Newsletter Issue #528: The Deaf Ears of Apple and Microsoft

January 10th, 2010

When a company becomes set in its ways, the door to potential disaster looms. This may well be why Chrysler and GM had to run to the government for a bailout when the market changed right under them, whereas Ford, which had executives with greater foresight, we ready to cope with the economic downturn and its aftermath.

There are also general agreement among more and more members of the tech media that Microsoft has also turned itself into one huge dinosaur, and they are struggling to make the company relevant for the 21st century. This explains why they continue to look for ways to move beyond the core operating system, office suite and server business and expand their consumer electronics and search offerings.

Microsoft’s problem, however, is that they have no taste. They continue to believe that simply adding features is the proper approach to building better products and services. What their executives don’t understand that the new features have to actually enhance functionality, not just add to the complexity or provide useless eye candy.

Take the Bing search system. I suppose the name is designed to convey a eureka moment of some sort, but it ends up having no significance in a world where the major player in search, Google, has become a verb. More to the point, recent tests indicate that Bing tries to outsmart Google in some of its search results, but ends up only making the process less intuitive and helpful.

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One Response to “Newsletter Issue #528: The Deaf Ears of Apple and Microsoft”

  1. Andrew says:

    Your point about Apple not responding (though better than Microsoft) is right-on. How long did it take Apple to offer an antiglare screen option on the unibody MacBook Pro? They still don’t have one on the 13″ model, and only do on the 15″ and 17″ because customers like me complained about the lack of non-glossy options.

    I have a MacBook Air (Rev B) with a glossy screen and its not that bad in most situations, but in certain environments the reflection is annoying. The newer unibodies with their glass panels in front are even more reflective, so much so that after trying one of the early unibody 15s, I returned it and bought a matte-screen ThinkPad as my large laptop.

    Well the matte models have been out for a while, and with a new employee inheriting the ThinkPad, I just ordered a new antiglare 15″ MacBook Pro. From everything (not much) I’ve found on the web describing the unibody antiglare screens, they are supposed to be gorgeous.

    It took them a little while, but Apple did listen to me with the MacBook Pro.

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