Is iOS Apple’s Windows XP?

iOS and Windows XP - classic operating systems but not timeless

iOS and Windows XP – classic operating systems but not timeless

David Sobotta has a point when he asks Will iOS Become Apple’s Windows XP? at ReadWrite. Apple will struggle to get users to jump to a next generation mobile operating system. And that could be a brake on innovation.

There’s no pressing need for Apple to move on at the moment, but things move fast in the mobile world and iOS could quickly find itself too far behind one or more rivals. I know of people who argue Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are already out in front – although that’s not really true.

Apple’s biggest challenge will be deciding whether it needs to do a Microsoft and maintain backwards compatibility when the major upgrade comes. I’m told by people in the industry that’s the real problem.

8 thoughts on “Is iOS Apple’s Windows XP?

  1. I think Apple are the kind of company to just cut their ties and build new. It will still be based on Objective-C so it won’t be too hard for developers to get on board. They need to do it quick, not like the Lightning fiasco so they can keep their momentum. As it is, more and more developers are realising Android is a much bigger platform with a lot more possibilities.

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  2. Can’t agree Bill, Apple have kept OS X running on the same platform for more than ten years, there should be no need to for a wholesale change to the iOS Platform for at least another 5 years which would require complicated migrations like the one experienced by Microsoft. In any case the upgrade rates for iOS are out of this world compared to any other software I’m aware of, no reason to assume that this will change.

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    • That’s why I say there’s no pressing need to move at the moment, but that could change quickly. Mobile gadgets cycle through generations at roughly one every nine months – that’s much faster than PCs.

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      • How about that, while I was reading your reply the latest iOS upgrade on my iPad fell over – in needs a full restore. I realise this isn’t what we were discussing, but oh, the irony.

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      • You need to understand that not only are mobile platforms different, iOS – being based upon OSX – is different from most prior to its launch. They’ve had no difficulty getting users to upgrade to date, and that is likely to continue. Even if they made the wholesale changes which Bill alludes to, people turn over mobile devices much faster than they did computers when WinXP was launched. As long as users content, applications and services are still available in the new platform, the path should be minimal.

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      • @franksting: The changes we are talking about are “your app doesn’t work, you need to recode it” changes. So starting from scratch. I think that’s what it’d take and I think that’s the way Apple likes doing things when it comes to it.

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