I never thought I would ever say this, but Microsoft is now finally cool and for once Apple has lost it luster. As I read articles, go around town talking to people – the original sexiness, enthusiasm and general respect for Apple is going.
I am obviously a PC / Microsoft man from way back and yes, I hate Apple! But I want to shine the spotlight on how awesome Steve Jobs was. Even thought I was on the other side of the computing fence, I thought Steve Jobs was awesome and he is the guy that got many PC users like me using:
– iPods, iPhones, iPads, iTunes!
Steve Jobs passing was a sad day for many (including me) and talking more business – many analysts gave strong commentary on this being the turning point down of Apple. Without looking at their finances, doing a full analysis or anything like that – I am more giving street commentary on Apple.
Since Steve passed on they haven’t really done anything ground breaking. In fact, they have had some blunders that would never have been allowed out previously. Defective iMaps with forcing Google Maps off, iPad Mini’s with poor resolution, iCloud, mediocre new product releases with marginal improvements and a borderline “Cultist” culture that doesn’t appear to quite wash anymore.
Microsoft sucked for a while too and you got to give it to Apple – their Laptops and Mobile devices were awesome in the original days. However when you compare them now to the Windows 8.1 Touch Screen options – it’s the other way around. Apple are looking tired and old, compared to powerful PC options (which are also often cheaper with more computing power).
If I go to say JB Hi-Fi (an Australian massive Electronics and Entertainment Retailer) Windows and Google Devices own most of the retail space. People seem to be enjoying the Google Tablets more and if I say go through some shopping malls – the XBOX displays are surrounded by “Cool Kids” loving it.
Even the people I know and considered Apple Zealots aren’t that passionate anymore. Originally there arguments were “Apple are better and you and your PC’s suck Edward” and they were right! But since the lack of innovations and PCs devices catching up (and exceeding in many areas) most are are more deflated saying “Well, I like Apple more because I am used to it”.
That I think is quite telling in itself. As they no longer have technical superiority, they are arguing more from an emotional perspective. I have had many friends go back to PCs / Google / Microsoft based systems as the emotional side just doesn’t wash forever.
Giving more commentary here as a technologist (and not a stock analyst) these are hardly good signs for Apple. Sure people tell me they have billions of dollars and can last years – and I am not saying “Apple are going down” or anything like that – but I think they are more withdrawing on their “Steve Jobs” brownie points and are doing little today to top that up.
I think it’s very fair to say that Apple have lost their innovation (and I am hardly the only person saying that). Sure they have released new products with marginal improvements whereas you can see Microsoft striving as quickly as possible to get it’s Windows 8.1 right, catch up from it’s own falling behind in the Tablet Market and in particular really lead the whole “Touch Screen” them when it comes to all forms of computing. Apple have released only minor increments for a while and although their extreme zealots tell me “Something secret is coming” – until that happens, it’s very hard to say anything otherwise. But you never know! Things in business move quickly.
Who ever thought Nokia would get bought out by Microsoft? Blackberry go down? The big old film companies disappearing? You just don’t know sometimes and things can turn on a dime in this world!
As per the headline of this article, I think there is a potent lesson for awesome people like us as Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs. Regardless of whatever success or failure you have had – things can turn very quickly. What I get out of the Microsoft / Google / PC Vs. Apple battle is that you have to constantly reinvent yourself. Many of my awesomely successful clients and colleagues do that and talking personally I had to do the same thing last year! I was getting feedback from very credible sources saying “Edward we like you, but you are a slob and a bit negative”.
So what did I do? A massive makeover, tons of positivity (but realistic positivity – I don’t like this visualize stuff over taking action) and the feedback has been totally amazing.
That change I did was inspired to me by Microsoft. Those guys really dropped the ball with the whole Mobile / Tablet market and for a while Sony was whipping them with gaming. Microsoft have worked their butts off to not only catch up – but in some areas they are clearly leading (e.g. Integrated Operating Systems, Gaming Market, Touchscreen, Work and Productivity).
Sure in some areas Apple are still whipping them, but the gap has diminished somewhat and it won’t take much more for this gap to be against Apple. Learning from a warning, you don’t want to be Microsoft playing catch-up nor be Apple slowly losing / insulting the awesome results Steve Jobs helped to create.
My lesson and advice as Awesome Small Business Owners and entrepreneurs? Always be on the edge and looking to keep reinventing yourself and constantly tweaking and improving. If you are behind like I was or “Doing a Microsoft” – may I suggest it’s time for you to reinvent yourself and go really hard! Then when you are ahead, then constantly tweak yourself so it stays that way. It’s my strategy and it’s working beautifully for me.
Have a great day / night everyone and God Bless!
Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Man who is happy that Microsoft is Winning!