This year for my birthday I bought myself a MacBook Air (11 in). It is a cool machine, but the best thing I got out of it was an increased appreciation for the quality of Microsoft's Windows operating system. Two months later and I find myself reaching for my old Win 7 machine most of the time.
I suppose I like the Mac best when I am not using it. It is beautiful, light, and technically, its best feature is the speed at which it stops and starts. When I am done, I just close it. When I want to use it -- I just open it. My Windows machines have never been able to do that. If I close my Windows machine without completely shutting down, it fights with itself while in my briefcase until it runs out of battery. Then when I go to open it -- no juice left. Not only that, but then I boot to the black screen that asks if I want to repair my machine. Anyone who has ever gotten sucked into that option knows it is like heading out on a trip from Seattle to New York and deciding to stop by Moscow on the way. Definately not the fastest route to productivily using the machine.
One of the new features on the Mac that I was looking forward to was the thunderbolt to HDMI connection for an external monitor. It works, but in typical Apple style, they have decided a few too many things for me. For instance, if I expand an app to full screen on the external monitor, it banks out the laptop monitor. What on earth are they thinking? In fact, I have yet to find an app that expands to full screen in the way that I would want. Pages just blacks out the left and right of the screen and the doc is small in the middle. Crazy!
The final blow is the speed of Chrome. Google's Chrome browser screams on my windows machine but crawls on the Mac. It is so slow that I have to think that Apple is somehow throwing sand in its gears -- just to get back at the competition. I do find myself using Safari more often as a result, but it is the biggest reason I don't reach for the machine at all.
Most people are not crazy enough to use two or three machines at a time - so I suspect that my side by side comparison is not typical. Even novices will notice how slow Chrome runs though.
So I have concluded that Apple, like all of the other tech companies, is using its moment in the sun to cast the biggest possible shadow on its competitors. Could it be that they realize that they do not have the vison that Steve brought to the company and they have decided to hang on as tight as possible to the lead they have? Boy would that be sad.
After all of this, Time Magazine will probably name Apple the "person" of the year -- which will further seal its fate.