The success or failure of Apple thanks to the iPhone (and perhaps the services). Microsoft rises to the top of the world with cloud power. But those 2 big guys still spend all their efforts to continue a “full of fate” war – the war has swallowed up the history of both.
Anyone, who is interested in PC (personal computer) in particular and hi-tech history in general, will all know the PC war is the battle between Apple and Microsoft. After seeing the success of Macintosh – the first intuitive graphical machine – Microsoft has copied to create Windows. The success of Windows caused Mac to fail and pushed Apple to the risk of bankruptcy.
By the end of the 1990s, with iMac, iPod, iPhone, and finally the iPad respectively, “the half-eaten apple” revived miraculously. Most especially, when the iPad was born in the sarcasm of CEO Steve Ballmer and the chairman Bill Gates, the traditional ‘bread and butter’ of Microsoft was also affected. From 2010 to 2013, the netbook market “was evaporating” 90% while the iPad was increasing from over 3 million (in the launch quarter) to 26 million units (in the last quarter of 2013).
An imperfect revenge
But, that success should have belonged to Microsoft. As soon as the late 1990s and early 2000s, Microsoft brought the induction on Windows laptop and gave birth to “TabletPC” on XP. Microsoft failed, and Apple succeeded, this forced Bill Gates’s company finding ways to revenge.
On paperwork, the tablets are the perfect vengeance. If Microsoft integrated the touch screen into Windows; if the tablet is integrated into the laptop, there would be no one to buy tablets anymore. In 2012, Windows 8 was born along with the “cult” product – Surface. Microsoft wanted to swallow up the last legacy of Steve Jobs – the wonderful experience brought by large touch screen machines.
It’s really whimsical, iPad sales would fall, but not because of Microsoft. Every quarter, Microsoft only collected about $ 1 billion from Surface; even the record quarter (nearly 2 billion USD) is still less than 1/3 of Apple’s iPad revenue. 7 years passed, the application experience on Microsoft Store is still too inferior when compared to iPad: many big developers (like Google) determine to say no, the rest only follow the style… alms (like Facebook).
If counting on sales, Microsoft certainly cannot reach 1 million units. The lowest Surface price was 500 USD, while Apple still sold 8-11 million units every quarter. Worst, the quality scandals continuously happened to make users dissolve their belief in Microsoft.
It’s Apple turn to answer
The “swallowing” iPad task has failed completely. Even more than half a decade, Apple did not give any serious answer to Microsoft’s efforts. Apple “teased” users by making a strip of touch-keys on the MacBook but not bringing fully touch function on macOS. Apple also launched iPad Pro and called it a PC. And frankly, it did not support the mouse, forced users having to use the keyboard and… stylus.
Until WWDC 2019, Apple just bears to change. With a completely new operating system called iPad OS. This new change has lots of things that users desire: an absolutely independent interface, the file management feature is closer to macOS, the ability to read data from USB, and especially the first time of mouse feature. And, the iPad will able to take on simple tasks instead of PC.
The first time in history, Apple has actually answered for Surface. Only with an operating system update, Apple will turn iPads to hybrid devices.
Replacing the cheap PC
When Android tablet of Google is “a done story,” which rival will the new generation iPad choose to fight? The answer is a cheap PC. iPadOS features help the iPad to be a simpler entertainment and working machine. No matter how much improvement, the iPad will not be able to replace the MacBook running Final Cut or Android Studio. They also can’t compete with the x86 app store.
But, they will crush cheap hybrid laptops. Windows machines have never been able to keep up with the iPad in touch application quality. The only thing that they can surpass iOS is the full application. In fact, there are no users who need the full power of Photoshop or Premiere Pro on a cheap “hybrid” laptop? If there is a small device, the price is relatively reasonable, and it can be used both for entertainment, basic work needs, it is surely many people will not buy new cheap Windows laptops anymore. At least, they have a Windows machine in the company.
For years, the iPad has defeated Surface in this way. Tablets are only successful when Steve Jobs looks at the user’s desire. Users need large, intuitive, and easy-to-use screen devices to serve simple needs like watching movies, YouTube, or surfing webs. Afterward, Surface could not swallow the iPad just because it did not meet this demand. They are too big, bulky, and shortage of applications for basic needs. The Surface is not a good tablet device yet; how can it be a hybrid device that users crave?
The bitter war
Will Microsoft freeze to watch Apple continuing to rodent what should have belonged to Microsoft? No, of course. Because if Microsoft bears to stand still, it should have stopped a long time ago. The last half-decade, Microsoft rose up exponentially thanks to cloud power. Without Surface, Microsoft still has a huge success.
Apple has too. Nowadays, Apple lives by the iPhone (and ahead is the service segment). After the decline, IPad sales have backed to stabilize over the years. Apple doesn’t need to fight with Microsoft to re-define what PC is anymore.
But, both Apple and Microsoft may not give up the enmity for over 30 years. And even if PC becomes “an extra” on the hi-tech arena, the PC battle between Apple and Microsoft must still go on. Apple and Microsoft are still there, and whenever the PC history goes to the next page, it can be sure that the new page will still be written by these full bitter rivals.