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Apple, the press, and analysts: “The Mac is basically complete. Nothing more can be done. There’s no need to invest further in it.” Microsoft:
Say hello to Surface Hub 2. Transform any space into a collaborative one. Read the announcement. #Surface #SurfaceHub2
151 replies and sub-replies as of May 15 2018

Microsoft is the only company trying bold new ideas to push desktop/laptop hardware and software forward. And we make fun of them. We say PCs are the past. Meanwhile, 8 years into the tablet era, the vast majority of us still do the vast majority of our work on PCs and Macs.
Maybe THIS crazy idea from Microsoft won’t take off. We say the same thing every time. Surface. Pro. Studio. But an ever-growing set of people love them. Eventually, one of them WILL take off, and Apple will still be at square one because it thought the Mac was done forever.
not true. They’ve added the wild idea of a touchbar. I’ve even touched it a few times and not all of these touches were accidental!
Accidental Touch Podcast
Accidental Touch Podcast?
You’re being facetious, but I’m not sure why the touchbar is the butt of a joke while Microsoft’s bold failures are worthy of praise because at least it shows investment and experimentation 🤔
Marco’s Mac criticism is very confused. Is he mad about lack of investment and stasis? Or is he mad that they’re taking in a direction he doesn’t like?
The Touch Bar is cool and I love using it. Maybe you just don’t appreciate the experiments by Apple?
I see them more as being niche hardware that Apple won’t deal in. Yes, some people love these products, just not enough to cover R&D or turn a meaningful profit.
Also, Google will be allowing Developers to run Linux and Dev apps on Chromebooks. Should be interesting how many jump ship.
It may not take off, but no one can blame them for not trying.
Hearing you on @macpowerusers rattle off that list: 1. YES on all of it 2. Were you working off of notes? It sounded like it was just pouring out of your brain, but still organized. Time to turn it into a post?
I'd buy one of the Surface products if I didn't have to run Windows on it. Give me Linux, Chrome, Android, anything but Windows.
Windows is awesome, admit it. If you hate Windows, you can EASILY get Ubuntu or Chrome OS up on it.
I don't like it at all. And from what I have read, there are problems (drivers) with those OSs on Surface.
then get a pixelbook
I don't disagree, but until the nature of work changes dramatically the Mac is essentially done. I would fault Apple for not innovating to change the nature of work.
We’re probably already at the point where almost the only thing making some of the Apple products ‘stick’ is the exceptional catalogue of third-party software. I’d give serious thought to one of the surface book family otherwise.
We bought 100 of them, deployed 50 to a pilot group... half of the pilot deployment group had pretty consistent hardware issues within a 6 month period... the other 50 sitting new in box were bought back by MS. So yeah, that was a fun year-long derailment.
Ouch. You’d expect a couple with issues, but 50% failure rate is crazy. Which model was that?
There’s literally no evidence that any of these ideas will kick off. While you prevaricate, iPad still outsells all of these concepts.
?? yeah you never heard of the original surface if msft hadn't seriously invested into surface, the ipad pro would've never existed
What’s your point? Also, debatable given how poorly that device sold. I’d say the declining iPad sales led to more innovation on Apple’s side. The iPad fundamentally did not copy the concept of the Surface. No hybrid OS. Not a mixed laptop / tablet.
The idea of attaching a keyboard to a tablet never existed until Surface. Also, the original Surface ran Windows RT, so there's no hybrid OS. The iPad Pro fundamentally copied the original Surface. And that's fine.
Just because something is innovative doesn't mean it needs to sell well. Many innovative products are well ahead of their times, yet they pave the way for great future products.
I would say it's dubious—at best—to claim the idea of attaching a keyboard to a tablet didn't exist before the Surface. Remember, the lead time on Apple products is generally years, not months. Apple almost certainly had prototypes with attached keyboards years and years ago.
Yes, But Surface got it out. It takes a lot of effort to get a product out to market. Companies like Huawei had notched phones since a long time ago, but Apple made it mainstream.
That wasn't your claim. I accept that they were first to market with it.
Screw this debate.
Copied? They didn’t invent the keyboard.
But Surface was the first tablet with an attachable keyboard *that you could buy*
You’re wrong. Original iPad had a terrible 30 pin connector keyboard. Terrible design. But they had it.
oh cool i dunno where this goes at this point apple is a chill company nowadays but ik something is going on behind the scenes
I would imagine declining sales and customer feedback led to the iPad Pro... Not the Surface. Have you seen the numbers on the loss MS is taking with that line?
Microsoft started winning and gaining with Surface ~ 2015.
LOL whatever, the original iPad touted Bluetooth keyboard compatibility from day one
1) i dont care about this stupid debate 2) attaching a keyboard > connecting a bluetooth keyboard that's a foot away/part of a folio
The original 2010 iPad had an attachable keyboard. Please get out of Surface fantasy land
yeah i just realized it was trash tho like the original surface type cover we all started somewhere
I own a MacBook Pro and an iPad. If the iPad was taken away from me and I couldn’t replace it… meh.
Great. Literally means nothing.
I wouldn’t be able to earn a living without a Mac. Apple’s grand vision for the iPad fell on it’s arse, and now they have to back-track and make up for lost years. MS is taking advantage of that.
Dude, YMMV. Lucky Apple still makes Macs and is investing in iPads.
I hear that 2019 is the year of the Mac desktop.
Back to the Mac - take 12
When they switch to ARM it will really take off. Like, really, really. I mean really.
Right after the year of desktop Linux.
Have you ever used a Surface for a week?
Microsoft is winning the serious tablet user game because you can actually use it with real pro apps in real working Windows, if the Pencil worked with a Macbook Pro somehow it would be amazing but apparently that’s too obvious 🙄
How many Surface units do they ship? At the point they killed off Windows Phone it was selling far more units than current Surface shipments. They could give up and pull the plug on the failed Surface project at any time - just like Google recently killed off Pixel tablets
They already are; their bank balance is obscuring that reality. It is so disappointing to hear such consistently negative complaints about Apple's product offering in tech circles across so many different fields. But it's there, and it's growing. Alternatives are getting better.
As a windows user, I feel like apple has lit a fire under Microsoft's butt that we thank you for. I feel sorry that you guys aren't getting love anymore, Hopefully one of these msoft products does take off big time and we can repay the favour.
It's an intermediate step toward that Minority Report type display. I think working on a collaborative display for meeting rooms is huge, and it's something Apple would never touch.
You could argue that the TouchBar is their version of this kind of experimentation. But I think overall it’s a fair criticism.
I’ve used a Surface Hub in an “enterprise” setting. Of all the “Enterprise” screens with smarts it’s awesome.
I'm a systems designer for one of the big three AV integrators. We are installing a ton of Hubs. Enterprise is converting to Skype collaboration in a very big way.
An interactive whiteboard that runs Windows is a very Microsoft thing to make.
Big businesses love them. Tons of the first model here. I like how they are going to one size and making them modular.
If a crazy form factor works, there’s nothing stopping Apple from releasing something similar. Isn’t being fashionably late and (usually) better Apple’s MO?
You mean like how Microsoft had UMPC all ready and Apple started on the iPad from square one?
If Microsoft drew the same line in the sand on privacy that Apple has, I’d give very serious consideration to switching to Windows.
Been using Windows at work for some time now since rejecting a new MacBook Pro. I have a Xeon based mobile workstation and Windows... isn't terrible. I have everything I need. A Linux prompt, sublime text, Chrome...
this reminds me of the original Surface, the giant touchscreen table that could detect objects placed on it. now Surface is a tablet with a kickstand. these are concept cars. the consumer product is still gonna be a plain, four-door sedan.
Partnering with Steelcase was a great move. I could see them implementing this into lots of new offices.
Apple never went for crazy ideas. They did long research and went for relatively safe bets from their perspectives. Some may seem daring from the outside. But the choice is on the safest bet due to research.
You ever try to use a smartboard? The college where I work just threw out ALL of them because no one used them. They are mostly garbage: inherently difficult to use, a maintenance nightmare, no killer apps.
Everyone is so focused on Microsoft as a "consumer" facing company they're missing the point that they're creating devices that will eventually be everywhere. The Hub 2 is aimed at business, but in 10 years we will all have similar devices in our homes.
this guy here gets it
Thats what I was thinking while watching that.
I keep seeing the wall that turns into a monitor at a touch from the original (with Arnold) Total Recall
They are. The challenge MS faces, I suspect, is this underwhelming desire to get FUNCTIONING tech to market. Case in point: Surface Studio Pro. “Get it out, we’ll fix it later” doesn’t build brand confidence.
And yet, in true Window 95 fashion, they want us their paying customers, to be their QA department.
You act like most other companies don't. Apple does, Most Software Dev companies do, at this point most companies use their customer base as test bunnies for their new stuff. And I am not referring to Beta testers.
And at least Microsoft actually has public betas and listens to feedback. This was very clear in Windows 10 getting changes in the middle based on it. Apple, on the other hand... it’s more “you can test the betas but we don’t care about anything, maybe bugs, but that’s it”
I make fun of them because of the quality and other weird decisions they made for Surface (Book) etc. Obviously anything looks super nice in a PR reel but time will tell if the quality is up to par.
Well sure, but this isn't exactly a consumer technology, right? Microsoft is doing great at the enterprise game, and it looks like they're doubling down on that strategy. You're not wrong, but it's not the same market as Apple.
originally the tablet and the zune was introduced then Apple copied that... who was the inventor? yeah... Apple they said.. they just had more UI
Uh, no. The Zune came long after the iPod revolution. There were other portable MP3 players before iPod, but the Zune was not one of them,the first Zune launched 5 years after the first iPod.
i mean... with graphical ui
The iPod had a GUI from the very first iteration: iPod (1st gen) 2001 iPod "Photo" (4th Gen) 2005… Zune 30 (1st Gen) 2006… Regarding touch interfaces: iPhone (2007) vs iPod Touch (2007) vs Zune HD (2009)
Zune 30 (w/120GB mod) - why I still love it
Quick playlists! Yes.
I considered a windows laptop as a replacement, but while the hardware is great, it is the perception and direction of Windows 10 that were big factors in my decision. I hope Apple takes a focus on macOS this year.
You complain when Apple removes old ports and adds touchbars (me too!) but also praise outlandish concepts like this. Seems contradictory. Do you want desktop/laptop computing to innovate or stay the same??
I would hardly call inventing new ways to interact on a new device category and removing needed functions from an existing device the same. Nobody whined when iPads were created that it’s horrible they removed keyboard from a MacBook since it’s a new category.
Desktop computing is not a new category. It’s old & ossified. My take is that Apple cares too much about the Mac, not too little. They’d be better off spec bumping their machines rather than trying to push forward with touchbars and usbc. Marco often seems to agree, but not here.
I *think* this would be an iPad thing not a Mac thing: touch optimized OS etc...
That’s an iPad.
That's no iPad, it's a Space Station.
Wtf are you talking about? When has Apple ever said or shown there’s no further investment? What knowledge do you possess on what is being worked on right now? Microsoft always created vapor like this. MS Courier anyone?
Microsoft already makes and sells the Surface Hub 1, it's not "vapor"
And they've sold a TON of them
Courier was a leaked internal design study not meant to represent actual product. It’s like how a concept car is sometimes there to pursue ideas without any care for being placed into production.
Great investment in a touch bar... 🤔
The blood runs out of your hand in about 20 seconds and leaves it numb. In spite of that, it's been reinvented at least 90 times."
This is a reasonable argument for why touchscreens won't replace the keyboard/mouse on laptops and desktops. But it doesn't explain why they'd be bad as an *extra* input method, for quickly selecting or manipulating something that you primarily interact with via other inputs.
An extra input method to do what, exactly?
You can more quickly and intuitively select, scroll, zoom, etc. items on the screen by touching them than by using the mouse. Touch pad gestures solve some of those problems, but they still require you to move the mouse to select the correct context first.
I think what Apple really needs to do is rethink the trackpad interface so that tapping automatically moves the pointer.
And then make it bigger and then put pixels on it and then move it a more natural display angle oh wait.
No. If you're sitting down with a keyboard in front of you, a touch screen is not ergonomic, but a trackpad is. If you're standing up with no keyboard, then a touch screen makes more sense ergnomically.
Look at your elbow while you're touching your phone. Then look at your elbow while you touch your laptop screen. Completely different. You have to design devices around the human body.
You're making a theoretical argument against a practical reality. Millions of Windows users (and, for that matter, millions of iPad Pro users!) use laptop-orientation touchscreens every day and love them.
No, of course it's not the exclusive or primary input modality in that configuration, but it still adds tremendous value. The arguments against it are pure propaganda at this point.
I'm not arguing against the iPad. Depending on your needs, an iPad makes sense. What doesn't make sense is turning the Mac into an iPad.
Nobody is proposing that. The proposal is that Macs could have a touchscreen *in addition* to the keyboard and trackpad.
One major problem would be developer adoption, like it's already a problem for the Touch Bar, because you'd still have a lot of Macs without it. Indeed a lot of Macs that will never have it.
You would also increase the price of screens for everyone, even people who don't want that feature.
This is a good argument for getting started 10 years ago.
TouchBar is a little different because it requires apps to be specifically written for it. I'd assume that a touchscreen Mac will just treat touches as ordinary mouse or touchpad gesture events so that no specific support is required from developers (except maybe for stylus, etc)
(If standing is a requirement. If it isn't, it's more ergonomic to sit and control the display remotely.)
Having used PC laptops with touch screens, it’s actually really handy for occasional gestures. Doesn’t replace a good trackpad, but can augment one. Plus if they ever made it so you could flip the screen around to lay flat it would be amazing for digital art with an Apple Pencil
It's a good idea 😉
This is the kind of thing USB C/thunderbolt should make a piece of cake, such a shame Apple refuses to innovate beyond ‘thinness’.
Also, in the case of what Microsoft is proposing, the Surface Hub replaces whiteboards, which also have the exact same ergonomic problems. It may be uncomfortable to continuously write or draw on a whiteboard for an extended period, but the form factor is still very popular.
It's funny to me to prop up old theoretical arguments deployed as a moat by salespeople, as though millions of Windows users aren't refuting the point every single day.
The sales job is the one selling you something you don't need. Not the other way around.
I use my touchscreens CONSTANTLY and have never had issues with a tired arm. This is and was false. Touchscreen PC's are vastly more intuitive and useful
I don't need my iPad. I use my Surface for work and play for upwards of 10 hours a day, and it's a dramatically better device for the touchscreen. But ok.
If only that were true. I've owned many MacBooks and PCs over the years and the touch screen laptops make scrolling way, way better. It's a great experience. But, feel free to stick to an old narrative. Remember the whole "no stylus" thing? Heh
Try doing that for 8 hours.
I think its more Apple has settled on a “We Made it” mentality. They’ve become lazy at the top.
Here's a nice GIF of it in action
You can stack FOUR Surface Hub 2 displays together to create a "Tile," and it looks insane thanks to the bezels…
The operating system is still a big mess, and hardware quality is still 80%. Would shift if they went the extra mile to fix the OS environment, and build quality.
Are you referring to Apple or Microsoft? (Genuinely can’t tell)
I actually mean the Windows UX or environment, my feeling and semi-technical is that the actual OS is solid in both cases, and Windows is a bit more pro and extensible (in my case useful for architecture/design). The windows UX/UI is a disgrace still - see settings.
To be even more specific file management / settings / account management is an evil disaster on Windows. It is a neutered sadness in Apple, but that stuff is an outrageous wrong in Windows. Is everyone equally happy/sad now? :-)
Wat The file managing on Windows has always been great. This is typically a complaint on Apple and its Finder...
the windows core os on the hub 2 is awesome
At this time, OS X is a big mess too. Only its Unix underpinnings make it still bearable. Lots of software is crappy and the latest OSX is buggy and it’s gettingworse, while Windows is getting actually better...
I agree, and for me worst of all is the lack of integration in the supposedly seamless ecosystem. But the killer is the config and system mgt UI/UX for Windows. I simply cannot get over how awful the account mgt / file mgt / settings is given how much it all drives.
MacOS is quite broken right now and Windows is improving indeed. It’ll be hard for me to decide on my next laptop, both work and personal.
If Apple even remotely believed that, cheese grater Mac Pros and Mac Minis would regularly be released with upgraded CPUs/GPUs/RAM/SSDs etc. The trash can Mac Pro would never have existed. Clearly they think otherwise, Apple’s just not as fast with Macs as we wish they were
Microsoft’s Surface is a vanity project - their sales are minuscule. If some future Surface suddenly takes off, and starts outselling Dells, HPs, iPads and Macs we can have this conversation again
Surface devices aren't supposed to sell super well. They are supposed to push the limits of personal computing, which is what they do.
We are saying the same thing, phrased differently. But ultimately someone has to connect those pushes to users. If developers became interested in Microsoft Windows PCs coming from 3rd parties that emulate the Surface - great. But there is zero evidence of it happening so far
vs. 5.8 billion/quarter for the iPad (Q1 2018). And Surfaces are more expensive then iPads, so the gap in users is even larger. This is why iOS has new developers, Windows does not
I'm not asserting it's a bigger business than iPad (though Surface is just one of many convertible PC success stories). But the notion that it's a "vanity project" is laughable.
A great deal of this attitude is from people who are actively pushing for iOS to replace the Mac. These are not unbiased opinions.
Very B2B, as you'd expect from MS, but impressive none the less. I like the way they're thinking about redefining the way we work with technology. If they keep at this, something will stick eventually. You don't succeed unless you try.
Microsoft's take on Liquid Galaxy, except consumers can assemble it themselves and it's now up to Windows Devs to make it work :D
Have you tried using a surface hub though?
If you're suggesting it's no good, 5000 companies in 25 markets can't be wrong right?
And they're also shipping significant UI and feature updates to standard PC Windows 10 every few months. At this point, I look forward to Windows 10 announcements more than OS X. Hell, even their rewrite of screenshot management/editing is more exciting than most OS X features
when @Apple has figured out, how to sell leather case and casual straps in addition to a similar product, they eventually will ask Johny Ive to chisel something out of an raw block #aluminium. I still fear that the #modular #macpro will only have colored shells to chose from …
Just watched that video too. Incredible demo - if the final product is even 30% of it it’ll be amazing. Far more impressive than Google gaming people on the phone!
To be fair, it’s a matter of semantic. What Microsoft is doing is innovating with non traditional computer format, a category that could include iPads. When Apple talk about the Mac they refer to the very specific traditionnal form factor.
Yea but it’s not weird to see Microsoft investing in the future of what technology in business looks like. Meanwhile Apple focuses on individual consumers with mobile devices. Same old story, no?
My bet is on docking phones and use them as desktops/laptops perhaps with some pluggable gpu
🤔 You’re the one that gets annoyed whenever Apple changes something with the Mac. Which is not to say your complaints are wrong, but clearly there’s investment, right?
I think you're great @marcoarment, but most or your arguments against Apple fail to recognize the enormous challenge of building, growing, and maintaining the most popular and profitable product the world has ever known.