Microsoft's Windows 10 ecosystem is not really a thing

It’s hard to imagine that Microsoft once reigned supreme in the realm of PC and software. Now the general consensus seems to be that people use Microsoft only because they have to…not because they actually want to. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella echoed this sentiment last year at the Windows 10 event: “We want to move from people needing Windows, to choosing Windows, to loving Windows.” This explains Microsoft’s attempts to create a special sort of cross-platform ecosystem with Windows 10 that integrates all devices. So how’s it all working out so far?

The Pros

Let’s start with the positive. To be fair, very few competitors have anything that remotely compares to Microsoft Office. Even Apple’s office productivity tools must rely on Microsoft Office to be fully compatible with most people’s systems. Contrary to popular thought, when using Windows 10, Microsoft’s OneDrive has brilliant potential to be the hub in which you instantly can access everything you may need across devices, utilizing the same settings with all your important files right there at your fingertips. At $70 a year, some may gripe. Others may the find the terabyte of space and the simplicity of synced documents well worth the price. But after this, the whole “ecosystem” falls apart…if it ever existed at all.

The Cons

In theory, integrating devices doesn’t seem like it would take this much effort. You’d think that Windows 10 would allow users to operate seamlessly between PC, mobile and Xbox One, just like Microsoft has claimed they’d be able to. But the same issues that have plagued Microsoft since they ventured beyond what they do best are happening all over again. Here’s a quick list of why this eco-system is not much of anything at all:

  • Nothing automatically syncs. Your PC, Xbox One and Windows phone all display different settings
  • Apps are not compatible between devices. What you’d buy from the Windows Store on your PC doesn’t exist on your Xbox…or even work properly on your mobile device.
  • The gap between PC and mobile device makes it especially difficult to properly use any applications.

It’s unfortunate, really. For some reason, Windows 10 on PC, mobile and Xbox One all operate differently, and they rarely co-exist if they cooperate at all. It seems as if Microsoft has a long way to go if they want to stand up to their competitors…if they can manage to stand up to them at all.