Wake up call for MSFT: Mac Book Pro–15” Retina Display

So I should start off by saying that anyone who knows me, will tell you I’m a big advocate of Microsoft technology and the platform as a whole. That’s hardly surprising having invested 8+ years working for MS shipping products, and working in Microsoft Consulting Services, aside form that I’ve spent the bulk of the rest of my career as a heavy user and advocate of the Microsoft platform.

So why then have I brought an Apple Mac Book and dipped my finger in the world of OSX? Well, largely because the current breed of windows hardware simply does not cut it…

A month or so ago I was looking to upgrade my laptop, my Sony Vaio 13.3” S Series laptop has been great, its an i7 Dual Core proc., 6GB RAM and 250GB Vortex SSD HD, my only complaint is that the screen resolution isn’t that great at 1366 x 768 making development work sometimes a little challenging, but given its as light as a feather I’ve put up with that for as long as I can. I’ve been waiting for the new 15” Vaio to ship with an i7 Quad since its weight is very close to that of the 13.3” model, I recently noticed that Sony had upgraded the available processor spec to support an i7 quad. My requirements for a new laptop were I feel, quite reasonable:

  • i7 quad processor
  • Greater than 6Gb ram
  • 500Gb SSD hard drive – either shipping with or upgradable to
  • 1900 x 1200 minimum screen resolution
  • Back lit keyboard
  • < 2Kg weight

The new 15” S Series came pretty close and given how pleased I’ve been with my 13.3” S Series was very nearly a slam dunk. But then, you’ve got to do some homework right, and see what the competition has….

To be honest I didn’t find anything that came close enough from the usual suspects, but as I have in the past decided to take a look at the Apple offerings. Of course I came across the new Mac Book Pro with Retina display, what can I say but WOW – it totally blew me away! There is simply nothing else in the traditional Windows world that even comes close, the screen is simply stunning at 2880 by 1800, but across the board the spec is unrivalled: i7 2.6Ghz quad processor, 16Gb RAM, 768Gb SSD, and weighing in at around 2Kg. To top this, in my opinion it is simply the most aesthetically pleasing piece of kit on the market. Down side, well its not cheap but then I’m a firm believer in compromising on hardware is a false economy.

So there you have it right there, a die hard Microsoft technologist switching over to Apple / OSX, its not just about the hardware, now I’ve had a serious play with OSX and you know what, I like what I see. Installing Windows so I can dual boot was something that my grandmother could have done, not to mention the ease with which I upgraded to Mountain Lion – great job Apple.

This for me should be a huge wake up call for Microsoft and their OEM’s. I really wanted to stay 100% on the Microsoft platform but, there is simply no innovation to speak of that I can see. The hardware is no match to what Apple has to offer. Yes I get the fact that the OEM’s are probably distracted by tablets and smart phones and probably diverting a lot of their attention into developing cool devices in those form factors, but they are losing the platform – for themselves and for Microsoft.

Microsoft’s decision to build its own slates is a good one, and I see some great innovation with things like the smart cover, I hope they can turn things around and I hope the OEM’s wake up and start to get it. The problem is, now I’ve tasted OSX, its intuitive and feels polished. I love the smoothness of the track pad and the gestures just work. Apple, have opened the door wide enough to get my curiosity, and I like what I see!

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~ by kevinsmi on August 2, 2012.

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