“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”
- Benjamin Franklin
Been awhile, huh? Things have been crazy here at Beardon Services; plenty of Request for Proposal Responses keeping me busy, lots of projects for everyone else, and hundreds of Sonic drinks to keep us all “hydrated.” This week has been pretty great, though, and it’s hard to believe it’s already coming to a close. With the conclusion of the week, though, I thought I might try my hand at a little criticism, pros and cons, kind of blog post. I’ll be discussing Apple v.s. Microsoft‒a seemingly age-old scuffle for who has the best software, who’s making the biggest technological leaps, and finally, is there really ever going to be a winner?
I thought the best way to showcase my countless hours of research over both of these behemoth companies might be to simply type up a pros and cons list for each…pretty elementary, right? Hopefully you can keep up, and maybe form your own opinion about which you prefer.
Starting off, there’s a few things you should probably have in mind…
- These are personal opinions from people much more qualified to talk of technological things than I. I’m simply “The Writer,” a voice among the abyss, if you will. My soul purpose is that which might provoke you, as the reader, to make some observations and give some feedback, should you feel so bold.
- Every number or statistic was probably taken from another article, and credit will be given to those articles at the conclusion of this post.
- I enjoy reading of technology and it’s advancements, but again, I am an English major–Yeats, Hardy, and Tolkien are my kinda guys. Forgive me if there are some terms that make no sense, I’m learning slowly! 🙂
The number one thing I found interesting in combing through the Interwebs, looking for substantial evidence on which company is “better,” was probably the simple fact that technology has grown immensely in the last 10 years. For example, a project in the 80’s would’ve been suggested to take up to 5 years in the boardroom and people would’ve been impressed. Now, a scope of work that large would be laughed at. The same project in today’s advanced society would probably take 3 months–pretty vast difference, eh? Developers are getting and making technology and software so much faster it’s nearly impossible to keep up. They’re creating dramatic visuals and easy functionality in a portion of the time it used to take 10 years ago. How are small businesses supposed to keep up with their efficiency and rapid innovation?
Well, for businesses like Apple, marketing seems to be more of a priority than efficiency and usability. They have such a massive following, marked at more than 700 million iPhones sold by March 9, 2015, that they have to provide and follow through with their monthly release of new macOS and iOS software for iPhones and Macbook computers. They have major releases every year, promised to the public ahead of time…seems like a lot of pressure on the engineering team if you ask me!
HackerNews featured an article where a former OS X developer commented on Apple’s massive upgrades and releases happening all at once:
“…we would move in giant monolithic releases where every group would just dump in whatever they had ready and the whole thing would get released with nightly builds. …This resulted in extremely late releases that had a ton of bugs that we piled patches onto as time went on.”
Seems inevitable, I think, that bugs would accompany such “monolithic” releases. Where there is massive production, there’s bound to be small but numerous mistakes. So, now the question becomes how do big businesses keep up with their promised release dates to please the public, while also keeping their product usable and the most efficient? I believe the answer is simple: Focus on big features, but address the underlying issues before the next release date. Their user base is growing by the minute, expanding horizons are becoming more and more prominent but the argument is still there–Why promise products that have low usability, allowing customer satisfaction to drop? We live in a world where the idea that technology, at every impasse, should be flawless 24/7. Keeping up with those promises seems a bit impossible, in my opinion.
Well, to answer this question we might take a look at Microsoft and their releases of new updates, servers and products. While Apple seems to have overtaken the technology market, Microsoft is definitely right behind them at a close second. A study showed that, while Apple is making leaps and bounds in the iPhone department, Microsoft is perfecting their usability in products they’ve already released. For example, in Windows 10, they completely revamped the look and feel from the previous Windows 8 (if you haven’t downloaded it already, you probably should. I’m writing this from a desktop with Windows 10 and I’m in love). The app window is completely gone, minimized into a simple square in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, multitasking is more fluid from screen to screen, Windows Office is so user-friendly my cat could learn how to use it (if I had one). Cortana support makes locating files a breeze, high resolution and a redesigned taskbar keeps things organized by what YOU, as the user, enjoy most on your desktop or laptop.
Another study showed that Windows shares were up 26.5% over the past 12 months. This statistic was pointed out as strange because Apple’s sales for 2015 were reported as being 5x greater than Microsoft. Apple’s revenue grew 27%, while Microsoft grew a measly 1.5%. Well, here’s a fun fact in finance for you (say that 5x fast), shareholders normally consider the longevity of their purchases. That is to say, people that choose to invest are thinking of which company has the most room to grow in the future, not what is popular today. As we as consumers can see, Apple has definitely surpassed many expectations with releases in recent years (mainly from the iPhone), but the longevity of their products is what makes me question the quality. Another front runner, Android, has been making progressive steps in their products and also gaining popularity among the masses. Who do we pick? How do we compete?
The photo shown below depicts both Microsoft and Apple’s stock from July 29th, 2011 to July 22, 2014. You can see it’s been pretty neck and neck in the last few years, and that’s not even showing the releases of their biggest products in 2016. Crazy.
Photo courtesy of USA Today.
These are a lot of facts, piling together to mean what, exactly? Well, that’s for you to decide. Which product do you like more, which company seems to create a better product or software? What about overall productivity at work or in the classroom?
According to a Global Equities Research Analyst, Trip Chowdhry, nearly 70% of all college students are using Macbooks in class. But in the workplace, more than 52% of organizations are turning to the Microsoft cloud for business growth and development.
I think this whole argument boils down to personal preference; Do you prefer iMessage and a glass screen, or a good camera and lasting battery? What about desktops-Macbook or Microsoft? Would you take a completely different route and go with an Android or Google?
With all of these companies competing for your business, it’s hard to keep up with all the releases–Microsoft with their awesome new Surface Studio and Apple with their new and re-designed Macbook Pro.
In one of the articles I read there was an excellent quote that summarizes people today:
“There are those who create, and those who simply consume.”
Which are you?
Information for the above blog post was gathered from the following websites: