The Convergence in Windows

by Luke Wroblewski May 31, 2004

As we begin to see more convergence within digital products and even the sciences, I’ve noticed three interesting forms of convergence in Windows: the convergence of the organization, the network, and the platform.

Windows empowers organizations. Apple empowers the individual. Guess which one corporations prefer? Empowered individuals spell danger for the precarious system of checks and balances that helps many a corporation stay on course. Organization empowered by networks of people and data allows companies to leverage their scale and remain focused. (It will be interesting to see if/how the Windows platform adopts social networking paradigms.) It’s the collective power of many vs. the power of one.

It’s not a coincidence that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer share the same nomenclature (and now the same UI). Windows is slowly blurring the line between network and desktop. This will ultimately mean a convergence of online and offline content and applications. That’s great news for Web designers and developers. Web interface design skills will be Windows interface design skills and content applications will be that much easier to design, develop, and distribute. Bob Baxley recently made a great observation about this convergence: “While the thought of designers coding their own work might initially sound daunting or perhaps unappealing, it will ultimately be a boon to the profession as designers will finally control the means of production related to their inventions.”

Lastly, the Windows platform is converging as the Longhorn experience. "Experience computing is solution-centered, person-minded, and focused on experiences. It's about sites and sounds, feel, and emotion. Today, the devices that are evoking the most emotion in people are the most popular ones." – Microsoft Group Vice President Jim Allchin