Microsoft vs. Apple

Brian Hicks

Updated September 10, 2012

Armageddon of Tablet Technology

A couple weeks ago, I wrote to you about ObamaCare — specifically the ARRA and HITECH Act and how it will be the next Y2K for the information technology world.

Today I would like to bring your attention to the current war being waged between Apple and Microsoft.

The Next Gadget

Popularity of a technology gadget always starts with need.

If you’ve visited a doctor in the past few months, then you probably spotted a tablet — or something scarily worse…

Two weeks ago, I filled out the most annoying questionnaire about my insurance information on a poor man’s version of a tablet: a black dry-erase marker with a laminated form. I sat in the waiting room clumsily filling fat letters in the little boxes. Smirking as I squished my 20,000-digit insurance id in the correct field, I imagined the next step would be an over-priced scanner imaging my illegible information and zapping it to cyber infinity.

Good luck reading this handwriting.

My doctor was over-sold for his new Electronic Medical Record system; he either couldn’t afford the nice tablets, or was afraid of them. Stupid.

Doctors offices are and will become desperate for help. Those that achieve the integrated greatness will impress patients by handing them tablets with stress-free stylus pens to answer questions and then snap the tablet back into the doctor’s laptop.

This will be the next gadget.

It will be the flexibility and integration of the laptop to the tablet. The physician and nurse can rotate through tablets as thin as their past “charts” and then snap them into their laptops to type and send data seamlessly.

That is the key: integration and flexibility, and it will spread to households.

Tablets integrating with laptops and phones easily will be the next craze.

In fact, it’s already started…

Technology Gods

In current events, while the HITECH Act is demanding Electronic Health Record (EHR) integration, the technology gods have left us.

Who will lead the charge with this new gadget erupting?

Steve Jobs is dead. Bill Gates is retired.

In cyber realms behind the mammoth silicon doors of these giants, talented executives have been girding their loins and strategizing of how to prove their worth, to make their mark…

Who will be the next Jobs? Who will be the next Gates?

They are now striking with their most brilliant ideas, but what can they offer?

Both Microsoft and Apple have major campaigns being waged this next quarter.

The Next Dinosaur

Apple touts the iPhone 5 being released on September 12 with mystery features.

But what is left for an iPhone 5 to do?

Will they make the appearance more square with harder edges? Apple always trends to a different look from their previous model — the cool factor of public recognition: “She has the new iPhone!”

Will Apple offer a 3D hologram popping like the Star Trek hologram deck? Will they add scents, so I can smell the aroma of my Columbian coffee?

What’s left?

They will undoubtedly make the camera better, the color sharper, more visual screen space. Yawn. So what?

I don’t need to pay $300 to replace my perfectly fine iPhone 4S so that my screen is an eighth of an inch bigger. And after 6 megapixels, does the camera really matter?

Try an Adobe Flash site on the iPad or iPhone. They don’t work. Where is the USB port to pull my pictures from my iPhone or iPad without a cable? I have a wireless mouse and keyboard, but I need a cable for my iPhone?

I can’t tether my iPhone from my work laptop (making it a hot spot), because iTunes is not part of our technology standard. If I were to use my iPad for work, I would use Microsoft Office apps, but they aren’t the same and they aren’t free.

There are signs that Apple will succumb:

  • Playing catch-up – Apple announced they would not be doing a hybrid: a laptop/tablet combination. They are focused on making a smaller tablet, the Apple Mini. A smaller tablet. Really? They are already rampant on the market. The seven-inch Kindle Fire alone supposedly has 22% of the tablet market currently. Again, Apple is playing catch-up.

  • Commonplace Intuitiveness – Apple had gripped the phone market by making their products intuitive, so easy anyone could use. However, Apple has lost their foothold. An IDC survey released last month showed Samsung’s Droid surpassing Apple’s iPhone. The court battles have begun with Apple claiming Samsung copied their intuitive design. Apple is now threatened, and their formerly intuitive design is now commonplace.

Microsoft Attacks

Microsoft is about to launch the Windows Surface RT tablet with a Windows 8 operating system in October.

A couple months later, it will launch its stronger tablet: the Windows Surface Pro.

All the bells and whistles of the competitors seem to be there: sleek design, powerful, great storage, very thin, attractive…

What will set Microsoft apart are these advantages:

  • Convertible tablet The tablet will be able to be “docked” to use as a laptop (or docking station for the RT) or removable to be exclusively a tablet. This will be the biggest upcoming gadget trend.

  • Windows 8 –This will allow businesses and homes to function with their normal software on a tablet. Windows 8 will integrate phones, tablets, desktops, laptops — everything — together seamlessly. The Windows 8 operating system has been touted to be better than all other phone or tablet operating systems.

  • Office 2013 Office 2013 will be installed with the new tablet. This saves a fortune in licensing. I paid over $500 per user for Office 2007 licensing four years ago for my company, and that was with discounts. This alone is a huge savings.

  • Touch-cover keyboard People like the feel of keyboards. There is just something about pressing buttons that will keep us returning.

  • Streaming wireless – Gone are the annoying USB cords that are required for every iPhone and iPads. Microsoft’s tablet will be able to stream information and even will integrate with the Xbox 360.

Consulting companies are fast and furiously writing software specifically for Windows 8. They are writing software before the Surface RT is even released.

The top software development language is currently Microsoft .Net. Unfortunately, it does not work on iPads. It needs Windows.

Multi-billion-dollar Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software has to run on desktops, laptops, and tablets. Technology leaders do not want to invest in writing two sets of code, one for Apple tablets and one for the “real” system…

Tech recruiting companies have 80 positions for every Microsoft .Net resume and cannot fill them. If they find a good candidate, the candidate is off the market within a week.

The surge in information technology is surprisingly to write software for a device that has not even reached market.

No one is doing these Herculean efforts in preparing for the iPhone 5 or the Apple Mini…

The general public will yawn when they see the latest and greatest from Apple compared to what will be possible with Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Windows Surface RT and Pro.

And, like twenty years ago, Microsoft will undercut Apple with pricing to win the market share.

Rumor has it that Microsoft may even offer the Surface RT for as little as $200.

Kind Regards, Amy Kobayashi-Häas
Medical IT Director and Contributor to Wealth Daily

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