Microsoft missed it by That Much

Microsoft had a massive opportunity to scuttle Apple and upstage their main tech rival, by releasing amazing new products on 4th October 2018, ahead of Apple's Mac event. Alas, Microsoft missed it by 'that much'. #fail

Microsoft's Massive Opportunity

On 4th October 2018, at the Microsoft Surface 'black' launch event, there was a massive opportunity for Microsoft to release new PC devices and software that would scuttle Apple.

Apple has stagnated with the same designs and same-same software for the last three to five years.

The iMac hasn't changed, other than getting processor updates.

The iPad hasn't changed in years.

The MacBook and MacBook Pro line hasn't changed in many years, save for Touch Bar, which no one wants or uses, but is forced to pay for when you buy a new MacBook Pro.

The HomePod was a flop. The iPod has died. The Mac Mini hasn't been updated since 2014.

Apple's software has even been affected by problems, bugs, glitches, and outright failures.

Now is the perfect opportunity to strike while the iron is hot, and take down Apple.

Read more about the massive opportunity Microsoft has, here.

Missed it by 'that much'

As Maxwell Smart used to say, they missed it by 'that much'.

Today, we know how much: about 4 millimeters - the size of the Thunderbolt port.

While the Surface Book 2 and the Surface Studio 2 both received USB-C ports (many years after Apple blessed the MacBook Pro with them), the lesser Surface Laptop 2 and the mighty Surface Pro 6 missed out.

Even the Surface Dock missed out on a refresh. The dock doesn't even have USB-C, let alone Thunderbolt.

Thunderbolt was co-developed by Apple and Intel, and was Apple-exclusive for a short time, before it became 100% controlled by Intel and made its way to Windows machines.

Via the Surface Connect port, all Surface devices can attach to the Surface Dock. Updating the aging Dock with Thunderbolt ports would give all devices the ability to connect other devices directly to the PCI Express bus.

Microsoft mildly stepped on Apple's toes by releasing a number of Surface devices in a new matte black option, including the Surface Pro 6 and the Surface Laptop 2. That's as close as they came to scoring a direct hit at the heart of the Apple fan base this year. Pretty weak, Microsoft.

There was an opportunity for Microsoft to release amazing new Surface devices and amazing updates to Windows 10 and other software, and stab Apple in the heart as they sell sell sell over the end of year buying period.

I personally had AU$4000 saved to buy the new Surface Pro 6... but only if it had Thunderbolt, which it sadly didn't get.

Instead, I bought an Xbox One X; and spent AU$105 adding 16GB RAM to my Dell laptop.

I suppose Microsoft could surprise us all next year.

I will reluctantly admit that this gives Microsoft the ability to surprise everyone with amazing new hardware next year... but if they do, they'll wait until August or October 2019, and by then, Apple will have new machines on the market.

Opportunity lost. Missed it by 'that much'.

Until next time,

Xavier Zymantas


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