For those that saw the Apple and Microsoft events during the last full week of October 2016 it would have seemed like we entered into an alternate universe. Over the weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time with avid Apple fans and they were notably concerned that the ecosystem they bought into was falling far behind. The visuals from the events could not be more divergent. Microsoft is showing its path to immersive computing. Apple introduced a pecking bar.
The Apple Pecking Bar
The first announcement was a sharp OLED Touch Bar added to the MackBook Pro. While undoubtedly a cool feature, the hardest part to watch is how users interact with the MacBook Pro. Here is a demo from the Apple Special Event October 2016 edition.
If you did not know there was a new Touch Bar there, and simply focused on the interaction of the device demonstrated to the left, you would see something familiar: the look of someone on day 1 of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. Alternatively, that is the same look that we saw on airplanes in 2004 with people pecking at keys.
Microsoft Immersive Computing
Forgetting all of the really cool virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D creation technology Microsoft showcased in its October event, to instead focus on computing, the look was completely different. Microsoft’s Surface line is pushing a user experience that includes being hands on the display, not pecking at an OLED screen.
Switching to the user experience on the desktop side, Microsoft is exploring new UI tools.
To keep this short, these three images should let you explain to your friends why Apple has become un-cool at least in the computing segment. On a personal note, I have gone through a Microsoft Surface 1, (Surface RT that we can forget about), Microsoft Surface 2, Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro and Lenovo Yoga 900 all with touch screens. The Apple pecking bar is certainly a cool feature, but it certainly is the anti-immersive technology.