The Macalope: Where vision doesn't meet the road


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Writing for CNet, Brooke Crothers seems to have a weird definition of vision.

“Apple has the goods, Microsoft the vision”

The iPad Air isn’t visionary, but it’s a strong update.

Well, it’s visionary in that it’s the continuation of the iPad vision. It’s not visionary in the sense of remaking the iPad, because the iPad is already pretty solid.

That’s good enough for me.

Ah, good. Well, then, we’re done here …

I’ve been using the Air …

Oookay, we’re not done.

… for the last 24 hours and it does pretty much everything Apple promised …

So, you like the iPad Air. Great. The Macalope likes his, too. Let’s just jump to the other shoe, shall we?

The one quibble I have is that Apple is still offering the same vision of the tablet that it did back in 2010 with the original iPad.

Which is a bad thing because … uh, Skynet. Or the zombie apocalypse of 2011. Apparently we live in a vastly different world than we did three years ago.

Or, Brooke Crothers is just bored.

That’s where Microsoft and Surface/Nokia Lumia 2520 come in.

Do they? Are you sure about that? Because the last time the Macalope looked, he didn’t see that many Surfaces coming in anywhere. Admittedly, he hasn’t been to the bargain table at Best Buy recently.

In an interview I had this week with Raj Talluri, a senior VP at Qualcomm …

Ah, yes, what more unbiased source could you go to than a guy who works for the same company that employs a dude who said the Apple A7 was “a gimmick”? Please continue; this will certainly be unvarnished and enlightening.

… he swore that the Lumia 2520, which runs Windows 8.1 RT, is the only computer he needs.

Laughing. Out. Loud. (If only there were some kind of acronym for that.)

“It’s the only computer I have with me. It’s got a keyboard, it’s got Outlook, does Powerpoint…It’s pretty much got everything I need,” he said, speaking from Asia, where he was traveling.

It’s an enticing vision …

Of hell. Literally, that is the Macalope’s version of hell: Outlook and PowerPoint. Endlessly pushing emails and slide decks up a hill like Sisyphus.

But one I don’t buy into (yet). As I said before, I had a Surface Pro for two months but ultimately sold it because it didn’t deliver on the vision: it was a decent laptop but a lousy tablet.

The Macalope has never bought into the old saying that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, but this is like Brooke is playing that “Why are you hitting yourself?” game with himself. It’s quite possible the problem isn’t just with the execution but with the vision as well.

This is what Apple has excelled at: making vision meet reality. When it doesn’t, for technical or practical reasons, the company doesn’t ship it; Apple’s not going to sell a product that doesn’t live up to its vision. Microsoft, on the other hand, has no problem foisting its island of misfit toys on people (Windows tablets, the Kin, the Surface).

Stop punching yourself in the face, Brooke. Just enjoy your iPad.

Update at 1:23 p.m. PT: A previous version of this article erroneously said that Qualcomm provided chips for the Microsoft Surface; the processors are actually from Nvidia.

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