Getting touchy feely (Microsoft versus Apple)

Brian RuncimanWhy do I feel sorry for Microsoft, whilst lovingly caressing my sparkly new iPod Touch?

I've just got an iPod Touch. We are shortly going to be experimenting with video podcasting so we want to test on a few common platforms/devices (professional!), so I've got my hands on the 'iPhone lite', as no-one else calls it.

It's lovely. Like most Apple hardware, software updates are almost invisible (something UML inventor Grady Booch once told me he thought was very valuable - he's right). But whilst the device is lovely and the software updating delightfully easy, I still have a problem with Apple.

I think it's the ridiculous encomiums from all the Apple fanboys whenever 1. anything newly labelled with the genus Malus comes out and 2. Steve Jobs speaks. And it's the implied creative superiority of Macs. I happened to be talking to a chap from a TV production house, currently working on a film for BCS's employees, and he had exactly the same schizophrenic views. So I'm not alone.

However I do go one step further - I feel sorry for Microsoft. Why? This is where my argument falters slightly, but I think it's my natural affinity with the underdog. Before you laugh derisively at the idea of an underdog with 2005 revenues of $39,788,000,000 (thanks CNN money), I think it's because of the perception of cool, integrity and customer-focus. Most lazy comment implies that MS have none of these. But that can't be true (can it?).

Anyway I heard a talk by Bill a couple of years ago for the BCS Elite Group and he seemed a decent chap. On the other hand I've seen films of Steve Balmer too.

Have I changed your mind?

NB Look out for the forthcoming video... more soon.

About the author

Brian is Head of Content at BCS and blogs about the Institute’s role in making IT good for society, historical developments in computing, the implications of CS research and more.

See all posts by Brian Runciman
June 2018
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