What a difference a decade or two makes in the world of gadget tech. There once was a time when Apple was beleaguered and doomed, and Microsoft was the most powerful and highly valued technology company on the planet.
That was then, and this is now. The roles have reversed. Apple is the master, and Microsoft is the student. And how the Windows maker is being schooled by the new big dawg on the block.
Most of us love an underdog story and Apple as underdog company has worn thin. Apple is on top and that well deserved perch makes the company an easy target for technology pundits who delight in taking down the leader a notch or two or three.
“Android is winning,” is the cry most often heard in the past year or so, as Google’s mobile OS took the smart phone unit crown from Nokia. Apple’s iOS is a distant second. Yes, there’s the need to define winning. When it comes to making money with a mobile platform, Apple is the best that ever was.
What of Microsoft? Clearly, the company is beleaguered these days. They lost a small fortune in the most recent quarter (attributed to bad investments) despite Windows and Office revenue (still a cash cow).
While Apple gets raked across the coals by tech media pundits because iOS isn’t as fancy dan or feature laden as Samsung’s latest ripoff Galaxy whatever, what happened to Microsoft is befuddling.
Yes, folks, Microsoft is about to kill the iPad with the Windows RT Surface tablet. The same one that nobody you know or have read about has actually tried, which doesn’t have a finished specification list, or a price tag, or shipping date.
Apple doesn’t get much of a pass from technology writers these days but Microsoft has been given a completely free ride with gushing praise for a comeback despite horrid reviews for Windows 8, and a revolt among OEM manufacturing partners, and a complete no-show on the Surface tablet.
If it’s any good, then why doesn’t Microsoft show it to someone besides themselves?
Here’s my theory on the Surface. It’s clearly vaporware. It doesn’t work. Yet. It’s not likely to work as well as an iPad (certainly won’t have apps to match). And it won’t be priced like an iPad. As much as I think Microsoft needs to make a statement and sell a version of the Surface tablet in the $199 range, it probably won’t happen.
Why? Microsoft has been caught blowing smoke. All those positive reviews on the Surface compare vaporware with shipping products already much beloved by tens of millions of users. Hello? What’s wrong with that picture?
Why isn’t the technology media cutting Microsoft to the bone? Because technology media thrives on competition, lives by the comparison spec, and loves to pit the underdog against the big dawg. And Apple, like it or don’t, is today’s big dawg.
Microsoft? Their day in the sun is over and they’ve been scorched in the mobile device arena by their former nemesis. What else can the mainstream technology media do except sound the trumpets for another battle that Microsoft has already lost?