Since Microsoft’s board of directors kicked out Steve Ballmer the company has been full of surprises. Even in the post-PC era of mobile devices Microsoft manages to make money while laying off thousands of workers.
Yet, the old Microsoft lives and breathes and still copies everything it can from Apple, while hawking a hybrid notebook-cum-tablet as the answer to Apple’s success with MacBooks and iPads. What about iPhones? Yes, Microsoft still makes Windows Phones. Really. Who knew?
One. More. Thing. (or, three)
Despite Google and Apple’s dominance among mobile devices the past few years, Microsoft hasn’t given up, and just launched two new iPhone killers, the Lumia 950 and 950XL, both running Windows. The 950 is the smallest at 5.2-inches, which makes it notably larger than Apple’s hot selling iPhone 6s.
The 950XL is the larger of the two and sports a 5.7-inch case, a 20MP PureView camera on the back, and 5MP camera on the front, plus 32GB of storage and USB-C. The XL model is even larger than Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus. Both models are priced lower than Apple’s entry-level 16GB model, but have double the storage.
The new Lumia line of flagship smartphones was expected. What wasn’t expected was a Microsoft notebook. For lack of a better term, let’s call the new Surface Book (remember what I said about Microsoft still copying Apple) their latest MacBook killer (which is mostly because the Surface Pro didn’t kill the MacBook, and the Surface didn’t kill the iPad, despite being priced much lower).
The new Surface Book is Microsoft’s ‘one more thing’ moment from their recent product unveiling in New York. What’s the MS Book look like? Guess.
Of course, Microsoft calls the Surface Book the ‘ultimate notebook because it’s packed with MacBook Pro-like specifications, but with Intel’s newer CPUs, and it’s priced like a Mac, too– the base model starts at $1,500 and can easily be packed with goodies to move the needle way beyond $3,000.
What’s interesting here is Microsoft’s continued adherence to the hybrid platform. The Book has a detachable screen which can act as a tablet. Of course, you’ll need an extra cost dock for that.
Finally, just to show the world that Microsoft doesn’t care for their manufacturing partners, and to cry aloud ‘We’re relevant. We make hardware (too)’ Microsoft doubled down on the Surface line with the Surface Pro 4 which starts with an Intel i3 CPU but is thicker and heavier than an iPad Pro. Keyboard sold separately.
Not only does Microsoft have a few decades of practice copying Apple’s latest software, but now the company is in full copycat mode and thinks of itself as a hardware manufacturer, too. I’m sure Dell, Asus, Lenovo, HP, and other Windows PC makers think the extra competition is good for their businesses.