What a very interesting week it has been in the world of multi-billion dollar technology companies with both Microsoft and Apple making HARDWARE product announcements.
We expect Apple to tweak and upgrade their numerous laptop, iMac, iPad and iPhone lines, but for Microsoft to announce two very expensive devices, and peripherals, and software, on the same day, is a very clear statement that they are attacking Apple's graphics & media oriented customers directly.
Microsoft has historically done keyboards and mice, but with upgrades to its surface line and a brand new top-end integrated desktop PC, they are drawing new battle lines. Their reasons to head in this direction is I suspect because they have failed in their phone efforts, with the acquisition of Nokia now seen as a waste of billions of dollars, and the planned new Google devices such as the Pixel phone and the rumoured Google PC/Tablet which will run their new (Chromium+Android) Andromeda operating system.
Microsoft is now backing the Windows 10 + Azure + Office combination plus the latest efforts to clean up the Windows Store, as a firm software foundation for the new devices.
Gartner this week has also estimated that Microsoft will return to profit in 2018, after the re-structuring brought about by Satya Nadella who replaced Steve Ballmer as CEO.
Yesterday Apple announced its own MacBook Pro upgrade with the new Touch Bar, but market response has been luke-warm, as it was with the iWatch, and subsequently analysts are worried that Tim Cook is unable to provide the innovation leadership of Steve Jobs and Microsoft is capitalising on this opportunity.
Interesting times indeed, as Microsoft fans delight in being proud once again, but remember to treat the imposters of triumph and disaster just the same.