Touch screen – how Windows 8.1 is different to Apples IOS

When Microsoft chose to completely change the user interface with its Windows 8 release, the first version of its operating system to provide widespread support for touch screen technology, it received a lot of negative feedback. The company addressed the issues by releasing Windows 8.1, which gives users to option to work in a more familiar mode. Some commentators saw this as a backward step, and feel it makes Windows 8.1 feel dated. The question is whether Windows 8.1 is really as bad as so many commentators make out, or is it just the fact that they had to re-learn how to do things in Windows 8 that caused so much negativity?

Using touch screen technology is a much more efficient way to work, and offers businesses increased productivity. It is far simpler to tap the screen to run an app or browse through folders than it is to use a mouse. However, it does require that the user organizes things properly to avoid spending an unnecessary amount of time looking for apps or files.

iOS has always been better than Windows in terms of organizational capabilities, and that remains true with the most recent releases of the two operating systems. iOS is easier and more intuitive to use. Additionally, Apple has managed to continually upgrade its iOS without having to resort to massive infrastructural changes. Apple users have been able to upgrade versions without having to undergo a sharp learning curve.

The mouse and keyboard will remain integral parts of the interface between man and machine, but Microsoft has made some operations unnecessarily clunky in trying to combine these traditional tools with touch screen technology. While 8.1 gives you the option to boot directly into the traditional Desktop mode, if you opt not to do so, you can run into issues.

For example, if you are running 8.1 on a device without a keyboard, such as a tablet, and you do not launch into Desktop mode, there is no way to type anything in because you have no way to bring up the onscreen keyboard. Another problem is that many of the apps are optimized for touch screen technology (most professionals refer to this as Metro mode), and will launch in this mode even when called from Desktop mode. Swapping backwards and forwards between Desktop and Metro mode is inherently inefficient. Desktop icons and menus are too small for comfortable touch screen operation

The reality is that people are often forced to choose an operating system based on the hardware they have purchased, especially when it comes to buying computers. Once they become familiar with a particular system, they tend to stick with that one and its successors purely because of that familiarity.

Apple computers are still more expensive than the numerous systems shipped with Windows as the default operating system, so Windows is still likely to be the operating system of choice in the business world.

However, when it comes to cellphones, Apple has a well-established reputation, and sells far more than Microsoft. Private individuals and businesses alike are prepared to pay a premium for the more expensive Apple products. Many businesses that use Windows on their computers are quite happy to provide employees with Apple cellphones, even if this means they have to learn two different operating systems.

In essence, there is not a lot of value in comparing and contrasting Windows 8.1 with Apple iOS. Very few people will make a choice based solely on the operating system. Instead, the choice of hardware will remain the key factor in which OS will be used.