A winning season: Microsoft does it again


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Are you sitting down? Well, stand up, because the Macalope has very unsurprising news for you: Microsoft is winning again!

Writing for ZDNet, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes says “Microsoft is making the Mac look old and stale.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Philip Speicher.)

Sure, Microsoft’s Surface business has been sliding for two quarters, but let’s write another “Microsoft is the new hotness” piece because it’s the weekend before WWDC and all these hot takes will be stone cold by Monday.

Remember when buying a Mac meant that you got cutting-edge technology?

Sorta? The Macalope also remembers Steve Jobs promising to get the G5 to 3 GHz within a year and not making it. While it’s true Apple’s fallen behind in Intel’s latest processor updates, its products have rarely been the highest specced. The company tends to make up for it in other ways, like no longer selling a laptop with a spinning disk drive, unlike a lot of Windows OEMs.

And not running Windows unlike every Windows OEM. Also kind of key.

…Microsoft has made the PC interesting, relevant, and fun again.

It’ll be particularly fun to resurface your Surface Laptop when its surface starts to look like crap. Will they provide reupholstering as a Surface service (RaaSS)? Will it come in multiple colors and patterns? That’s just part of the fun.

Even Windows 10 S, Microsoft's cut-down, streamlined edition of Windows 10 -- a Windows RT reboot -- is an example of Microsoft thinking out of the box…

And into another, smaller box. A box more like the one in Cool Hand Luke.

Like it or not, Microsoft has been busy, and the hits are far outweighing the misses right now.

Boy, you sure wouldn’t be able to tell from this piece which company’s personal computer revenue went up 14.4 percent last quarter (Apple) and which company’s went down 26 percent (Microsoft).

And it’s not just the Surface. According to Gartner which, you know, eh, but according to their numbers for the first quarter of 2017, the Windows PC business declined year over year by 3 percent while Mac sales rose by 4.5 percent.

(Does anyone at Gartner remember recommending Apple get out of the hardware business back in 2006?)

There’s no denying Apple has let a lot of its lineup stagnate over the last two years. No one knows that better than a mythical beast with a Classic Mac for a head. But, despite the continued desire of the tech press to make it a huge win for Microsoft, the story is kind of more how it’s amazing Apple is doing as well as it is.

Microsoft has made a decent business and is shipping some nice devices. Its supposed advantage, however, is wildly overstated. Not summer-before-the-Zune level overstated but still overstated.

But if Apple has dropped the ball, and can't keep the Mac offering updated…

Grandiose statements made on the eve of an Apple event have the life span of a tsetse fly.

…it seems that Microsoft, along with its army of OEMs, is ready to fill the void.

My dude, they can’t even increase their own sales, let alone take sales from Apple.

And grab new customers.

Negative customers is still new customers!

Oh, wait, no it isn’t.

(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this piece understated how much Mac revenue was up for the most recent quarter. Thanks to Daniel Tello for pointing out the error.)

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