With apologies to Lennon-McCartney: “I read the news today, oh boy; About a lucky man who made the grade. And though the news was rather sad for Apple and the Mac, I saw the photograph…”
The lucky man? Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO. The grade? Microsoft is making money hand over fist, and MSFT is worth more than APPL. How was the news sad for Apple and the Mac?
You need to see the photograph… and the videos.
Everything Apple should be doing Microsoft is doing or is planning to do or told us so, anyway. Brian Heater on the list of new hardware from the Windows and Office maker.
That’s right. Hardware.
There was a new version of the Surface Laptop, including the addition of a 15-inch model, along with an updated process and the long-awaited addition of a USB C port. Speaking of which, the Surface Pro got one of those, as well, along with improved studio microphones. There’s also the new Surface Pro X, which finds the company utilizing Microsoft’s new SQ1 chip, based on Qualcomm architecture.
Did I forget to mention the Microsoft smartphone? It’s a folding smartphone that looks, well, very Apple-like, and definitely smart. More on that in a moment.
Remember, Apple has plenty of hardware to copy, so Microsoft chose to copy the category rather than the gear. Remember AirPods?
The first of the bunch was the genuinely odd Surface Earbuds. Microsoft’s attempt to differentiate itself from similar offerings by Apple, Google, Samsung and the like is going all-in on productivity. The big, round earbuds are designed to specifically work with Office, including features like audio transcription, PowerPoint slide forwarding and real-time translation. They’ll run $249.
Hey, remember all the noise Apple made about Touch Bar in the MacBook Pro line a few years ago?
Critics, anti-Apple screed writers, and more than a few real customers hated it, but it worked well enough that Microsoft doubled down on the idea and built one into a new mini-notebook called the Surface Neo. Dual displays. Keyboard. Giant Touch Bar-like, well, Touch Bar.
The dual-screen PC features some cool keyboard tricks and should be a genuinely fascinating product when it finally launches next holiday, sporting the new Windows 10X operating system. Holiday 2020 will also see Microsoft returning to the mobile space with the arrival of the Duo dual-screen Android handset.
That’s next holiday– next year. OMG. Wait. What? A Microsoft Phone?
It’s a folding Android smartphone called Duo and it looks like something Apple would design to avoid the Samsung Fold disasters.
All things considered, Microsoft’s new Surface line just took some big shots at the Mac, with more features, more options, more price points, and videos that may not make you buy, but might make you stop by the Microsoft Store down the Mall from the Apple Store.
Microsoft wants to be like Apple. Hardware. Apple sells hardware and then sells services and accessories for the hardware. Microsoft sells software and has figured out customers need hardware to use it.
Microsoft is in the hardware business.