I’ve read countless articles since Microsoft's Oct. 26th 2016 event that have been highly critical of the Redmond-based software company. They criticize it's lack of popular apps such as Snapchat which they claim keeps a younger crowd from being interested in Windows 10 Mobile. They even go so far as to say that Microsoft should simply give up all their efforts, specifically on Mobile. But even those who believe that PC might still have a chance don't have much faith. Some believe that the Mobile division of Microsoft is what will ultimately spell the company's demise. Other articles, however, remain hopeful, waiting with baited--if not admittedly strained--breath for Microsoft to produce something that will put other companies to shame (in many cases they await the rumored Surface Phone/Surface Mobile).
Watching the things that Microsoft continuously strives to achieve gives me great hope. What I see the company doing affirms my thoughts that Microsoft really is passing other companies up with its innovation and passion. It seems that other companies are pushing for things like slimmer, better looking, maybe a waterproof device here and there, whereas Microsoft is looking mainly towards productivity. I don't know how many people would agree with me, but I would rather have a slightly thicker device that does more and lasts longer than a "better-looking" device that dies halfway through the day and doesn't help me do the things I need to do on a daily basis. Microsoft meets this need. Not only are they creating useful tools that now are starting to look great, their vision far exceeds other companies who have been the frontrunners for a while.
Apple’s products are good. They are reliable, sleek, and have the specs to match the power of a lot of top PC’s, excluding dedicated gaming machines, but that’s different: that’s not usually Apple’s crowd. Their crowd has been creatives for years. It’s been cool to own the newest iProduct for a while now. And it still is. The iPad was so cool when it came out, and so was the iMac. Microsoft really had to play catch up: The Surface line began as a pretty sad attempt at replacing the iPad. Having owned a Surface RT, and often used a Surface 2 I can attest that it was a really slow and sad start for the Surface products. The Surface RT had no good apps, no power, no real style, and it had a funky, non-adjustable kickstand. It seemed like Microsoft would never "get it."
But down the line we got the Surface Pro 3: “The tablet that can replace your laptop.” Built for business, lots of power, and a nice design with adjustable kickstand - now we're talking. Surface sales started picking up because heads were turning. Then in quick succession, the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book, which were great additions to the Surface family. While Apple kept making another iPad (still only apps, even though it was labeled as Pro), another iPhone with a different port, and another MacBook also with a different charging port, Microsoft started to focus on its own thing. And sure, it’s been trying to breach into the mobile world, but it still has a long way to go, even from the current state of W10M, which I love. (Side note: Windows Hello is super cool, but can we also just get a fingerprint scanner? The Surface Pro 4 Type Cover has it and it’s just faster) Anyways…
Now we have another iPhone with no headphone jack, because you know how the majority of people use Bluetooth instead of wired headphones (read with acerbic sarcasm). We have another MacBook, again with different ports-this time it's all USB-C which some would claim are not ubiquitous enough to be the standard port on Apple's new machine. But it does come with an admittedly cool touch bar replacing the function keys. But I've talked to several people who can't justify its presence on their machine. It's definitely a balance.
We also have the newest Surface Book with Performance base, which is more powerful than ever – not necessarily more sleek, but people who want to achieve more will sacrifice the millimeters of machine for more battery life and more power. I mean, you hope, right? Plus, It's something I'm proud to tote around. And people's reaction to removing the Surface Book's screen is always a great laugh. But it's also more than just a laugh: I regularly take off the screen, flip it around, and click it back in to have a super powerful drawing tablet when I create mixed digital paintings like these:
Then there came the Surface Studio... I saw it and just thought “Wow. Think of the projects that I could do with that thing.” I felt empowered. And super-bonus: It looks absolutely beautiful. And now we have the Surface Laptop and the new Surface Pro. I definitely want the former, mostly for the Alcantara fabric-covered keyboard.
Not only does Microsoft keep churning out beautiful hardware that easily competes with Apple, they are continually dedicated to providing every user of Windows 10 (and future software) with the most productivity they can. Microsoft has become about doing: doing more, doing the most you can; they're not just removing barriers between you and creativity by improving technology, they're unlocking potential. It's no longer about just getting the technology out of the way, rather it has become using technological advances to empower anyone to achieve more. I just don't see others in this realm of technology doing the things that Microsoft is doing. I can’t wait to see what's to come in the near future.
I fully believe that if Microsoft continues to progress in the way they have been since I started owning their products, they will continue to change the world.