Yep, it’s true. Despite all the calls I get about Windows Mobile, Android, S60, Vista, Leopard, Linux etc… , the truth is, operating systems don’t matter. Well, that’s not true. They matter to me, they matter a lot to the folks who sell them and they matter to developers but as far as consumers go, operating systems don’t matter to them at all (even though they think they do).
So what does matter? Applications, of course. (and that’s why developers care about the OS). I’ve bought a lot of PCs in my day. I didn’t buy a PC because of DOS, I bought it to play Starflight, SkyFox, Zork and run WordPerfect and DBase. I didn’t get Macintosh to use Mac OS, I cared about MacWrite and MacPaint. There’s a reason we call operating systems platforms, that’s because they allow developers to build cool stuff that we can all use. No cool stuff… no market share. Period.
The head of Black and Decker once said, folks don’t buy our products because they want one inch drills, they buy our stuff because they want one inch holes. It’s all about the apps and that’s why the mobile OS platform is shaping up to become a real battleground
UPDATE. I’m told the quote is actually from Theodore Levitt.
"People don’t want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole." — Dr. Theodore Levitt, Harvard Business School Professor emeritus