I’ve been an iPhone user for more than four years now. I’ve grown to love everything about the phone and its interface, and its strange to think back to a time when I wouldn’t dare go anywhere without my beloved clamshell phone.
However, the iPhone and iOS are not the only players in the market. Specifically, Google’s Android OS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS are competing directly with the iPhone. There are other systems as well, (notably RIM and the Blackberry platform), but these are the current “big three” of the smartphone universe.
I couldn’t be happier about this.
Before most of us can remember, the computing world was not so clear-cut. Sure, today we have choices, but it essentially boils down to Microsoft vs. Apple. There is a growing number of Linux users and distros, and some people still love Unix systems. But, overall, the market for desktop operating systems has become very calm.
In the past, this simply wasn’t the case. Before Microsoft experienced its boom during the 90s and early 2000s, consumers had numerous choices for desktop environments. Apple was still there with its Mac OS, but so was Commodore and its Amiga platform. Even companies like Atari managed to hang on into the beginnings of the Windows era.
Part of the reason that the operating system world advanced so quickly back then was due to the high level of competition. Before Microsoft became the de facto standard, each company found new ways to innovate and push PCs into new territory.
Competition is always great for the consumer, and its something that has been strongly lacking in the world of operating systems for a long time. The recent Smartphone and tablet revolution has changed that.
With companies fighting over market share and trying to become the best overall platform in order to attract more users, the fancy world we live in today is, in a way, a throwback to another time.
I only have vague memories of that time, but I always wanted to experience it. In a way, it was like the wild west, with everyone competing to draw their guns first. In the end, the market was just so far from maturity that some truly great platforms, *cough*Amiga*cough* got lost in the crossfire.
For years, I wanted to see new competitors to Microsoft’s dominance and Apple’s strong niche in the desktop OS world. I smiled ear-to- ear every time a new company stepped up, promising to deliver a full line of brand-new Amiga Hardware and software. Of course, I also hung my head in disappointment each time that so many of these things failed to materialize (or were next to impossible to find).
The war between the Smartphone Operating Systems gives consumers, for the first time in years, a vast array of choices. Sure, not everything is perfect; but, the competition keeps each platform working and striving to be the best.
I’m glad to see a return to the days of yore, even if it’s only a slight glimpse of what once was.
And if anybody out there is reading, now would be a great time to announce that new Amiga phone—I’m just waiting to get my hopes up all over again.