I think like you, I’m not a great fan of Microsoft, since the days of the blue screen of death.
Today everyone likes Apple products, because of simplicity of use and a huge application portfolio that makes our life easier and broke the barrier of mobile computing. Since the beginning of the past decade there are a lot of smart phones that can handle your work and content, but screen size limit the ability to execute.
Nevertheless, I think Apple misses a graphical user interface key point
The content you use most of the times, the one that engage with what you do, your work, your interests, your peers and family relies inside the apps you have installed on your iphone or ipad, siloed.
For sure there must be an app that aggregates all the stuff you need to keep your brain connected, but it runs on the top of the operation system (OS), it’s not blended with the OS, meaning that you if change applications you disconnect from your world.
This is the main reason I never bought an Ipad or any of it’s rivals.
As an European, I used a lot in the past Nokia professional series phones, because they never missed a key feature for a knowledge worker – Lost calls, e-mails, tasks, reminders, where all present in the screen, presented in a structured, lean manner. Whenever you pick the phone all the content you need to execute was there.
Social paradigm leads some IT companies to develop social apps in order to perform work, coping Apple and Facebook style of interaction. This is a step forward.
Despite the fact you can get in touch with meaningful content on the go, these approaches continue to be disaggregated, because you need to decide to open the app to content access.
If you want to socialize your business you need to find a way to aggregate your workers diversity of needs, it does not matter if they work on highly or loosely structured processes.
It’s necessary to provide people all content they need to work with and let them add the feeds they need to be alert.
The first time I experienced Windows 8 flavor, was when I played with Samsung equipment with Windows phone 7. The graphical interface was divided by areas of interest you could access in the same screen, e-mails, feeds, activity streams. Very oriented to people that require continuous access to the information they need and flexibility to design the way the work must be performed.
When I saw the first preview pictures of Windows 8 it resembles immediately the Samsung experience.
Only a graphical, explorative information environment, in which data can be accessed, examined, and modified interactively and the user has the capacity to choose and organize what is most important to perform work, can truly conduct to the socialization of your enterprise.
This environment must be capable of adding content of multiple information sources. Does not matter if you already have social apps, it’s necessary to put them all in the same place if you want your people connected and align with that is most important to them. Last, you need to give users control what how to structures information don’t impose. Let people decide.