Microsoft and Windows 8- Does it stack up to Apple?
by Tom in Technology
Apple did not only dominate the Music industry with it’s famed iTunes and iPod package. But it has changed the mobile computing industry forever. Every year eating away at PC sales and increasing its market share. Microsoft had to do something huge to keep up the pace and fire back at Apple. I along with every other Tech guru have been following these two companies on a daily basis. At last Microsoft has answered. They answer with Windows 8.
Microsoft has now revealed its master plan at taking back its reigns, and Apple knows it. This month Tim Cook fired 2 of its vice presidents, one being Scott Forstall the VP of iOS. While many people say it was primarily due to Apple Maps and Siri issues. I humbly think it has more to do with Microsoft. Apple has allowed the slow snail of a company Microsoft to catch up. Possible even more and actually surpass Apple. Let me tell you why.
Microsoft has now officially launched Windows 8, The Surface Tablet, and Windows 8 Mobile. With this launch we can now see the companies direction and how they plan to dethrone apple on all fronts. Windows 8 Successfully integrates all devices, Including its successful Xbox gaming console, into one profile. The number 1 thing that has me about to sell all of my Apple devices and switch back to Microsoft is this… The Surface Pro. It has yet to come out but this tablet is the only tablet that successfully replaces the Laptop for good. Total laptop hardware specs, 128 gigs of space and Windows 8 pro. You can plug in a mouse, keyboard, prop the stand up and it will do exactly everything you want it to. Run photoshop, games, Windows 7 programs. It is insanely portable. When this device comes out I may actually sell my new 15″ Retina Macbook Pro. I already have a windows desktop for gaming, the new Xbox is coming next year, and the Windows 8 Phone is completely next gen with Live tiles.
The only thing I can think of that Apple has now is iTunes. People are so invested into the iTunes libraries. I have spent hundreds if not thousands on my iTunes Library. I have at least 200 apps, 200+ Full Digital Records. That is something very hard to let go of. The Apps I might be able to live with, most of them are either free or I do not use that much. It is the music I need to figure out. Microsoft dominates Apple in the workspace, with a new version of Outlook that is going to launch with the windows 8 pro surface, That might be a good enough trade off. So lets list all of the main features of the products and which ranks better.
EDIT: Microsoft has created an App to pull all of your iTunes Music over to Windows Phone 8. Awesome!
iCloud vs Skydrive
EDIT: Did more research on this. Skydrive surely wins. You get 2 more extra gigs of free storage, and it works flawlessly, unlike iCloud which constantly has issues.
Apple TV vs Xbox
Currently Apple TV has the upper hand if you are not a gamer, it connects to your itunes library and you have much easier access to movie and tv content. Also Airplay is an amazing feature. Probably one of my favorite features of apple. My girlfriend has an apple tv, and I can easily Airplay my iPhone 5 to her tv if I have any content I need to consume. The trade off here is, I am a Gamer. I mainly game on my windows 7 PC, with the new Xbox 720 coming out. Microsoft has answered the Airplay feature with Xbox Smartglass. This allows your Windows Phone or tablet to connect to your Xbox with loads of features. And these are why I will have no problem switching completely to Microsoft Products. Microsoft has a huge upper hand on the game industry, and to be honest I probably play more game than I listen to music. I am going with the new Xbox when it comes out.
OS X vs W8
OS X and iOS have been separated. Over the past few OS X updates, the main additions were features from iOS. I expect more from apple. Which is why I think they moved Jonathan Ive over to software design. iOS and OS X have not made any significant strides since Snow Leopard and iOS3. We are now 3 generations farther and Windows 8 has successfully created a software that works perfectly on Phones, Tables and Computers. Not only that but Microsoft Office has also been migrated to the devices. Now what it really comes down to is Apps and Content. Apple dominates that forefront. What we will see next year from Microsoft is the final touches on its hardware line up. What I expect from 2014 is a big push on software and apps. It needs more media content. Windows 8 can run Windows 7 legacy software, which is great for gamers. But iTunes has pushed any other Music distributers away and all we have for windows is Pandora and Spotify.
EDIT: Xbox Music service lets you listen to any song any time, you just need to subscribe.
Surface vs iPad
In retrospect, Apple has too much headstart on Microsoft for them to catch up. That is what we saw mostly with Xbox 360. The PS3 could not ever really catch up. The only kicker was it had a blue ray player. So whats the Surface Kicker? I’ll tell you. The Surface Pro with Windows 8 Pro. It completely replaces the Laptop, well it does more than that, it is better than a laptop. With all of the same power and functionality. 1080p definition LCD, there is really no purpose to have a Laptop and iPad. Which is why I currently am using and is what I struggle with every day.
My Macbook pro is my main work device, I rarely use my iPad to browse Social media or Flipboard, and media consumption is mostly done when I travel. When I fly to buffalo for work, I always have to carry my 15 inch pro, while it is not anything to really complain about. Imagine if I could simply have my Surface tablet. The Cover is a keyboard, and a Mouse I can keep in my luggage. Everything I need for work is on the device, it can run Photoshop and whatever windows 7 software I can download or port using an external hardrive.
That replaces almost $5,000 worth of Apple product, with a $1000 portable Laptop/Tablet.
My closing statement…. I am an Apple fanboy no doubt. But I have been very disappointed with its software lately. It has yet to grow into something we all can replace our other media with. I am forced to have a Windows running PC to play the games I want to play. And on top of that, I still face disconnect from my working peers working on a Macbook Pro. Depending on how the surface pro fans out, I think it can solve all of my issues, and I am sure I can sell my Macbook Pro for close to what I paid for it. I will give apple some time to give Jonathan Ive an attempt to make the next big thing. Because we all know the iPad Mini is not it. I have been thinking about upgrading my iPad 2 lately, but the Surface has shut that down for good. I am going to wait for this Surface Pro before I make any tech buying decisions.
What do you guys think?