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Bill Gates Now Using an Android Phone ‘With a Lot of Microsoft Software’

I say this with no snark intended: who would have guessed 10 years ago that Bill Gates would be using a personal computing device running a non-Microsoft OS? Or really, an OS that didn’t have “Windows” in the name?

I wonder what’s more popular among Microsoft employees — iPhone or Android? I’m guessing iPhone.

While I’m at it, it occurs to me that Apple is the only company left where all its employees are using only systems made by their own company. Microsoft employees need to use phones running iOS or Android. Google employees need to use MacOS or Windows (there might be some administrative jobs where they can use Chromebooks, but I doubt there are any engineers or designers getting by with Chrome). But at Apple, it’s MacOS on your PCs, iOS on your phone and tablet, WatchOS on your watch, and even tvOS on your set-top box. Microsoft used to have a slogan “Windows everywhere”. Apple doesn’t have one OS that runs everywhere (although it’s close with iOS — WatchOS and tvOS are really just offshoots of iOS with different UI layers), but there is a sort of cultural “Apple everywhere” mindset that I worry could lead to the sort of insularity that blinded Microsoft in the early ’00s.

Update: A few Google employees have written in to say that Chromebooks are actually in somewhat common use by Google engineers for work, because just about all work is compiled on servers and Chromebooks can serve fine as a simple machine that’s just running a terminal app in a Chrome tab. But my point stands: MacBooks are the most common device, even if for work they’re just running Chrome and a Terminal. Folks at Google aren’t just using Google products. (Lots of Google folks use iPhones too.)

A few other people have pointed out that Apple uses non-Apple tech for server related stuff. iCloud runs on Linux. That is indeed unlike the Microsoft of yore, where they ran Windows all the way up their stack. But the difference is that enterprise-grade server-side Windows was (and is) a product for Microsoft. Apple doesn’t have a cloud server product. What I’m saying is that when people at Apple choose a product to use personally, they almost always choose Apple’s own products.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017