Innovation at Microsoft

For those of you that regularly read my blog you might be shocked to hear me complementing Microsoft, but their announcements today are actually quite exciting and innovative.

  • The all new Surface Book: A very sleek and powerful laptop that converts into a Surface tablet. The devil is in the details with this one, but it sure looks promising and in a very rare move this is a Microsoft computer (not an HP or Lenovo running Windows 10).
  • The Microsoft Surface Pro 4: A significant upgrade to the Surface line of tablets. This one Microsoft is touting as a replacement for your PC. Maybe it can be...
  • Continuum: This is a new software feature built into the new Lumia 950 Windows 10 smartphone and essentially turns it into a desktop computer. The interface changes when connected to an external screen turning your smartphone into your home computer. This is the most exciting of the announcements in my mind because I really think this is where mobile computing is going. Smart phones are getting powerful enough that soon they will be all the computing power the average person needs.

I may be a huge fan of Apple products, but I don't want to live in a world where Apple is the only company innovating. Glad to see Microsoft stepping up their game...

Quartz had a good in-depth report on all the Microsoft announcements. Worth the read if you are interested.

My First Mac

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On January 24th of this year Apple passed a big milestone...the 30th anniversary of the unveiling of the Macintosh personal computer. There was quite a bit of press about it, so more than likely whether you follow Apple news or not you heard about the anniversary. Apple even has a website dedicated to the event (highly recommend you browse through it if you haven't already). One page of the Apple 30-years of Mac site is a page called Your First Mac, where Apple is asking all of us to share what our first Mac was by selecting a simple graphic representation of the 1st Mac you bought or used. The small graphical representations on this page are actually a font for your computer that can be downloaded and easily installed for your use. The special Mac font can be downloaded from here.

My 1st Mac

My first Mac was the 2006 17" white polycarbonate iMac, one of the first Intel based iMacs that Apple brought out. Why did I go Mac? I had been exclusively PC up until that point. It wasn't until I was in the market for a really good MP3 player that I was introduced to Apple products. I did a lot of homework about which mp3 player to buy and everywhere I turned the recommendation was to "bite the bullet" and spend the money on an Apple iPod. So I did. I still remember that first night with my iPod (a 3rd generation click wheel iPod), loading music from my PC onto the device and listening to a few songs through the ear buds that came packaged with it. I was hooked.


Navigating through the simple menu structure of the iPod interface and (at the time) the outstanding audio quality and enormous capacity (again, at the time it was a lot of storage) seemed to good to be true. I still have my 3rd generation iPod and it still works perfectly (although it does need a new battery). It didn't take me long to figure out that if Apple could turn what used to be an aggravating experience, managing mp3 songs on a portable device, into something that was darn near tolerable then what is it like to have that kind of experience on a personal computer. I vowed to never buy another PC again.


For those of you that follow my posts here on 1wayswim it's no secret that I'm an Apple fanboy, but I'm not anti-PC. I still work in a PC dominated environment and do quite a bit of collaboration using Microsoft products. Heck, one of my best friends used to be part of the senior management team at Microsoft. I don't buy into the whole Mac vs PC thing. I chose the Mac because I fell in love with the simplicity and power of the interface and over time realized that the applications on the Mac (from a productivity and content creation standpoint) blew away the PC equivalent products. I'm a firm believer that any kind of a tool whether it be mechanical or electronic should work for you instead of you just doing work with it. You can make both a Mac and a PC work for you, but because I find the interface on the Mac much more to my liking I am able to harness the power of a Mac more than I was ever able to with the PC. So on this 30th anniversary of the Mac I choose to celebrate the choice that Apple has brought to the market for all of us consumers. We the consumer have had the option of Mac or PC for over 30 years now and I believe that choice has spurred more innovation on both sides, and everybody wins when that happens. If you have never tried a Mac find a friend that is a Mac user and ask them to introduce you, who knows you might decide its a better fit for you...and then again maybe not. From time to time I dual boot or virtualize windows on my Mac because I think it's important to understand all your options and I like to try new things. Most Mac users are more than happy to share the Apple experience so don't be afraid to ask to try one out.

Here's to another 30 years of innovation for the personal computer...

Apple & iOS Developers: A Common Goal

The financial drive of the App Store by Apple is currently in complete opposition to that of iOS App Developers. As Dave Addey points out in his post Apple makes its money by selling hardware with very healthy profit margins and is currently benefiting greatly from inexpensive or free apps in the App Store adding tremendous value to that hardware (these apps bring functionality to the device that hardware alone can't provide).

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