It’s been a few days since Microsoft Windows 10 launched and so far I’m loving it — and that’s coming from someone who’s been using a Macbook for the last 10 years.
There’s just one thing missing. Well, two, technically.
I really miss my Apple and Google apps.
There are lots of perks to buying into the Apple ecosystem. With a Mac and an iPhone, you get all kinds of computing superpowers.
There’s Handoff, an Apple feature which lets you shunt websites and draft emails from the phone to the desktop. There’s Apple’s Airdrop, which lets you send files (mostly photos) wirelessly between iPhone and the Mac. There’s Continuum, which lets you receive phone calls on the computer or iPad.
But for my money, the best and most useful thing on the Mac is the Messages app, which lets you read and reply to text messages straight from the desktop. Originally, it would only work for Apple’s own iMessage standard, but it was broadened earlier this year to include all text messages.
It’s absurdly useful, especially while I’m trying to multitask at work.
On Windows, you lose all of that. There’s likely no technical reason why Apple’s couldn’t make these features available on Windows, but Apple prefers to keep its best toys on its own side of the fence.
That makes a lot of business sense: Mac sales have defied the overall shrinkage of the PC market.
That’s at least partially because Macs make an amazing complement to the always-popular iPhone — a smartphone that sells 47.5 million units during a bad quarter, and the cash cow that allows Apple to sit on a massive mountain of cash.
But Apple’s no-Windows policy could also backfire if Windows 10 becomes a smash hit.
Microsoft is aiming to have one billion users on Windows 10 in the next two to three years, some of whom might be Mac users like me that are lured back to the PC camp.
If my iPhone doesn’t play nicely with Windows 10, then that’s one less thing that’s special about the iPhone. Maybe I won’t ditch my iPhone for an Android phone this upgrade cycle, or the next, but it’s just one less thing keeping me on Team iPhone.
It’s a hypothetical risk, to be sure, but one that Apple could easily prevent if it wants to. By releasing a bunch of its best software for Windows, Apple could make a lot of users very, very happy. It probably wouldn’t cost Apple very much, and it might help the company keep a stronger grip on its smartphone marketshare.
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