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Ever since switching from PCs to Macs a few years ago as my daily workhorses, I’ve watched on in horror as Apple has shifted to a point where it doesn’t seem to care about anything other than selling iPhones, and admiration as Microsoft simultaneously releases one cracking Surface device after another.
I’ve written before – at some length – about how much I like the Surface line. From the $399 Surface Go, which is a solid alternative to the iPad, all the way to the high-end (and high-priced) Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and Surface Studio.
Every device oozes quality and practicality, and nothing feels overly gimmicky or trying to set a trend.
Microsoft is giving users what they want, rather than trying to tell them what they need, which is the direction Apple seems to be taking with the Mac (or at least the Macs it’s bothering to update).
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Microsoft is making the Mac look old and stale. While Apple has been neglecting its desktops and laptops to mercilessly push the iPhone, Microsoft has been busy reinventing the PC.
And the result is that Mac sales have become mediocre at best.
Truth is that Apple is in a position where it can let the Mac line go old and stale because Apple isn’t a computer company anymore. It’s now a company that sells the iPhone. That’s great for Apple, but isn’t really great news for people – especially the professionals – who use Macs and need Apple to refresh its line up in a timely fashion. In fact, if you’re waiting for a MacBook Air or Mac mini update, you should give up because my belief is that both of those are headed for the chop.
But while Apple’s billions aren’t tied to the success or failure of the Mac, the desktops and portables are still part of the ecosystem, and having devices that support the iPhone and iPad is still important because it keeps people in the ecosystem. If there are no new Macs, people will start to look elsewhere, and that weakens Apple’s grip on users.
But if Apple has dropped the ball, and can’t keep the Mac offering updated, it seems that Microsoft, along with its army of OEMs, is ready to fill the void.
And grab new customers.
Well played, Microsoft. Well played.