Both Apple and Microsoft held events this week and showed different views of how people want to use computers. As luck would have it, the Macalope happened to run into his old friend the Winotaur at the local water hole.
MACALOPE: Haven’t seen you for a while.
WINOTAUR: Well, I’ve… been busy.
MACALOPE: You know the Macalope knows you don’t actually work on making Microsoft’s products right?
WINOTAUR: You’re still doing the third person thing? Seriously?
MACALOPE: You still live in a maze?
WINOTAUR: I… It’s… rent controlled.
MACALOPE: But, no, in all sincerity, nice work on the tilt-y screen thingy.
WINOTAUR: The Surface Studio.
MACALOPE: Right, the tilt-y thingy. That’s what the Macalope said.
WINOTAUR: That’s not what you said.
MACALOPE: Tomayto, tomahto. Anyway, there’s just one problem with it.
WINOTAUR: What’s that?
MACALOPE: Once you adjust it and put that knob on it, it still runs Windows 10.
WINOTAUR: You can’t admit that we had a better week than you?
MACALOPE: Let’s put it this way, you got “Most Improved” this week. Be honest, how many of those $3,000 tilt-y thingies do you think you’ll sell?
WINOTAUR: More than you’ll sell three-year old Mac Pros.
MACALOPE: That’s… uh… OK, that’s a fair point.
WINOTAUR: Besides, we’ll sell a mess of Surface Books.
MACALOPE: But you’ll mostly sell them to former customers of other Windows OEMs. You’re not growing the Windows market so much as you’re just growing the Microsoft market. That’s good for Microsoft, but it’s chasing a mature market instead of growing one, something you haven’t done since the 1990s.
WINOTAUR: Fine, let’s talk about the markets of the future. Where’s your VR/AR headset?
MACALOPE: Hey, Apple’s sold exactly as many consumer units as Microsoft has of HoloLens: Zero.
WINOTAUR: Face it, Apple’s lost it. That presentation was a snooze-fest of unprecedented proportions.
MACALOPE: On the contrary, there’s precedent: The last Macworld Expo keynote.
WINOTAUR: I must have missed that one.
MACALOPE: There was a video about batteries.
WINOTAUR: Whatever. It’s clear that people want to be able to touch their screens. And we’re letting them do that.
MACALOPE: It’s clear that people want various kinds of ergonomic stress disorders? That’s news to the Macalope. It makes sense to touch the screens of smartphones and tablets, they’re already in your hand. But when you’re using a computer your hooves are on the keyboard.
WINOTAUR: But touching the screen is just natural now.
MACALOPE: We’re not going to agree on this. But maybe we don’t have to. Maybe having a choice is a good thing.
WINOTAUR: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
MACALOPE: OK, well, it’s been… was gonna say “great seeing you again”… but that’s not quite right?
WINOTAUR: All I hear is “wah-wah-waaaah”. It’s like you speak some other language.
MACALOPE: Hmm. Yeah. Well.
WINOTAUR: Hey, is somebody going to come by and take our order or…
MACALOPE: Dude. This is literally a hole in the ground filled with water.
WINOTAUR: So… self serve is what you’re saying?
MACALOPE: That’s what I’m saying, yes.