Microsoft aren't quite the new Apple

Microsoft are huge, obviously, but not quite the force that once dominated the computing world with Windows and Office while Apple struggled. Apple were the underdog, but still loved by creatives. The alternative, the cool option. Great design lead to innovations that shook up industries and lead to Apple starting to dominate, especially with the iPhone as mobile computing began to take over.

Now who's innovating more? Apple Watch has done well and leads yet another segment (but why no camera?!), but iPad and iPhone haven't changed much for a while. Even with the new software updates. iPad is still trying to become a computer, with plenty of power but with connectivity and interface limitations.

Did you see the Microsoft event yesterday? Microsoft Surface is the portable computer that the iPad wants to be, except with the burden/benefit (depending on your viewpoint and probably experience) of Windows. Can it become as a good a portable device as the iPad, with the new Surface Pro X or the planned folding devices? Maybe not.

It seems to me that the iPad will always be the more simple, easy, touch-friendly slab, when you just want to sit back and do something simple within an app. Easier to consume from, maybe easier to do something simple, create something simple. But opening multiple apps is still painful. Comparatively. For anything more complicated, being more creative, being more productive, Surface is maybe the better option.

I say maybe because I haven't really used one in anger yet. I'm not sure about the planned folding devices (Surface Neo and Surface Duo), but I like what Microsoft are doing. They won't disrupt the market again in the way that Apple did. But they seem to me to be the cooler underdog right now, with hardware design that is just as beautiful and a little more creative. For selecting and editing photos, I could use full Photo Mechanic, Photoshop, Lightroom, Exposure X5 or any other full editor on a Surface as a tablet, rather than rely on the mobile apps. And that is very appealing.



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Headshot, portrait, street and documentary photographer in NYC and Jersey City

alastair.arthur@gmail.com

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