Big tech week: Microsoft steals Apple’s thunder

It’s been a big, no huge week in the tech world.  Microsoft released both Windows 8 and Surface. Apple announced a slate of new products including a new ‘new’ iPad and the iPad mini. While Apple garnered its share of press on it’s announcement, it’s been a longer stream of Microsoft news for most of the week.

Microsoft

surfacertIndeed, Microsoft has managed to pull of something that only Apple had been doing: maintain and strengthen excitement for its products for more than 15 minutes.

With the release of Windows 8 and earlier than expected reviews of Surface RT, Microsoft has kept itself in the limelight longer than many had expected.

All was not rosy, however, as many of those early reviews for Surface RT were glowing for the hardware, but less so for the included software.

Windows RT, so it seems, while innovative and beautiful to look at, is full of inconsistencies and bugs. And many of the RT apps appear to be missing features or little more than tech demos. One hopes that has changed by now since release day has come and gone.  I have yet to personally try one out as I live in the majority of the country that is not served by a Microsoft Store. And that brings up another point: how can this product be successful if you cannot go to a brick and mortar store like a Best Buy and try one? I don’t mind ordering online, but I would like to try one first.

Windows 8, however, has been getting good to glowing reviews.  Indeed, it is deserved too.  Windows 8, whether used on a touch or non-touch device really is an innovative and worthwhile upgrade.  I really like the RT side (formerly called Metro) of the house better than the traditional side, however I will probably spend more time in the traditional environment more than the RT environment. That is because of the software I use. Which brings to mind the question: why is the traditional environment in the pure RT release anyway? Seems odd and a bit confusing.

Apple

ipadminiApple’s announcement of a ‘mini’ iPad smacks of desperation. This is a company who is beginning to lose it’s luster with its old fan base and its new ‘fans’ probably just don’t care enough.  Priced at a staggering $329(US), the iPad mini (terrible, terrible name) is too expensive and offers little in the way of features to justify the high price (for seventy dollars more, you get a full sized device) or make it any better than the Kindle Fire HD (which is a hundred and change less.)

The ‘new’ new iPad.  Seriously? The apologists will defend it, saying things like ‘well, they needed to do this so they could get the Thunderchicken connector on all of their devices’ or some other lame excuse. No, they did it because they could. It is the holiday shopping season and this is a way to cash in for them. The ecosystem for the Thunderchicken connector is ramping up and what better way to sell those new connectors and accessories than to confuse the consumer into buying a device that requires them.

They introduced new Mac’s as well.  It’s about time too. I won’t say anything further about them as they are very nice (except for the ridiculous omission of the optical drives) machines and you can get specs galore from just about any Apple site.

Back To Microsoft.

I will be upgrading two machines to Windows 8 over the next few days. I will be documenting the process and will write a post or two about the experience, so stay tuned!

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2 thoughts on “Big tech week: Microsoft steals Apple’s thunder

    • @JD, I only review products that I buy. I do not receive products for review from vendors. $249 is a better price for the Samsung Chromebook, but, in my opinion, it is still too much for what you get. It is, essentially, a tablet in a notebook body.

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