True cross platform functionality, or the ability to be able to write one document and have it appear on the platform and application of our choosing historically has not been overly possible. As an example, you might write a document on a PC and only be able to display it on a PC if the vendor wrote specific code to allow this to happen. In many cases cross platform meant something like a Windows PC and Windows phone both being able to display the article.
This is, of course very limiting and in its earliest day was considered as such but the computer was seen as such a technological marvel that this easily overlooked. We saw in our devices the ability to improve productivity even with such a serious limitation.
At first. it was the consumer making these waves. The consumer quickly saw the benefit of not having something locked into a product specifically where the vendor was protective of profits. Having everything running on IBM equipment, as an example, was of great benefit to IBM and their sales.
In the earlier days, this kind of thinking was ever present. Shops built on one platform was the norm. Apple kind of initially broke us away from this but one has to wonder if Apple hasn’t become a proponent of a dated norm.
A Technological Hurdle
To have true cross platform functionality though required breaking some technological hurdles. The long and short of it is I think everyone benefits from a non-locked in environment or cross platform functionality.
Microsoft is going all out Cross Platform
Microsoft, for its part, is going all out cross platform and they are making their software available everywhere. Thus, as a consumer using Microsoft products they are not locked into the environment but rather can use Microsoft software on a number of platforms. Thus, people working in a group can use their own platform of choice working equally with anyone else in the group.
This is a major shift in the way we’ve functioned but it’s part of the Internet age. With the breakthrough at the technological level that allows for cross platform function the consumer is liberated but so too is the vendor to a certain degree.
The Cloud as Emancipator
Over the last few years we have seen an explosion in cloud services with exceptional prices enabling new apps and new ways of working. Further, we are starting to see transfer and share capabilities that don’t even use the cloud. Yet, it is the cloud that has been so instrumental in changing the way we work as it allows the data to part all over. What’s required then is sync technology and applications that work together regardless of platform.
The cloud has been the breakthrough we have been looking for to enable cross platform computing. With this in place, we can work together regardless of platform and really get more done.
The Winners – No Losers
It might be hard to imagine that there are only winners and no losers here but this is the reality. We’re now able to work together, on the platforms of our choosing, together without being forced into other environments. So if you like an iPhone so be it or an Android again it isn’t a problem.
People prefer to be able to choose their work environment but have not been able to do that due to the hurdles imposed by technology to date. These are dwindling fast and freedom and productivity will become the catchwords in the information era made up of a cross platform world.
The Road Ahead
The road ahead will naturally have some bumps a long the way. However, it promises to be quite exciting. Let’s hope it measures up.