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How Apple could beat Windows 8 at its own game

Future iOS Features iPad iPhone

Microsoft’s vision for the future of computing — having one platform across multiple different device types — has always been intriguing. Where it’s slipped up, however, has been its execution. The trouble for Microsoft is that it tried to stitch a brand-new touch-centric operating system onto its traditional desktop operating system in a way that polarized many longtime PC users. Now the company is scrambling to appease its spurned desktop users while still keeping the touch-centric features that it knows are vital to staying relevant in the mobile world.

In contrast, Apple has been very happy to keep its mobile and desktop operating systems separate. However, AppleInsider points us to a new research note from JPMorgan that suggests Apple’s “next big thing” will be a more powerful version of iOS that will try to execute Microsoft’s Windows 8 vision of having one consistent platform capable of running on both small mobile devices and big, powerful devices that have PC-like capabilities.

Now, there will obviously be some differences between how Apple goes about this and how Microsoft went about it. JPMorgan’s note emphasizes that Apple will not try to mesh iOS and OS X. Rather, the changes made to iOS will be much more subtle and will seem much more natural as the platform evolves with improving technology. In particularly, JPMorgan thinks that the introduction of 64-bit processors to the iPhone and the iPad is paving the way for Apple to introduce a keyboard-equipped iPad model in the next 12 to 18 months that’s powerful enough to run standard Mac applications.

The upshot of this, says JPM, is that Apple will become more of a Microsoft-style “devices and services” company whereas today it’s more of a devices company.

“In our view, iAnywhere could be a stepping stone to a broader peripherals and services-led sales, partially reducing Apple’s dependence on device-led product cycles,” explains JPMorgan analyst Mark Moskowitz. “Apple could generate revenue through the sale of specifically configured displays, iAnywhere-capable iPhones or iPads, and cloud-based software and storage services.”

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