Can you hear it? That is Apple’s stealthy, yet highly effective marketing arm about to blow the media’s doors off with Apple Watch hype. This will not be some Microsoftian campaign, where massive kiosks are displayed in Times Square in an effort to create some sort of false enthusiasm. Nor will Apple’s promotion include renting Radio City Music Hall, containing several dance routines and a skit about a single Mom (thanks for searing that into my brain Samsung). Once the holiday season is over, with Christmas iPhones having been unwrapped and the New Years parties complete, Apple will start a quiet, yet savvy campaign for launching its market disruptive Apple Watch.
Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist for Apple in the mid-80’s, was interviewed on Bloomberg Surveillance today. And while Kawasaki has insight on where Apple once was, his ideas of Apple are now clearly from the outside looking in. Guy Kawasaki’s belief that Apple is a luxury brand is simply wrong.
Steve Ballmer may be long gone, well on his way to running The LA Clippers franchise aground, but Microsoft’s obsessions with Apple continues on unabated, wasting countless billions on feckless ads.
Redmond’s software giant began its ineffective assault on Apple after Apple began their award winning “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ad campaign. Microsoft’s top brass looked on as Justin Long and John Hodgman tore up the small-screen with their whimsical yet perfect tone, pro-Mac commercials. One after another, Apple laid the wood down on Microsoft’s failures in the operating system world. Viruses, peripheral issues or ease-of-use — nothing was off limits for Apple to attack Microsoft’s legacy OS. Over the course of three years, from 2006 - 2009, Apple released 66 commercials in the series, with dozens of web-only versions. Apple’s ad campaign beat on Microsoft, but without envy or venom, but largely based on all too well know stereotypical truth, making the commercials funny and light.
You know you are the leader of markets when everyone is coming after you — comparing their products to yours. Samsung has this obsession with its Galaxy 5 and Note 4 ads — directly or indirectly comparing their features to the Apple’s flagship product iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Microsoft runs a close second to Samsung in this regard with its latest ad comparing their Surface Pro 3 to a MacBook Air.
Microsoft recently announced its next major operating system will be called Windows 10 and not, as many of us mere mortals would expect, Windows 9. The current name of Microsoft’s flagship operating system is Windows 8, so the logical next major jump would be to call it Windows 9, right? But then again this is Microsoft, so using logic does not always apply.
Fresh off the rumors that Microsoft may be divesting itself from their Xbox consumer electronics, Digitimes came forward today stating Microsoft may be existing the Surface business due to abysmal sales. Abysmal sales for Microsoft hardware is nothing new, and the idea that Surface, despite a massive advertising campaign, is seeing nearly zero interest outside of Redmond, Washington should be a shock to no one, save for perhaps ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
My Dad likes to say, “You often can tell as much about a person in what they don’t say as in what they do.” So since the launch of iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay and Apple Watch what have Apple’s competitors been saying or not saying? Here’s a quick recap if you haven’t been keeping score.
Microsoft: This time around this there is no Steve Ballmer at the helm to laugh off any of these products and suggest that an iPhone is just too expensive and therefore will never catch on or that paying $350 for a watch is ridiculous. Instead new CEO Satya Nadella has been quiet. Microsoft is doing the right thing by keeping its head down and saying nothing, because they have nothing to say in regard to any of these announcements, because they have no product response to Apple’s new offerings. Oh but wait, Bill Gates didn’t get the memo. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Gates basically said that Apple is the innovator and Microsoft is the follower. Thanks Captain Obvious. Some habits just die hard.
A lot can be said of Steve Ballmer — good, bad or ugly, and there are two items I confidently speak to: Microsoft and the Los Angeles Clippers. Ballmer left Microsoft in a shadow of its former glory, with many multi-billion dollar ventures gone, with others surviving on life support. The L.A. Clippers is Ballmer’s latest venture, but if history and current decision making is any guide, we will be left to watch in horror as the derailment that began under Sterling will certainly end with Ballmer.
Apple’s latest update to iOS, version 8.0.2, removes many 8.0 glitches and is certainly an an improvement over iOS the ill-fated 8.0.1! One of the items that has been problematic with iOS and some iPhones is the axis/gyroscope sensor determining which orientation to display items on the page. Even when turning iPhone around in a circle the orientation in iOS 8 seemed to be “stuck”. This bug seems to have been eliminated in iOS 8.0.2.
Bugs aside, Continuity is a key feature of iOS 8, and while it currently works with other iOS devices, to take advantage of it's seamless workflow between an iPhone or iPad and a Mac requires OS X Yosemite (due next month). To see how Continuity works, if you have an iPad that is WiFi only, and for example, if you are traveling in your car, the WiFi only iPad can now see your iPhone and begin using it as the hotspot. This is different than legacy hotspot capabilities, as there is no need to do anything on the phone. It can remain in your pocket, or on the dashboard or in a purse and still be found and used by Wi-Fi only devices — which includes Macs.