to the question, "which is the superior mobile OS?" The only thing I would add is to ask the person, "what ecosystem are you currently in?" If a person is in the apple ecosystem already (iphone and mac) then he will most benefit from purchasing an ipad and the same, I think, goes for current Android users and Windows users. A person with a DROID razor may not enjoy an ipad as much because syncing data, apps and such will be cumbersome. Anyway, good article

333239
333239

Most Windows 8 RT/store apps still have a way to go to be as mature as their iOS counterparts. Having used it regularly on a tablet for 8+ months the mail and IE apps are not full-featured and often a source of frustration, even printing a pdf the way I wanted required a visit to the desktop app. They'll probably get there eventually but in the meantime at least I can flip to desktop mode to get those features I know and love. I like the W8 whole charms context-sensitive thing and can see that being more popular once people get their heads round it. Tricky thing is I would still recommend iOS to the man in the street, but give W8 time. As you say, these mobile OSes all do the essentials well enough, like hot drinks it just comes down to which you prefer (or are used to), coffee, tea or hot chocolate?

jimaaa7
jimaaa7

I agree Apple makes great products for the general consumer but that is not me. I started out with punch cards on a IBM mainframe. My first computer was a Wang. I gave up on Windows mobile when I found I could get better Android apps to connect to my desktop and Sharepoint sites than with Windows moble apps. I just got a Samsung Note 2 and it is the best phone to date plus as a small tablet, it works great for connecting to Sharepoint, client networks, and cloud based databases. I see no compelling reason to use Window mobile at all and do not see it gaining much market share. I have Windows 8 Pro but have not fully implemented it. We are in a test phase prior to full implementation and so far, we like it. My next laptop/tablet will probably be an ultra book from Lenovo, Samsung, or Asus.

gak1
gak1

Are you intentionally covering up the fact that there are two versions of Windows 8? Pro and RT have very little in common. Pro indeed can do everything a PC should do, provided you do not need top processing power, and top graphics acceleration, and lots of disk space. External drives solve the disk space problem nicely. I wonder if Microsoft releases docking stations that will allow to add processing and graphics power, or even built in "SETI in Home" features into the OS. Windows RT can do only the most basic tasks and run a few desktop apps of Microsoft's choosing. Currently I do not see any nontrivial apps in the App Store and I do not see how such apps can be created. Thus, apps wise Windows RT will always lag behind Android and iOS, it is not only younger, it is the hardest platform to go beyond "Hello, World".

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

However, certain aspects of this analysis are somewhat misleading; just because some platforms are considered "content consumers" doesn't mean they aren't regularly used as "content creators." The reverse can also be true. iOS is popularly considered by most commenters on these tech boards as a content-consumption-only platform, yet professional artists, photographers and writers use their iPads in the field and often nearly exclusively under highly mobile circumstances. This is as much due to the fact of the high number of professional applications available--including Photoshop for iPad--as it is due to the iPad's ready synchronization to OS X applications that don't require manual triggering. Android is to a larger extent going the exact opposite direction as the single largest selling Android tablet on the market appears to be the Amazon Kindle Fire, which is almost exclusively a content consumption device despite the content creation abilities of other tablets like the ASUS Transformer series. When you add to this the new Transformer introduced by ASUS at CES that mates the tablet screen to a Windows-loaded keyboard unit and you have to somewhat wonder if ASUS isn't going to turn that tablet portion into an RT tablet before it reaches the consumer. That brings us to the Windows8 devices. The author is completely correct that the full Win8 version will be the best for most enterprise users where the full Windows capability may be necessary. However, history has already proven that a full Windows platform tablet is a market failure as these have been available on the open market for over a decade now. A hybrid system similar to Asus' with an RT tablet head mating to a full Windows8 base would give the lightweight, easily-used mobile display capabilities that the iPad currently provides to enterprises while keeping a very close and convenient integration to the rest of the office Windows environment while docked. In fact, the ONLY advantage Android has over the other two platforms is its close tie to the smartphone market, which will probably shift more towards the WP8/9 platform as it proves itself to the user and developers. My projections? (Here we are, DColbert) It will take the WinRT/WP8 about 18 months to see any significant growth, but should then rise to at least 40% of the overall market. Android will subsequently fall to a similar number or lower--most likely becoming the favorite OS for embedded systems rather than a standalone device OS. iOS will probably settle in comfortably at about 25%-30% of the overall market as a standalone device--assuming it doesn't re-merge back into OS X itself probably with the release of 10.10 (or maybe it will be called OS XI (11).

Regulus
Regulus

What type of vehicle is best on vacation? Sports car, SUV or Motorcycle? In the long run, you have to use what works for you. It is important that we have access to information (such as this) to make our decisions. Thanks.

radleym
radleym

Hands down. You'll see soon.

lmsm76
lmsm76

I have to agree with all that you say, but the advantage of iOS I believe that it’s in the dedicated hardware that they run. It’s much easier to adjust a piece of software in a specific device that build software to work on almost any kind of device, screen, etc. Android has to satisfy everyone??? with no background, and this is the problem of W8, they have a background too big to forget and they have to innovate at same time. A much more difficult task to achieve.

Editor's Picks