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With Windows 8's release looming ever closer, Microsoft appears poised to take on Apple and Google head on. However, it's sea change may be Windows Phone. But should lawyers make the switch?
It might seem far-fetched, but the proposed changes Microsoft's planning might very well be the streamlining attorneys need. Microsoft wants to make Windows 8 a truly integrated operating system, one that works across platforms. At the forefront will be Windows Phone.
For lawyers, this might make handling life in and out of the office a lot faster and easier than what iOS and Android currently offer.
Microsoft is planning to unify the interfaces for all three of its major platforms: PC, Windows Phone, and Xbox. Each one will utilize Microsoft's "Metro" tile interface.
But the change will be more than cosmetic. Microsoft wants users to be able to do all the same things regardless of the device used. They're also integrating their cloud services, like Windows Live and SkyDrive, into the mix.
The result for attorneys is the ability to seamlessly work, save, reopen, print, etc. It won't matter whether you're at home, on the bus, or in the office. If Microsoft's plan works out, you'll have access to all your professional and personal files no matter where you are.
While this might sound like the same cloud-computing options available today, remember Microsoft's twist. The same programs, not just files, on one device will also be available on any other device. Theoretically, anyway.
If true, the implications are astounding. You'd be able to install and run Word, Excel, or whatever, on your home PC and then use it on your phone, work computer, and so. For lawyer gamers, you'd be able to play your Xbox games anywhere. You also wouldn't have to remember to upload your files to the cloud. It'll all just be there, on your Windows Phone, PC, and Xbox.
This is still all conjecture, though. Other than their grand integration vision, Microsoft hasn't put out too many details on what's possible. However, Windows 8 certainly provides a solid base for them to launch such a plan.
And if it actually works like some analysts expect, the switch to a Windows Phone might become too hard for any lawyer to resist.