WOW. As every major company is throwing out all they’ve been working on all year to dazzle, impress and attract the consumers’ spending over the holidays, this year it was more than intense. Over the last two days we’ve seen presentations from Microsoft and Apple on their new device lineups (and a little bit of software thrown in for good measure).

But oh, boy, did Microsoft seriously take Apple to school this year. Let’s summarise:

Microsoft announced yesterday:

  • A new update for Windows 10 called ‘Creators Update’ with new 3D tools, live streaming, etc.
  • 3D Paint
  • VR headsets running on the HoloLens platform
  • Xbox live streaming
  • Windows People to help you better interact with family and friends
  • Surface Studio – a huge 28-inch touchscreen desktop computer for creative professionals.
  • Surface Dial – a new input device
  • Surface Book i7 – an upgrade on last year’s model with more battery life and latest Intel i7 CPU

Microsoft Surface Studio for Creators

I mean, come on, if they had only launched the Surface Studio and the Surface Book it would have still been a huge event. I bet the Surface Studio is really making Wacom a little more than concerned… to put it conservatively.

And today, Apple, at their event, what do they launch?

  • A new Macbook with a ‘Touch Bar’.
  • A TV app

Apple Macbook with Touch Strip

I can say, that’s a little more than underwhelming. It’s downright pathetic. Apple, you have not done your homework on this one! And the web is not singing a much too different tune. Apple seems to have lost their ‘innovative’ touch and succumbed to slow, small, repeated iterations of the same thing: make it a little thinner, a little ‘different’, a little faster, a different colour, a little new feature here and there (yeah, animated and resizeable emoticons really is something you need to dedicate half an hour to in a keynote and you really need a new OS release for that!)

Of course we’re aware that Apple had the upper hand over Microsoft many times in the past but there’s a new wind blowing and it doesn’t smell so fresh for Apple.