Microsoft.. it’s been awhile
I admit it. I’m an Apple fanboy but Microsoft is interesting again.
I wasn’t always one you know. About 10+ years ago, I was firmly entrenched in the Windows camp. OK — you can even argue I was a Wintel fanboy (for those of you who still remember the days where Microsoft and Intel were attached at the hip).
Over the last 10+ years, I made the switch to OS X — partly due to work (moving to Gilt Groupe in 2010 forced me to use OS X as my primary dev environment) and partly because I was frankly sick of being in the Windows world.
I used to be the one who loved tinkering with PC’s - either building a new machine or upgrading an existing machine fairly frequently. It also helped that I had a side gig as a gadget blog owner/writer. But honestly — it was a thrill to simply put together a computer (or rig). These were the days where I would love to go to Fry’s Electronics on weekends simply to look at motherboards and massive PC cases. Back before multi-cores were the norm, I would put together multi-processor systems that were previously relegated to server farms. Again — those were the good old days.
However something changed in my 30s. I ended up having a desire to simplify my life somewhat. This was partly driven by my move back to NYC where I was suddenly limited in real estate space. I just couldn’t justify having several PC’s when we’re living in a 800 sq ft apartment along with a dog. I also started buying into the “magic” of Apple where things just work (mostly that is). There was something about the degree of attention that Apple paid to both hardware and software that I started to appreciate as I got older. Sure it’s not the perfect platform that the Apple marketing engine wants you to think it is but it generally does work.
Fast forward to my current state — my life is surrounded by several Apple TV’s, several Macbook Pros, a couple of iPhones, and of course an iPad Pro too. I even recently upgraded to a 27 inch LG UltraFine monitor for my Mac simply because I was used to the Retina quality displays from the Apple world. Somehow my life of simplicity has also resulted in a resurgence of machinery.
Perhaps things don’t change.
In any case, along the way, something interesting happened to the other side of the computing world (sorry — I’m ignoring Google here). Microsoft got interesting again. They stopped fighting the world of iOS and Android and open source. They started adopting and embracing these worlds. Sure Microsoft probably still want you to use Windows wherever possible but they’ve also acknowledged that they need to live in a world that has multiple OS’s all connected via the Internet. They began laying the foundations of this arguably 10 years ago with Azure but it’s really been the last 4–5 years where I personally think we’ve seen a transformation of this massive company. I only thought about this this morning as I was perusing through the Microsoft BUILD conference lineup. The virtual sessions are honestly really interesting — at least topically. We’ll see if they actually are once I attend them online. Moreover, I’m getting interested in the Windows world again. Not so much for the reasons of my youth but more because I’m curious as to what they have to offer for the growing connected world. Whether it’s tech for IoT or ML or even developing apps on Mac OS and iOS. Arguably some of the coolest things being done are in the Microsoft world these days. At least I think so.
In any case — just random thoughts this Tuesday morning.
I’m certainly not leaving the Mac world but I might just pick up a Windows machine again one of these days just to see what I can do (and if anything to understand how to use Windows again).