Goodbye Microsoft. Hello Apple!

February 20, 2011
With the rise and rise of Apple its amazing to witness the decline of Microsoft. I call it the shift from Hi Tech to Hi Touch
Much of this can be pinpointed when Mr Gates handed over the reigns to Mr Ballmer. In one of my Blogosphere’s the debate rages…so let’s take a step back and see how this all developed by reviewing and highlighting the thoughts of ‘the mob’ as they echo my feelings exactly. Special thanks to: ‘FalKirk’

In 2006, Microsoft’s operating system had a desktop and notebook monopoly. They were also one of the leading smartphone makers – the favorite to dominate that category for the next decade.

In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone. Some would argue that the iPhone was really a small tablet that happened to make phone calls. With the beneftif of hindsight, we now know that this did (at least) two things to Microsoft. First, it made Microsoft’s mobile phone offereings obsolete. There was no amount of money or effort that could make the existing Microsoft phones competitive with the iPhone. The entire line had to be abandoned. Second, Apple introduced an operating system (iOS) to compete with Microsoft’s Windows. 

In 2010, Apple introduced the iPad. Microsoft had just spent an entire decade trying, and failing, to create the tablet category. Apple created that new category in less than three months. Why did Apple succeed where Microsoft had so utterly failed?

History will show, Bill Gates was so very close to getting it right as he forsaw the coming of tablets long, long before others did. But Bill thought of tablets as a way to make desktop operating systems more mobile. If you want to move a mouse-driven desktop operating system to a tablet, the only way to do it is with a stylus. A stylus is required to provide the pixel specific input that a mouse driven operating system demands.

There are (at least) four reasons why the Apple’s tablet succeeded: a) instant on; b) all day battery life; c) a Touch (finger) Operating System; and d) because it cast the magical Apple spell. Of those four, I would contend that the loyal iFans led the charge and evangelised the experience BUT the shift from Hi Tech to Hi Touch really meant the Operating system was the most important, by far. Apple realized that a new form factor required a new input solution. and they realized that a new input solution required a wholly new Operating System.

This is the one great lesson of the iPad: A tablet requires a touch operating system built specifically for the form factor. In the Spring of 2010 you could be forgiven for not seeing this. Few people did actually many Apple supporters bemoaned the fact that Apple had choosen to go with iOS rather that a “real” operating system like OS X on Apple’s upcoming tablet.

You could also be forgiven for not seeing this one great truth in the Spring of 2011. But it would be utter folly not to see it today. And yet, that appears to be exactly what Ballmer is doing. He continues to maintian that the world is flat even as his competition circumnavigates the globe. He continues to maintain that a tablet requires a desktop Operating System optimized for the form factor rather than acknowledging that a tablet requires an Operating System that is uniquely its own.

So now it’s 2011 and from Microsoft’s perspective, what do you have? The first thing you have is the loss of your monopoly. Windows Operating System – both your Golden Goose and your impregnable fortress that could not be breached – has been flanked. Apple didn’t attack Windows – they simply bypassed it by creating an alternative Operating System. I’ll bet that if you went back to 2006 you wouldn’t have found 100 people who would have said that it was possible to create a brand spanking new Operating System that could successfully compete with Windows. And I’ll further bet that half of those people who said that it could be done, worked for Apple.

The second thing you have is a competing Operating System that is so different from your own that any software that runs on it must be built anew from the ground up. And that means that your other Golden Goose, the Windows Office Suite, is no longer the de facto standard. How can it be when it does not – and more importantly CAN NOT – run on iOS or ANY Operating System suitable for a tablet?

So wither Microsoft? They can try to catch up – a herculean task that they seem unsuited for – or they can go in a different direction. So long as Ballmer heads Microsoft, I think that Microsoft will stay the course and try to catch up. And that is why I don’t think Ballmer will be heading Microsoft for very much longer.


iPad – Unleashing Creativity!

July 1, 2010

This is my third  post in a row about the iPad, and whilst I knew it would be a big hit, little did I realise what a profound effect it would have at home especially with my wife Jenni.

Yes I was there at the Apple Store – Robina – the day the iPad was released in Australia – lots of happy smiling faces in fact I was greeted by Sonia the Store Manager as I have purchased a quite bit of stuff since they opened last year.  Anyway I decided on the 32 gig 3G iPad so later that night when I arrived home gave it to Jenni to see what would happen – as I especially wanted her to have something she could play with – as she is hugely talented doodler and in fact is a gifted artist!

So we then downloaded a couple of painting and drawing Apps and then without any detailed explanation, training or online assistance, my talented wife started to draw and voilà over the next few weeks amazing things started to happen…

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…It was as though the artist which had been struggling inside finally found a new creative outlet and was released!

Over the past couple of weeks Jenni has also taken up painting again with new a creative range of her own stylised artwork which she is now selling at a local gallery…WOW!

As an Apple evangelist and long time believer never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine this magical new iPad device would inspire so many people let alone my own talented and beautiful wife to unleash her own creativity.

Thank you Apple (again)



Look mum…I’ve got a shiny new glass ‘slate’

April 17, 2010

Slate |slāt| – a flat piece of slate used for writing on, typically framed in wood, formerly used in schools.

Innovation and Creativity

The future of education, learning and communication just took on a whole new look.

It looks a lot like a shiny glass blackboard and it’s called the iPad. It’s not about typing or a mouse; it’s everything to do with interactivity – touchlook and feel.

It’s not just about text, pics or animation, it’s more about bringing a book or a newspaper to life with digial video. It’s not about a local disk a USB drive or even a desktop processor, it’s more about the ‘cloud’. It’s not just about pulling information; it’s about pushing IT. It’s not about repurposing old software, it’s more about rewriting everything from scratch.

Move over Geeks. Digital connectedness just hit the masses. We’ve now got a new tool anyone can use. From a 2 year old to a 92 year old!

At last IT will become fun.

Because – Hi Tech. Just got replaced by Hi Touch!


Apple Thinking…The iPad

January 31, 2010

Heh sorry I’ve been off line for a while…but those who know me know why. So let’s start 2010 off with bang – Apple’s new iPad which is best described by this awesome Wall Street Journal  quote:

The last time there was this much excitement about a tablet …it had a few commandments written on it!

iPad Commandments

Lot’s of knockers and doomsayers seem to be out in force, and I too was a tad disappointed that the iPad wasn’t able to cure cancer!. But heck this technology could well be a real ‘game changer! Literally.

Undaunted, I went looking for some more defining answers. You know, like delving into Apple’s head space or trying to understand there strategic thinking. Thanks NQ Logic

So I guess it’ll be interesting then to see in 12 months time who was right and who was wrong.

As an advocate of change (for the better) and especially Thinking Different I thank god I had the foresight and luck to be on such a fascinating journey with the team @ 1 Infinte Loop Cupertino, and although I come from the land Downunder, I was there with them when they first revolutionised Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing, then again with Music, and more recently – with mobile communication. So not surprisingly I intend to be with them for a little while longer yet…because:

These folk at Apple “who are crazy enough to think they can change the world”…more often than not, are the ones who do!