I write for a few websites and it’s fairly interesting sometimes, reporting on both Apple and Microsoft. I started with a love of Apple products and slowly broadened my horizons, leaving me to write across a wider variety of subjects — now including Microsoft. But this post isn’t about me, it’s about the preconceived notions that come with the Microsoft and Apple names, something I see on a daily basis writing on sites that are polar opposite in focus.
Apple is commonly regarded as a copycat company, as a cheater that profits from the innovations of others. For example, Apple was widely criticized for their slow inclusion of many iOS 3.0 features. The addition of multitasking and copy, cut and paste features that had long been apart of smartphones — even Windows Phone 5 had process management. While Apple was widely considered late to the party and to be stealing innovations from others, they were actually waiting for the right time to implement these features. Their users were asking for them, but they weren’t exactly necessary with how simple “iPhone OS” was back then. Most people didn’t have 9 pages of apps that needed to be managed. Also, Apple wanted to wait to actually get those features correct before launching them. Props to Steve Jobs for standing behind his standard of excellence.
Microsoft has not yet shown much true innovation in the Surface. Cool, the one-hundred dollar touch cover makes a click sound. Great.
What Microsoft has been doing as of late, though, is blatant copying. Microsoft has not yet shown much true innovation in the Surface. Cool, the one-hundred dollar touch cover makes a click sound. Great. Their attempts to adapt Apple’s business model has become even more obvious in their retail stores. Blue-shirted employees in a white-walled and overly clean store, with products sitting on countless all-wood tables. Everything about their retail stores is all too familiar. Even the white name tags hanging from the employee’s necks.
I actually was lucky enough to visit one just yesterday and I only have negative things to say. There were 4 employees standing at the door like gatekeepers with intentions on greeting you as you walk in, probably scaring away potential visitors. I walked in, and to my surprise, they didn’t say much. They welcomed me to the store, but seemed to be minding their own business, which I appreciated. Things quickly changed when I sat down to try the Surface. I was almost immediately bombarded by an employee that was obviously in salesman mode. It goes without saying that I quickly evacuated.
Microsoft has done a good job of copying the look and feel of the Apple store. Even the logo above the door is equally as simplistic. But the experience within is not nearly the same. An Apple store is a playground, a place to experience new products and pretend like you have the money to buy a Macbook Pro with Retina Display. Conversely, a Windows retail store — however similar it may look — is a place to go buy things.