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One device to rule them all? Microsoft and Apple face off

John Moltz | Aug. 22, 2013
Microsoft espouses a philosophy of one device for every task, while Apple champions different devices for different scenarios. John Moltz explores the gulf between the two approaches.

The right tools for the job
Apple, meanwhile, doesn't shy away from letting its devices overlap. MacBooks got smaller with the Air, iOS devices got larger with the iPad. But the company's never telling you to just get one. Heaven's sake, no: Selling devices is how it makes money. You'll want an iPhone, an iPad, and a Mac. And, just between you and me, don't you need an upstairs iPad and a downstairs iPad? Don't you deserve< an upstairs iPad and a downstairs iPad?

Right now my personal computing experience happens on four devices; an iPhone, an iPad, a MacBook Air, and an iMac. I don't have four devices because I'm made of money (I'm mostly made of water, or so I'm told); I have four devices because each is simply better suited to a different use case.

It's not that Apple's (or Google's) approach is perfect. Apple's cloud solution is, shall we say, a work in progress. Talk to a developer about trying to implement iCloud in an app and you'll get a four-letter-word laden diatribe that would have made Steve Jobs blush and then fire someone.

But you don't have to be a usability expert to know which of these two philosophies works better in 2013. All you have to do is see which one people prefer--and right now they prefer Apple's.


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