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IT execs excited (but cautious) about merger of mobile, desktop OSes

Matt Kapko | Nov. 13, 2015
Apple, Google and Microsoft each take a different approach to mobile- and desktop-platform convergence, but the eventual mergers seem inevitable, and some CIOs say the changes represent an opportunity for IT.

Bay Club's Gette thinks desktop and mobile convergence will be mostly beneficial to IT, particularly for businesses that already operate in a cloud-based environment, but he also says all of the pieces are not yet in place for Apple, Google or Microsoft to fully merge their respective platforms.

Microsoft closest to OS convergence, Chrome a non-factor 

Of the three major players, Microsoft is the closest to delivering a truly unified OS, according to Gette. Microsoft was the first platform provider to move toward convergence with previous versions of Windows, but none of those attempts proved to be fruitful, according to both Gette and Codega.

For IT, Chrome is a "non-factor at the moment," according to Meyers, because Chrome is not a fully capable OS, at least not compared to Windows 10 or Mac OS X.

Gette agrees. "The focus at Google has always been very splintered," says Gette. "Whether the Android OS ever translates to desktop, I don't know. I don't see a lot of value in the Chrome OS, so Google to me is more of a non-player."

Codega says Swipely customers uses Chrome-powered devices as kiosks for credit card processing and analytics, but he thinks the Android experience is much different than Chrome, so they're the least obvious candidates for seamless convergence.

Enterprise insignificant to Apple's convergence plan

While iOS and OS X continue to integrate and look more and more similar, Apple's strategy for convergence has little to do with IT requirements or considerations, according to Gette. "Apple [is] never going to bend to the enterprise … I feel like they're driving towards [convergence], but they're less concerned about whether the enterprise accepts it or not."

Gette expects the major mobile and desktop platforms to eventually merge and says it's "ridiculous" for any of the leading providers to deny that it's already happening. However, he worries convergence could come at the expense of innovation and result in fewer choices for IT professionals. "I don't think any of us want to see is one or a few players dominating the marketplace and innovation suffers."


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