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How Microsoft won and Apple did not lose



  satya-nadella.jpg

Winner, silent.


James Martin / CNET

These two are like George Clooney and Russell Crowe.

They have existed forever, but still somehow manage to calibrate for a new generation.

Sometimes their work goes on the vacuum. Sometimes they will go and do something quite surprising that makes you think they have hidden depths.

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9659005] In 2018, Microsoft and Apple managed to maintain a meaning that can withstand time. Why, for a shining moment, Microsoft's market value even surpassed Apple's this year.

The bigger change is of course Microsoft's.

It's probably moved from being Windows, Bill Gates and a great creature of ugly being a company that seems to have so many digits in as many pies as it needs to use its toes.

It's not just that CEO Satya Nadella has clearly projected a picture of human decency – despite his adoration of

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It is that Redmond has managed to stop being a word for the worst discomforts that the tech world can offer.

Go ahead, Google and Facebook. The ugly box is all yours. Microsoft enjoys an image makeover while you are blessed for you, and are symbols of youthful indiscretion, hubris and Juul puffing ignorance.

It is not easy to point to a thing that drove Microsoft around the corner. Some may say that the intelligence of understanding the cloud showed the way. Some will point to wily acquisition of LinkedIn – quite the worst $ 50 I spend every month – and GitHub as evidence that Microsoft has thrown its cruel, fast-paced image.

However, for me it is the slow, positive insect on Surface.

At the start, Surface was a joke. Launched with one of the worst ads never made by allegedly sentient brains, Microsoft's tablet device attempts have gained a narrow credibility.

Although on NFL segments I have still heard it referred to as Microsoft Surface I know enough people now who are sufficiently confident just to refer to it as my surface .

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No, it's not remotely as strong as the Mac or Xbox 360, but the fact that Surface has achieved some independence and Credibility, good for Redmond's own stature as a remarkable survivor and a company that can connect to real people,

Apple managed to connect to real people with an indecent effort for decades.

Apple Store employees still talk that their store is always full and the Microsoft store down in the mall is emptier than a magic wand.

However, there has not been a year of uncontrolled triumphs for Cupertino.

Three new phones, but a lot of gripping that they do not sell as well as they should. Finally, a new MacBook Air, but an air of computers, is an old hat, you should really use an iPad Pro .

And where is AirPower that Apple promised, then failed to deliver?

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That's why it's fun to be Microsoft. Expectations are lower. The potential for (positive) surprise is much higher.

Oddly – and unfortunately, in my opinion – the most transformed product that Apple has engulfed in the last couple of years is AirPod.

It is difficult to understand how committed people seem to be in these things. I feel confident that it is an eerie sledge of Americans walking and lying down and waking up and carrying them.

I know I went to the AT&T store and the saleswoman held one in the ear while we talked and explained that she likes to listen to music all the time.

Yes, even when she talks to customers.

One thing that Microsoft and Apple have in common is sensual, sensible management, which lacks so much in too many tech companies.

For Apple, Tim Cook has surely been the best, the strongest, and the clearest leader in the whole tech, ready to at least occasionally fight for tough battles for decency.

However, Nadella has been willing to create a collaborative culture with other companies and a sense of embracing the business, instead of trying to choke it into submission. [19659005]

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It's almost entertaining that these two companies somehow come out on top when you might think both could have been usurped and shattered by like newcomers hell of arrogant boys with attitude.

They must know what they are doing, at least to some extent.

Which means they might know what to do next year to keep it going. Although Facebook and Google are confused by politicians out for a little public blood.

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