The consumer preview for Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 8operating system has been getting a lot of attention of late. And that’s not just because it’s arrived sosoon after the supposedly revolutionary Windows 7.
Indeed, while Windows 8 is ostensibly the replacement forWindows 7 on your notebook or desktop, it seems to be aiming more firmly at thetablet space, copping a look and feel more reminiscent of last year’s WindowsPhone release.
That shouldn’t be surprising – Apple has already moved tomake MacOS more similar to the mobile-centric iOS. So now both Apple andMicrosoft are heading boldly into the post-PC era, even if the PCs themselvesdon’t quite disappear.
So what does this have to do with Android?
Well, it leaves Android as the only major mobile OS thatdoesn’t have a desktop play, moving forward. And it seems like a bit of a missed opportunity.
Now some of you are probably yelling, “There is a desktop version of Android…it’scalled Linux!” True, the two share a common heritage. But while Android hasrocketed into the public consciousness, Linux still has a reputation as an operatingsystem for enthusiasts and gearheads…despite its many advances inuser-friendliness.
Some may also be wondering, “Well, what about Google’s ownChrome OS?” To which I’d answer: “Well, what about it?” At the moment, ChromeOS only ships on specific hardware. Andwhile you can download the open-sourcified version, Chromium OS, that’s notsomething that average users are going to do. Again, despite the close kinshipwith Android itself, there are some serious differences between the two. Evenif you are inclined to try tosynergize one Google OS with the other, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’regoing to play nicely with each other.
Google has built up a lot of goodwill with the Androidbrand, and has wound up putting a Linux variant into the palms of people whonever even would have considereddownloading Linux for their desktop. With the move to a blended desktop/mobileOS environment seemingly inevitable, the time seems ripe for Google to release anAndroid-branded desktop-compatible operating system for a market that’s clearlywilling to embrace something different….but don't want to get rid of their desktops and notebooks just yet.
In the meantime, PC owners who don’t want to wait to be ableto run their Android apps on their desktop or notebook may want to take a peekat BlueStacks App Player, which allows Windows users to run their fave Androidapps. You can see a vid on how it works here.