updated 10:05 am EDT, Fri September 16, 2011
iPad and Windows 8 get early comparison
Windows 8 was given one of its earliest tests against the iPad it was designed to beat in a comparison video (below) showing differences between the two. The even-keeled look shies away from making many pronouncements on superiority and instead focuses more on differences in design philosophy. Windows 8's live tiles are more dynamic and customizable than those on the iPad, WinRumors noted, but the iOS home screen's grid of icons was also easy to use.
Each also had different approaches to apps' presences in the rest of the OS. Apple's spread is limited and mostly just puts app settings in a central control panel. Microsoft's control panel is limited to core Windows settings, but it potentially more than compensates for this through "charms." The additions let apps provide special access to their content or tools from other apps, such as running a search through an app from the browser.
While a significant exploration, the showdown also underscores Apple's major advantage of a real, shipping product. Windows 8 in its Developer Preview is still missing core features like calendars, e-mail, and the Windows Store. As a pre-public beta, the OS is still roughly a year away from release and can't be tested on more power-efficient ARM tablets or the 2012 Intel hardware Microsoft is counting on.
The iPad was first shown in January 2010 and is believed to be the entire reason for Windows 8's tile-driven Metro interface. Although Microsoft had kicked off the tablet category in 2002, its insistence on a traditional Windows desktop interface and large computers kept it a niche until Apple arrived. The iPad outsold every Windows tablet PC ever made in just nine months and will have been on shelves for over two years.