The struggle between Apple and Microsoft has been going on for a long, long time. Both giants have been fighting since their origins in the same market and the apple giants have always taken the cat out of the bag when it comes to innovation. Tim Cook’s have opened up new market niches and their rivals always seemed to be on the run trying to follow in their footsteps, but it seems that Microsoft has suddenly rejuvenated itself with the arrival of Satya Nadella, and her new airs.
The launch of the new MacBook Pro and the risky Surface Studio in the same week gives us a good perspective on how each of us is facing the battle of innovation . Of course, Microsoft has managed to surprise us, but… Will it succeed with its bet? And what is more interesting, should Apple take note of this move?
Everything is touched
Surface Studio is without doubt an innovative approach that turns the huge screen into a large touch surface that can be accessed by pressing the hinges. Wow, it’s like a huge iPad but running on a desktop platform and without being a mobile device. It’s clear that this strange device plays head-to-head with the iMac, but in reality the Redmond people’s bet goes much further: they want to drag users to the computers two-in-one .
The idea seems to be to go beyond the concept of the desktop computer and go for the touch as additional interface , i.e. it does not replace the mouse or, of course, the keyboard. After leaving everyone speechless with the Studio, all eyes turned to Apple, which in a few hours presented its new MacBook Pro and its approach to touch through the innovative Touch Bar. Here, too, you touch, but less so.
The fine line between innovation and utility
It is clear that if Microsoft wanted to surprise, it has succeeded, and if Apple wanted to innovate, it has also succeeded, but what happens is that both giants seem to play with the cards changed. The big difference is that Apple was eagerly awaiting innovation and Microsoft was predicting a more or less continuous line . But the truth is that both of them have innovated, and a lot, what happens is that Apple seems to have calculated its steps more precisely.
We are left with two facts: if we believe Phil Schiller, Apple already tried the possibility of a large touch screen but ruled it out and with a devastating argument: the use experience was bad . And that’s what Apple knows about for a while. The second piece of information comes from the record-breaking booking ratio of the new MacBook Pro: it seems that the buyer loves the Touch Bar and its new relationship with the user. Once again, the dilemma is back on the table: achieving a balance between innovation and utility.
“Créeme, lo hemos probado y no funciona”, Phil Schiller descarta las pantallas táctiles en los ordenadores (y reivindica la Touch Bar)
It seems clear that Apple has already chosen its trump card by presenting a custom innovation that does not scare users. In fact, this formula has always been applied in the evolution of its products and it cannot be said that it has done badly. Microsoft, however, has thrown itself into the pool by pushing the user towards a new form of use still surrounded by unknowns. But beware, it did the same with Surface and this computer has also come to stay.
What does the user really want, something new or something that is useful even if it is not so groundbreaking?