Is Microsoft the Apple of my Eye?

Mike Halsey MVP
Mar 12, 2011
Updated • Mar 15, 2015

It's that old chestnut that rears it's ugly head now and again, but usually with some alarming regularity.  What am I talking about, well my apparent bias towards Microsoft of course and my hatred of Apple.  At least that's what the nay-sayers would have you believe.    I always thought it would be entertaining one day to write and article called "Apple" containing just that same single word to see what reaction it got, but I can guess.

It's fantastic the excitement and enthusiasm that Apple fan-boys (though I find that term rather derogatory myself) have for the company and their products.  It's this enthusiasm and the good word spread by them that has propelled Apple to the top of the tree, if you'll excuse the pun, and made it one of the richest and most successful tech companies in the world.

Apple is not without its problems but it does seem to handle them well.  The biggest concern the company has is with manufacturing.  This is largely done in China where it's been revealed in the last couple of years some workers who make iPhones and iPads are extremely badly treated, very poorly paid and that there have been in the case of one factory a large spate of suicides.  Unlike other companies who have been accused of using "sweat-shops" in the past like Nike, every revelation about Apple has come from the company's own internal investigations, and they've been very open and honest and taken immediate steps to make things right.

Microsoft don't make very many actual products at all but the company isn't as forthcoming about the conditions in the factories where the Xbox, Kinect and it's keyboards and mice are produced.  This isn't to say there aren't any problems, no mass manufacturing system is trouble-free.  It's just that Microsoft aren't as forthcoming about them.

This is reflected in the CEOs of both companies and their senior management teams approach to consumers and the press.  Steve Jobs is outspoken and occasionally gets himself into hot water over things like the time he allegedly told an iPhone 4 user, who was having signal problems "not to hold it that way then".  Steve Ballmer and the other Microsoft execs like to stay quiet about most things and rarely respond to user complaints themselves.  Apple is a far more open company and Microsoft is far more traditional in this regard.

So where does this leave myself and my own bias, because some of the readers here have obviously decided that I have it.  I was accused by one reader of it again only yesterday because I'm an MVP.  Well I don't own any Apple products, but there's good reasons for this, and I'll always freely admit I'm not a fan of Apple's way of doing things.  In this I mean that, for example, if you buy an Android, Symbian, WebOS or Windows Phone smartphone handset you can switch it on and be making calls in a few minutes.  If you buy an iPhone it's rather different as you first have to have the iTunes software installed on a computer (PC or Mac) and create an iTunes account to activate it.

This has caused all manner of problems for some people who either don't have a computer, or in the case of one story I heard an older, unsupported version of Mac OS.  It also clearly demonstrates that Apple want to make money from you by selling you things through the iTunes store.

This problem extends to all of Apple's products including the iPod and from a purely business-perspective it's completely understandable.  But is it right?  Well, it's not right for me and those two words here are incredibly important as it's obviously quite right for millions of other people.

So I've now admitted I don't own any Apple products and I don't like the iTunes tie-in so as a Microsoft MVP I MUST be biased... yes!?  Well no.  Being awarded an MVP, which is great, doesn't mean I work for Microsoft or have any allegiance to them.  MVPs who talk positively about Microsoft are merely evangelizing about the company in the same way that the fan-boys evangelize about Apple.  I will evangelize about some stuff, as and when I feel Microsoft have done something great, but only up to a point.  The rest of the time I'm happy to be as critical of the company as anyone else.

I talked a little while ago about there being good reasons for not owning any Apple products.  I am in the market to buy a Mac Mini.  I want one for testing purposes for work but it would only get occasional use, I'd have to re-buy all my software if I was going to switch to a Mac at significant expense, and the cost of the Mac Mini itself is just too high to justify... for me.

And it's these two words that it always comes down to.  Each and every one of us has our own preferences and we will desire one type of thing over another or one company over another.  I do own several PCs, a Windows 7 tablet and a Windows Phone.  For what I use them for they're the best option for me, including the choice of a Windows Media Centre system under my TV instead of an Apple TV because the latter doesn't include a TV tuner.  I also have this kit because it will all work seamlessly and happily together.

So where does this leave bias?  Well I'll always say that there isn't any.  For as much as I'm happy to criticize Microsoft when they do something stupid (which is quite a lot), I'm equally happy to praise Apple when they do something great (again!)  If you want to you can keep claiming that I'm biased because I'm an MVP and have written two books about Windows, but that isn't going to make it true.  The truth is out there, as Fox Mulder famously said.  But just like an X-File the mystery is why the fan-boys feel the need to fight their corner so venomously when Apple are clearly winning.


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  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

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