Has Microsoft Become More Innovative Than Apple?
Microsoft may have just beat Apple at the innovation game and reignited our passion for truly groundbreaking technology over incremental improvements.
No Company Is Untouchable
No company that sits at the top of the pack can stay there forever. Many tech titans have fallen already—Yahoo! most recently. Although Apple is a well-established brand with faithful followers and a storied past supporting it, that is no guarantee against disruption.
When it comes to user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing premium products, Apple has led for a considerable amount of time. But as of last week, Microsoft is playing Apple at their own game.
Microsoft released an ambitious and innovative new product called Surface Studio while Apple opted to add a new feature that is genius (or gimmicky depending on your tech allegiance). However, where raw innovation is concerned, Microsoft undoubtedly won the battle.
The disappearance of Ethernet ports and SD card slots from MacBooks along with the traditional headphone jack from the iPhone 7 helps reduce the rate of upgrading, and the touchpad row of interactive buttons on the Macbook is interesting, but it isn’t enough to stoke the imagination. That’s where Microsoft came out on top.
Microsoft’s Surface Studio
Surface Studio is a 28” PixelSense display designed to provide a huge canvas for all kinds of work. Throw in the flexibility to use it upright, or draw on it like a drafting table and even the most loyal of Apple fanboys are at least curious about this latest tech release. Surface Studio is certainly a niche product, but the ambition is more far-reaching: to revolutionize the creative process by turning your desk into a full-functioning Studio.
Furthermore, the addition of 3D software for Windows 10, the exciting Surface Dial, and the HoloLens augmented reality device along with cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) services left audiences online wanting more.
Microsoft Targets Apple Users
In my view, the biggest challenge facing Microsoft is that its target audience of designers and illustrators are currently using OS X. Some users will stubbornly refuse to switch to Microsoft after using Apple for years. I’m uncertain how Microsoft plans to overcome that.
Apple is not out of the game just yet, but with Microsoft stepping up its offerings, they’ll need to strategize, because the more innovations Microsoft puts out like this, the easier it’ll become to win the hearts of even the most loyal Apple fans.
Apple hasn’t put out a truly revolutionary product in quite some time, preferring to modify their existing products in slightly different ways. It’s possible they are preparing for a mega-launch at some point, setting up the piece; meanwhile, other companies are walking around guns ablaze.
What are your thoughts on the future of tech's most iconic brands?