April 10th, 2015… the first day the public gets to see the Apple Watch and new Macbook in person. Products the tech pundits are calling ‘ho-hum at best’. I’m constantly amazed at how short the media’s memory is. Full disclosure, I’m an Apple fanboi. For some reason, I remember hearing the exact same media comments about, oh, let’s see… 1st Macbook Air (overpriced, slow), the 1st iPhone (what!?! no physical keyboard, removable battery or media slot!?!), the iPad (it’s just a big iPad), etc… The list goes on and on. I think the tech pundits miss a lot of points. The bell curve of the world population doesn’t need the most expandable, Swiss Army knife, biggest, latest-and-greatest CPU phone. What people want is something that is they can identify with. Since Apple tends to focus on the user experience from top-to-bottom, left-to-right, and end-to-end, they’ve done incredibly well. And, I think that they will continue to do well with both the Apple Watch and the new Macbook. In two to three years, both products will have iterated to bring the functionality up to the form. Heck, the first really slam dunk, no brainer to buy iPhone has been the 6. Up until that point, there’s always been something that’s made people crazy with the iPhones (mainly battery life!)
On my personal opinion, I’m not terribly thrilled about how Apple is launching products. For a company that used to do announcements and shipping on the same day, it seems like lately there’s been a lot of announcements with 3+ months of lead time. Between the Mac Pro, Photos, and Apple Watch, each one has had an announcement time of over 6 months ahead of shipping. I realize that this is one way to beat the leaks, as the latest leaks seem to be pretty dead on target, but 6 month pre announcements have gotten ridiculous.
As to Microsoft… talk about a company that really HAS turned it around. Windows 10 is shaping up to be a very good release. I currently use Windows 10 as my main work desktop OS, with very little issues. The fact that since Windows 8, it has been possible to do an inlace OS upgrade has been nothing short of a miracle from Redmond. The current beta test release system seems to be working very well for Microsoft. Of course, there are some snags here and there, but nothing that can’t be worked around at this point.
Also, I like the fact that Azure is doing well. Because of Azure, Microsoft has really stepped up their game in several areas. Deployments are now THE first class citizen. The tools that have been built to handle the Azure systems are working their way down into the core products. PowerShell and Desired State Configuration and really starting to be expanded, and those improvements help Windows in many way.
The other interesting things that Microsoft is doing is in .NET world. Between open sourcing a majority of .NET, embracing the open source community projects, creating a cross platform .NET runtime environment and speeding up the time between Visual Studio updates, I feel that there is a LOT of development growth going on. The .NET renaissance is happening. It may be stealing everything from the Java community, true, but considering how stagnant Java *seems* to have become lately, I think the future looks bright for the .NET tools.
I just wonder how long before Apple buys Microsoft or IBM?