Color me as incapable of doing the math on a boondoggle idea. Yes, I know. Everyone with an Apple axe to grind, and a membership card with the elite technorati politburo knows Microsoft’s Surface Studio is a big hit and Apple’s new MacBook Pro models are not.
I cry foul. Or, is it fowl? I forget. Regardless, Microsoft’s Surface Studio and new Surface Book are mostly expensive boondoggles (definition coming soon; look for it at a paragraph near you). A waste of time because the PC industry is going down while the world is moving toward mobile and that’s exactly where Microsoft is not.
Do. The. Math.
I have some issues with the math being used by the nattering nabobs of negativism caucus of the elite technorati politburo. If not the math, then maybe the calculations being used to define success. Amazon’s Echo is a success after selling a few million units. Apple’s Watch is a failure after selling 15 or 20-million units. What gives with the new math, folks.
Likewise, Microsoft’s new Surface Studio with the giant 28-inch drop down touchscreen is hailed as an example of non-Apple innovation, while the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar is a gimmick. Except that Apple likely will sell 100 times as many new MacBook Pro models this year as Microsoft will sell Surface Studios.
How is that possible? First, notebooks sell far more than desktops of any kind. Second, the PC industry is in a steady decline that is not likely to change despite touchscreens everywhere. Third, Microsoft seems more enamored with selling branded PC’s into an industry segment where sales are going down, not up.
Do the math, folks. This Surface Studio is underpowered by iMac standards, and that makes it overpriced. Except for that giant touchscreen which chiropractors and doctors who treat tendinitis absolutely love.
Jack Schofield, who follows such things, thinks the Surface Studio’s average price might be south of $3,500. Tech rags which track such things say Microsoft has ordered 30,000 Surface Studio units for Q1 2017, and at full retail, that comes up to about $100-million for the quarter. Maybe $400-million for the year if it’s a big hit.
1. work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value.
“writing off the cold fusion phenomenon as a boondoggle best buried in literature”
a public project of questionable merit that typically involves political patronage and graft.
“they each drew $600,000 in the final months of the great boondoggle”
verb: boondoggle; 3rd person present: boondoggles; past tense: boondoggled; past participle: boondoggled; gerund or present participle: boondoggling
1. waste money or time on unnecessary or questionable projects.
Apple Watch was considered a boondoggle, too. Apple probably sold– based on conservative guesstimates for 2016, estimates, and frothing from the Guesstimator’s Club of America— perhaps 8-million units at an average of $350 each. Folks, that’s a revenue run rate approaching $2.8-billion, and does not include Apple’s awesome accessories sales.
MacBook Pro vs. Book
Let’s do a little more calculating to see if that Microsoft boondoggle has legs. I think it does. Compare a new MacBook Pro with a new Surface Book. The former has been roundly criticized as anemic, weak, sad, and a lackadaisical upgrade to a once proud line of Macs. The latter is the professional level notebook that Windows PCs digital rag technologists think is the cat’s meow. Or, is it pajamas? I get those two mixed up.
A Surface Book with 1TB SSD storage, an Intel Inside dual-Core i7, a 13.5-inch touchscreen display, Windows 10 Pro, 16GB RAM, and a dGPU weighs in at $3,199. Microsoft calls it the ‘ultimate laptop.’ It’s on sale often so that might explain the current sales situation.
A new MacBook Pro with 1TB SSD storage, an Intel Inside quad-core i7, a 15-inch display, Touch Bar, Touch ID, macOS Sierra, 16GB RAM, and 2GB GPU weighs in at $3,399 from Apple. $200 more than list for a Surface Book, though the MacBook Pro shows up on sale at times, too.
Summary? $200 more gets you a MacBook Pro with more powerful CPU, more powerful graphics, a larger screen, an option to run Windows and most flavors of Linux or Unix at the same time, but no touchscreen. There are pluses and minuses across the board for both machine and their protractors and supporters, but the reality is this: they are high end, similarly sized, professional units with plenty of power, but only one will sell in big enough numbers to announce to the world.
Methinks the boondoggle crown belongs to Microsoft. Apple may take plenty of public heat because critics, and the never ending haters gonna hate, but it’s far more likely the MacBook Pro will have far more happy customers than Microsoft.