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How Windows, OS X, and Ubuntu are slowly turning your PC into a smartphone

Brad Chacos | Aug. 22, 2013
All the desktop operating systems are integrating mobile features, but they're using very different methods.

"It's a very intriguing concept, and one could make a could case that over the next five to ten years, all the technological bits will be there to make that an equally good experience as what you get today with a notebook or a desktop."

But again, today is not tomorrow, and it's no surprise that the Ubuntu Edge campaign floundered.

To infinity, and beyond!
Don't let Ubuntu's jumping of the technological gun fool you, though. Like it or not, we're on the cusp of something different, as the computing industry struggles with a titanic shift that's dragging the monolithic PC into a future where multiple screens and consistent, cohesive multidevice experiences are the norm. And man, has that shift come quickly!

"If you look back five years, we're in 2008, and the iPhone is still this young thing that people aren't sure is going to take off," says Miller. The first iPad was still two years off at that point. "Technology is shifting so incredibly fast that the form factors and interfaces we'll be using in five years we may not even think of right now. We'll just look back and laugh at what we were using in 2013."

Change is a-coming, friends, and while Apple's kiddie-glove approach to merging mobile elements with desktop operating systems may be the most comfortable for consumers in the short term (sorry to break it to you, Microsoft), don't be surprised to see Macs and Windows PCs end up in similar places a few years down the road. The strategies differ, but the goal remains the same: consistency.

Who knows? Microsoft and Apple might even wind up where Ubuntu is trying (and failing) to go today.

 

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