Why Microsoft will never be as cool as Apple

Date posted: 10/2/2014 7:44:40 AM

I think we all can agree that both Microsoft and Apple have their place in the computing universe. There are nuances of Microsoft Windows that seem to work better than Apple but then there's many advantages that Apple has over Microsoft as well.

I've been using both Microsoft and Apple products for decades. I love them both for what they are good at and dislike them equally as much in the areas for which they fail. So as to not sound like a perfectly balanced opinion column, I will spare you the fair and balanced approach and dive into why I'm writing this update: Microsoft will never be as cool as Apple.

First off, Microsoft has developed some amazing products over the years. Things like the ForceFeedback joystick, the Sidewinder comm system and other well-groomed products. The problem with them is that in an effort to either offset their competitors by introducing such products or simply a lack of solid product development, nearly every great idea gets completely abandoned after a few years.

While I would initially write this off as technological attrition, it’s very much a pattern for Microsoft.  They develop a cool product, sell it, don’t support it, the public gets tired of the lack of support, they abandon the product and move to the next shiny item. If they would JUST support what they make they would build brand loyalty. Nobody LOVES Microsoft. We all tolerate them because of how profoundly integrated they are in our lives.

Apple, on the other hand, supports their products to nearly no end. I once had an iMac that had been out of the warranty window for almost three years. The monitor went bad and they still replaced it for free. Ironically, since that moment, every computer in my house is an Apple.

I wholesale dumped Microsoft out of my home because I am finally done with their sales cycle. As a matter of fact, even if I wanted to get support for a Microsoft product I would be stuck with the most important question “who do you call?” There are as many poor computer repair shops as there are poor automotive shops… if not more! One out of a thousand are actually worth their salt and those folks are hardly affordable. When my Apple needs TLC, I take it to the Apple store and walk out satisfied even though their techs are a little snooty and I likely have more experience than the whole store combined, it’s nice to be served.

To round out my point, I purchased a Microsoft Surface RT to see if I could get more functionality out of my portable device since my iPad wasn’t really compatible at work. What followed was a series of hopes crushed by the sad reality that Microsoft tries really hard but fails every time.

I was very impressed with the integrated Office but disappointed in the lack of Outlook. I was impressed with the Windows-like environment but was disappointed in it’s lack of Java support. I was impressed with the ability to run Windows apps but was devastated by the fact that I could only download programs from their terribly lacking store. All in all the Surface RT is a waste of money unless you just surf the internet.

They actually could have offset Apple had they not been greedy. Closing the architecture of a historically flexible platform makes the Surface an expensive, lacking toy to which only children and grandparents are likely to find any amusement out of.

Microsoft often has the right idea and even have good timing but will often find themselves a distant second from this point forward.

Sorry Microsoft, you’ll have to stay at work from now on…