Microsoft: ‘In Our View, Apple Has It Wrong!’

Tom Warren, writing for The Verge:

Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, took to the stage at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference earlier today to stir up the crowd and discuss Apple’s idea of a post-PC era. “Apple makes great hardware,” admitted Turner, “the reality is in the OS we see things differently.” Turner went on to discuss the company’s upcoming Mountain Lion operating system and some mixed press reaction to the future of OS X. “We believe that Apple has it wrong,” says turner. “They’ve talked about it being the post-PC era, they talk about the tablet and PC being different, the reality in our world is that we think that’s completely incorrect.”

Turner then went on to describe this new era as a “PC+” period, one that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates predicted back in 1999. “We actually believe Windows 8 is the new era for the PC plus,” says Turner. “We believe with a single push of a button you can move seamlessly in and out of both worlds. We believe you can have touch, a pen, a mouse, and a keyboard.”

Apple’s post-PC vision isn’t about input devices — mice, keyboards, pens, whatever. It’s about exposed complexity. Tim Carmody argues in a follow-up at The Verge that Apple’s “post-PC” and Microsoft’s “PC-plus” aren’t that far apart. I think that remains to be seen. With the iPad, Apple has eliminated large amounts of complexity. With Windows 8, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft has eliminated complexity, or merely hidden it behind a Metro veneer.

I think the Steve Jobs quote Microsoft should be focused upon far predates this post-PC stuff. Go back to 1997:

“We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose,” Jobs said. “We have to embrace the notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. If others are going to help us, that’s great. Because we need all the help we can get. […] The era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft is over.”

Swap “Apple” and “Microsoft” and that’s the advice Microsoft needs today.

Thursday, 12 July 2012