10 years ago, hating Microsoft wasn’t just fashionable — it was essential. The company had a monopoly on computing platforms and it had grown arrogant and somewhat lazy thanks to its dominance of the computing industry. However, the shift to mobile and the rise of iOS and Android as major computing platforms means that we now have more alternatives besides Windows-based PCs to meet our needs, which means anyone who still thinks of Microsoft as some kind of “evil empire” is way, way behind the times.
I bring this up because iMore’s Peter Cohen has written a very sharp essay about the changing dynamic between Microsoft and Apple over the past several years and he makes some solid points about how liking Apple or Google shouldn’t necessarily mean that you have to hate Microsoft. In fact, he thinks it’s downright silly that anyone in this day and age still bears a grudge against Microsoft like it’s still 2005.
“I have to admit that I’m pretty excited about some of the stuff Microsoft is working on these days,” he confesses. “Every chance I’ve had to use Microsoft Office 2016, I’ve been impressed with how well it works. It’s available as a preview version that can be installed alongside Office 2011 if necessary. I’ve also been experimenting with Microsoft Windows 10 on my Mac, installed in a virtual machine environment, and I’m also quite impressed with how much better that is than Windows 8.1. Two of my kids use Windows Phones and like them a lot, although they wish their choices of apps were more robust.”
This is all very true.
Although Windows 8 in its original incarnation was a disaster, I’ve been mostly happy with Windows 8.1 after Microsoft listened to (very angry) user feedback and implemented important changes. Everything I’ve seen of Windows 10 makes me optimistic that it will be even better in this regard. The company has also been producing some fantastic-looking mobile apps, it’s been experimenting with some amazing new products such as HoloLens and it’s shown a willingness to adapt to other platforms instead of trying to make everyone use Windows only.
Oh, and have I mentioned how much I love my Xbox One?
The bottom line here is that anyone who still thinks Microsoft is an all-powerful behemoth that needs to be taken down is living in the past just as former CEO Steve Ballmer was when he foolishly laughed off the iPhone and Android. Microsoft in 2015 produces a lot of stuff that is, dare I say it, really cool.