Apple does touch right and, as usual, Microsoft does it wrong

“Apple and Microsoft have shared various battles over many years, in an ongoing rift over the direction of computing, but this week has marked a switch in both of their war strategies,” Tom Warren writes for The Verge. “Microsoft is now going after Apple’s core customers, and the two are split over the role of touch and input interfaces for PCs.”

MacDailyNews Take: Wow, Medicocresoft is dropping Windows and licensing macOS? Oh, they’re not? Heh, then they’re not going to get any of “Apple’s core customers.” Anyone who claims otherwise doesn’t understand Mac users at all. It’s the software, stupid.

The fundamental differences and disagreements between the pair of tech giants can be tracked back to the hardware and software products they both produce. Apple separates its tablets and phones with the iOS operating system, and its range of Macs running macOS,” Warren writes. “Microsoft on the other hand believes in having one operating system, Windows 10, to rule them all and work across phones, PCs, tablets, and even devices like the Xbox One and HoloLens. The strategies are remarkably different.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s strategy is right and Microsoft’s is, as usual, wrong.

The competition is different…they are confused. “They chased after netbooks. Now they are trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they will do next? I can’t answer that question, but… we have a very clear direction and very ambitious goals. We still believe deeply in this category and we are not slowing down on innovation. We have been really hard at work on the Mac and we have exciting new products.Apple CEO Tim Cook, October 22, 2013

Unlike Microsoft, “Apple doesn’t believe in touchscreen Macs, but it did add a touchscreen of sorts to its MacBook Pro, just not where you’d expect to find one: the Touch Bar, an OLED touchscreen, replaces the function keys at the top of the keyboard. It includes Touch ID and is easily accessible, customizable, and has the relevant controls displayed dynamically in each app,” Warren writes. It’s tough to compare a laptop directly to a desktop, but it further highlights Apple’s resistance to touchscreens on Macs… The two tech giants are split by fundamental disagreements about the new methods to provide input to modern PCs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple does touch right and, as usual, Microsoft does it wrong – as we’ve been saying for many years now:

As we wrote of the new Touch Bar during our live coverage yesterday, “This is the smart way to have Multi-Touch on your personal computer, as opposed to the stupidity of smearing fingers all over your Retina display.”

To us longtime Apple watchers, Cupertino seems to be saying, “Multi-Touch on the screen only when trackpads are not part of the device.”MacDailyNews, November 19, 2008

Does it make more sense to be smearing your fingers around on your notebook’s screen or on a spacious trackpad that’s designed specifically and solely to be touched? Apple thinks things through more than other companies… The iPhone’s screen has to be touched; that’s all it has available. A MacBook’s screen does not have to be touched in order to offer Multi-Touch™. There is a better way: Apple’s way.MacDailyNews, March 26, 2009

Apple’s Jony Ive explains why Apple ‘many, many years ago’ decided against adding touchscreens to the Mac – October 28, 2016
Amazon offers big savings on Apple’s all-new Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro models – October 28, 2016
IBT: Apple’s MacBook Pro Touch Bar is the coolest thing ever; will change the way we use laptops – October 28, 2016
Wired hands on with Apple’s New MacBook Pro: It’s a whole new kind of laptop – October 27, 2016
CNET on the new MacBook Pro: Apple’s amazing strip show reinvents the notebook – October 27, 2016
Hands on with Apple’s new MacBook Pro: Looks and feels so good it’s unreal – October 27, 2016
Apple debuts three new TV ads for all-new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar – October 27, 2016
Apple unveils groundbreaking new MacBook Pro with revolutionary Touch Bar and huge Force Touch trackpad – October 27, 2016


    1. Learn how to read, MSFT astroturfer:

      To us longtime Apple watchers, Cupertino seems to be saying, “Multi-Touch on the screen only when trackpads are not part of the device.”MacDailyNews, November 19, 2008

      Does it make more sense to be smearing your fingers around on your notebook’s screen or on a spacious trackpad that’s designed specifically and solely to be touched? Apple thinks things through more than other companies… The iPhone’s screen has to be touched; that’s all it has available. A MacBook’s screen does not have to be touched in order to offer Multi-Touch™. There is a better way: Apple’s way.MacDailyNews, March 26, 2009

    2. No MDN and fanboys, Apple doesn’t just do it right. And Microsoft isn’t wrong.

      This is absurd and I’ll show why: because the ADDITIONAL input modes that the Surface Studio PC has are OPTIONAL. You can simply use it as a desktop PC with keyboard and mouse. There is no requirement to use multi-touch, pen input, or the puck.

      The fact that Microsoft is able to offer so many additional input methods in a product as thin and beautiful as the Surface Studio PC is remarkable. And shows that indeed, there is a fundamental difference between the two companies. Apple cannot produce a product like this because it is hamstrung by having two separate and distinct operating systems. This constrains and limits the input modes Apple is able to offer on its desktops/laptops.

      Apple can tell you whatever they want. MDN and you fanboys were the same people who went along with the “Apple way” of having a smaller screen smartphone when the whole industry was transitioning to larger screens. Now, you all follow along like somehow Apple invented a larger screen smartphone and accept this as the “best”.

      Or the stylus, how so many of you chastised it and now Apple comes along and effectively copies Microsoft and brings out a stylus for iPad.

      I will bet my life on the future being basically one operating system for a company that works and is fluid on any computing surface. We will look back at our wood desks, barren walls, and relatively small screens propped up on these desks as antiquated. The future is about everything being a multi-touch screen, from TVs to wall surfaces to desk surfaces and more. You’ll sit at your desk, and you’ll be able to interact in multiple ways with all of the touchable screens, from mouse input, to voice, multi-touch, stylus…

      What Microsoft is doing is exactly what Apple will end up doing in the near future when they transition away from two operating systems to just one. The problem is, I have no idea how long that transition will take and if Microsoft can launch a new Windows version that is as good as OS X, Apple will lose customers.

      Microsoft has the better strategy but for it to be successful they have to execute. I hate the hinge on the Surface Book. The Surface Studio PC is incredible and makes the iMac look like a droopy eyed armless child.

      1. Quote: “a droopy eyed armless child.”

        Nice. Apparently, you didn’t get a chance to see ‘Sady’ in the opening video of Apple’s product announcement yesterday. You know, the one in which Apple reiterated its commitment to accessibility of its products by people with special needs?

        No? You might want to quickly check that out. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

        Now that your familiar with it, why don’t you learn to keep your fscking mouth shut.

        You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about when referring to armless children, so how can you possibly expect anyone to believe you about Microsoft products?

        Anyone that’s been using more than a TI-35 for the last 30 years knows what’s been going on between Apple & MS.

        Stop apologizing for deliterious MS products that are nothing more than committee driven crapware.

      2. No Microsoft does not have a better strategy as you say unless you are the Strategy guy at Microsoft you are unfit to make such a statement. That’s being said I love the surface studio but just hate Microsoft software attraction of virus so I wont probably buy one. But it is a Designers Wet Dream.

      3. As I see it, working ON the surface, doesn’t seem to provide me any advantage. As a designer, it is not going to make me more productive, nor earn me more money, nor improve the quality of my work. And if I end up using the Surface Studio as a regular PC, why should I spend my money to buy this thing? Just saying.
        Oh, and one more thing, Apple had a stylus a long time before Microsoft copied it. Remember the Newton?

    3. Surface Studio is to Microsoft, as Glass was to Google.

      Both are “futuristic” looking at first glance, and both are generally unaffordable for most consumers, and in the end both are not very practical to use.

      The basic idea of a Windows all-in-one PC with a cantilevered large touch screen, that becomes angled to use as a huge tablet, and has the electronics in the base, is NOT something “new” that Microsoft “innovated”.

      Other PC companies like HP and Dell have tried out these types of computers over the past few years!… NONE of them have ever sold very well.

      The one unique add-on is the hockey puck controller that Microsoft made. It is intrusive, disrupting the flow of work as you reach for it and stick it onto your display, and it has very limited actual usefulness.

      On the other hand, Apple did something very innovative and useful which adds to a user’s productivity immensely.

      The Touch Bar provides ALL of my most important controls needed in a multitouch display strip automatically at the user’s finger tips. And those controls change contextually, and can be customized by the user the way they want to.

      Users understand this clear distinction between the two products. In just the first day of pre-orders, millions of the new MacBook Pro models have already been purchased. Backorders are now more than a month in advance.

      Like Google Glass, Microsoft’s Surface Studio is a “flash in the pan”. Just like Microsoft’s Surface Table, it may sell a few units, but it is NOT going to be much of a sales success.

    1. I know, Micorsoft’s Surface Studio is wildly overpriced for a Windows PC that looks like it was designed by Jony Ive’s retarded second cousin, with ill-conceived on-display input (greasy fingerprints smudging exactly where you’re supposed to be looking) and only able to run dying, insecure, malware-infested Windows.

      Only Macs can run all of the world’s software integrated into one – and securely, too!

      1. You obviously don’t have an iPad… with greasy fingerprints on the screen.

        I have a MBP and an iPad and touch the MBP screen all the time. Lots of greasy fingerprints… but you know what… you only see them when you shut the laptop down. A backlit screen hides, for the most part, finger prints.

        And besides, did you even LOOK at the Surface Studio? It was meant to be used with a PEN… you know, how professionals work right now! Lots of Pros use use a $2000 Cintiq and then have to add a computer to it.

        The Surface Studio makes the iMac feel like a piddly consumer product. It takes the lucrative Professional market away from Apple. The first designer in a design shop that starts working on this machine is going to make the others jealous. It allows the designer to fully immerse themselves in their work and the computer… the tooling… the distractions just go away.

        That, essentially, is what Apple prides itself on. That naturalness is a principle of good design.

        Microsoft has ALWAYS been about catering to the Professional market over the consumer. Professional developers, Professional Business-related software, Corporate stuff. Apple has worked from the consumer-side in… except when it came to designers, which was very Apple.

        Microsoft is hitting at the core of Apple’s identity here, and although we don’t know if it will pay off yet, it certainly is a warning shot across Apple’s bow.

  1. We don’t know if Apple still does hardware right. Despite Cook’s claim that there is great depth in the new product line (or some such tribble), we haven’t seen very much of it lately. Hint Apple: Not everyone wants to buy a $2500 laptop AND a $1300 monitor (that you co-developed with someone else because you have given up trying to do a proper monitor that stylishly fits with the rest of the product line). Many of us want a big screen on our desk so we can be productive!! Where are the new iMacs or are you in the process of telling the consumer they don’t need trucks, as once again you have it all figured out? Keep up the arrogance and that spaceship will sit void of Apple employees. Remember what use to sit on that land?

  2. We all need to take a reality pill and realise that Microsoft are about to release this surface-studio

    I’m a dyed in the wool creative Mac user and this looks pretty good, apart from the fact it runs Windows.

    This is the sort of thing that Mr Ive used to prototype years ago.

    I have absolutely no idea what Apple is trying to achieve, but this looks like the future to me, certainly for my profession.

    1. Sadly, I’m in agreement. MDN uses smearing fingerprints on the Retina display as an excuse for not allowing interaction with the screen itself. The problem is that creative professionals are not using their fingers, they are using a stylus or an Apple pencil. For the record I hate windows and love MacOS and I would be first in the queue for the surface-Studio if it was an Apple product, it’s a thing of beauty. I’m delighted someone is finally putting pressure on Apple even though the price of the surface studio is high.

      1. And, when you’re using that stylus on Microsoft’s overpriced, ill-conceived surface stupidity, your palm rests where?

        All over the display, of course.

        MDN is right, as usual.

        1. Aha, so you draw with your palms pressed against the screen, of course you do you’re a superior being. I hope you’re happy in your world of denial. The reality is (grudgingly) the Surface Studio is a fantastic looking piece of engineering.

          1. The way something looks can differ wildly from how it works. Use Microsoft’s thing that day in and day out (as Apple already did many, many years ago in their labs) and you’ll realize that it’s a poorly-conceived gimmick.

            Apple invented Multi-Touch. Anybody who thinks Apple didn’t extensively test it on an iMac, MacBook and everywhere else many years ago is a fool.

            “Apple long ago tested and rejected what Microsoft is trying to sell to fools today.” – MacDailyNews

            1. Ok lets get a few things straight, Apple are a brilliant company and saved those of us better informed beings from a hideous monopoly aka Windows. Some of the products Apple have produced have simply changed the world, iPod, iPhone iPad, amazing stuff. But when another company produces something special they should also be applauded, no matter if said company is akin to the anti-christ. The surface-studio is not an ill conceived idea, it won’t sell billions and it wont change the world mainly because of the price, but it is a damn fine product. Now if you want to be contrary to reality, then so be, go ahead be a lemming and walk blindly of that cliff, I’d rather be objective.

            2. And you’ve used Microsoft’s gimmicky contraption day in and day out?

              No, you haven’t.

              But, Apple has, in their labs for years and they REJECTED it long ago.

            3. No you’re right I haven’t and neither have you. Apple have made their share of mistakes so are in no way perfect, I have an opinion on this matter which I’m entitled to as do you. Apple may be spot on, or as I suspect they’ll go back at some point and retrace some earlier steps and get it right. It will take a bit of competition to make them act so that’s what i’m hoping for. We will see

            4. I haven’t used their “gimmicky contraption”, either… but this guy has.


              As an exclusively Mac user since the Mac Plus days and as someone who is in a similar line of work, I dare say that a lot of people in like situations… that is, anyone who uses a pencil, pen, brush, or similar tools and works with computers (pro or not)… they could discover that the Surface Studio is the holy grail.

              I was looking at buying an iMac / Mac Pro and iPad Pro with Pencil combo for upcoming projects, but after reading the above review I’m now giving serious consideration to the Surface Studio. I hate saying it, but the Studio makes an Apple Mac/iPad arrangement look like the kludgiest solution possible.

              I figure that between keeping it as uncluttered with unnecessary software as is possible and keeping it off the internet as much as possible, I should be able to avoid a lot of potential headaches.

    2. Are you just one anonymous person posting under different names? Enough with the advertisements for Microsoft! We have seen this link many times over the past few days.

      Just buy one and begone! Oh, wait…you can’t buy one yet. I guess that the world will have to wait a bit to meet the “future.”

    3. Conclusion of article.

      “The starting price for these devices at $2,999 for the Surface Studio and $1,799 for the iMac doesn’t tell the whole story, but the iMac specced to match (as closely as possible) the entry-level Studio comes in at $1,999.
      Step up and that gap narrows a little, but you’re still paying quite a lot for Microsoft’s new Surface Studio compared to the older iMac. If it’s just a fancy big-screened PC you’re looking for, Apple is cheaper. Now how often does that happen?”

      1. Clinton fails to contain damage from email leaks – The Hill, October 28, 2016

        Hillary Clinton has failed to effectively contain the damage from the release of thousands of campaign chairman John Podesta’s personal emails, giving new ammunition to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

        The fallout from the daily releases have raised concerns among Democrats that even if Clinton is elected president, the controversy will follow her into the White House.

        A memo written by longtime Clinton Foundation fundraiser Doug Band in which he defended his work for the family by detailing how his consulting firm solicited donations from corporations and foreign governments for the Clinton Foundation, while also arranging lucrative personal business deals for Bill Clinton.

        That memo could be a major problem for Hillary Clinton if she wins the White House.

        It has already reinvigorated the Trump campaign as polls show a tightening race with less than two weeks to go before Election Day.

        “The more emails WikiLeaks releases, the more the lines between the Clinton Foundation, the secretary of State’s office, and the Clintons’ personal finances are blurred,” Trump said at a campaign stop in Ohio on Thursday.

        “If the Clintons were willing to play this fast and loose with their criminal enterprise when they weren’t in the White House, just imagine what they will do if they are given the chance to use the Oval Office to pad their pockets.”

        C R O O K E D H I L L A R Y

  3. I must admit that the demo video of the Surface Studio is very nice. But the last thing I want is finger and palm prints all over my screen. I can’t even stand it when some nitwit touches my screen with their dirty fingers now, imagine what it would be like for a screen designed to be touched.

    Personally, I can see far more usefulness out of a tool that’s positioned near my keyboard so that I don’t have to reach all the way up to the screen. I just hope that Apple produces a new external keyboard with a Touch Bar for iMac and Mac Pro users.

        1. You guys, seriously, I’ve never pressed my palms against the screen whilst drawing, the side of my little finger at most. Clearly neither of you has ever used a stylus or Apple pencil. I’m not sure if you’re anti-trolling or you really are that ignorant, if you’re being serious then I suggest you grab yourself an Apple pencil and draw on your computer screen, now honestly tell me how much of your palm touches the screen, the answer is likely very little if any, unless you have a very unnatural drawing style of course.

          1. True, but I work in a high school, and the old rules of how you hold a pencil are totally out the window. The elementary schools are sending us students who hold a pencil anyway they want , and many of them can only print, and not well either.

            So anything is possible, palm prints, whatever (and the idea of clean hands is gone too!

            I realize its a different issue, but…………..

      1. I am assuming that part of the delay for a new iMac may be due to Apple waiting on Intel to release Kaby Lake. Without the Kaby Lake release, I can’t see much they can do to update the current iMac other than the new AMD GPUs.

        There’s no excuse for not updating the Mac Pros.

        1. At this point it’s not likely for another 6 months. New Mac Pro’s have often and more likely have been introduced at WWDC in June. This situation is getting dire for those who need a real Mac Pro and not a black trashcan with limited upgrading and unsightly cords emanating from it. An eight core iMac would be well received too.

          When will the Gods of Pro Upgrades finally smile down upon us and grant our every Mac wish?

    1. I would buy that Touch Bar keyboard in a split second. Bringing menu functions from the screen to your fingertips is so cool, AND useful. This is a big step forward!

            1. Not true, I said I Wasn’t sure if you were anti-trolling or ignorant. Now which is it? Dang you just called me an idiot, that’s two personal insults, you do know that 3 personal insults and your out don’t you?

  4. Kudos to MS for a very nice and engaging video of the Surface Studio. As a professional photographer, I tried to envision myself using Photoshop on this device. I even pretended to reach up to the screen on my iMac to use the menus and control boxes. Three things became apparent: 1) Just touching the screen leaves a light oil residue that distorts the details of the image 2) My arms got tired. How nice it is to rest my palms while using the keyboard and mouse/touchpad. 3) I would never feel comfortable working on a document while the screen is angled like it is in the video. Light reflections (and maybe pixel distortion) would drive me nuts. I also suffered some sticker shock when looking at the prices of the Surface Studio….figure $3500 to $4000 for a decent configuration. My $2400, 27″ 5K iMac gives me all the power I need for my job.

    1. I may have to get one. Do I really need Thunderbolt 3 this very moment? Love getting is too short to spend too much time waiting. How
      Much longer do we wait- months? A year? Forever? I wish we had a clue.

    2. You do realise that the hinge on the surface studio is designed so you can put all your weight on it, so if your arms get tired you can simply rest your arms on the screen, people normally wear shirts sleaves so no skin would be in contact with the screen whilst you were resting. The angle is the same as an architects drawing board so it should feel very natural. If you need to get out of creative mode just put the screen back up vertically and write an email or browse the web as you would on your Mac. Prices are incredibly high, but then it is a niche product, it would have high manufacturing cost. Your iMac, like mine is an excellent piece of kit, but I actually like the Surface Studio and truly wish it was Apple’s creation, then I’d buy one.

  5. It is funny that one concentrated on the desktop and the other the laptop. However there is a history to this. The first Mac was made to be portable. It had a messenger bag ( way ahead of it’s time in 84 ). A handle on the top. The first thing Steve Jobs demonstrated was how easy it was to set up. Apple had the first trackpad, and has steadily improved it over the years. Window’s trackpads are basically the same as they were in the 90’s. ( It has always seemed strange that even Mac fans don’t remind people that a Mac trackpad can do more than a Win trackpad and touchscreen combined ). The touchscreen Win has been around since XP came out and they have been trying to push it in their all-in-ones. It really has not worked. One thing pro’s like is to not have to leave the keyboard as much as possible. It makes work faster. Knowing all the keyboard shortcuts is a badge of honor for pros.

    I have felt from the first surface ( the coffee table ) that they were demo devices to get OEMs to start taking advantage of innovative stuff that no one was using. Win has been mostly desktop, even their laptops have basically been small desktops. First thing most people do is add a mouse because the trackpad sucks. Win largest buyers are enterprise. So you get race to the bottom pricing from OEMs that cut out “new” things. IT people don’t like people having more than necessary access to things idiots WILL screw up.

    Both new products have a great new design concepts. Both showed off Photoshop ( a win win for Adobe). I think a hell of a lot more people will find the new Mac more useful.

  6. Well, this has become a very interesting design debate and Microsoft has just thrown Apple and Jony Ive a huge challenge with its Surface Studio. We know that MS is notoriously bad about executing on its ideas, but if the Surface Studio could be built with Apple quality standards then touch could become viable on a desktop-class computer.

    I don’t buy MDN’s take on smudgy fingers and the like being the problem, that’s a silly argument. Millions of people are now using the iPad Pro daily in their work, and touch works just fine in serious pro-level environments. Pro-Create using fingers and the Apple Pencil is a game changer in terms of interactive software, it works really well.

    This is going to get very interesting, and I welcome Jony getting some serious competition.

    1. Someone making some sense and not blindly accepting what they’re told.Your point about the iPad pro is a valid one. Apple has already made 1 U-turn by creating a stylus (Apple pencil) when they said they never would. It’s not inconceivable that they re-think their strategy on on touchscreens at some point. time will tell who was right, the more competition the better for us the consumer, who will vote with our wallets and purses.

  7. Do any of you fanboys realize that there are microfiber cloths (even solutions too, for bad ones) to remove fingerprints? I use MS PC’s and iPhone and ipods. You should realize touch/pen is the future and it’s going to escalate from there (holographic displays perhaps. Minority report?) I cant wait until 3 years from now when apple releases a touch screen MacBook for $6k and everyone calls it revolutionary like they just created it. Oh, and by the way, yes MS has priced the studio at ridiculous levels…But…apple has equally…if not more so did the same to the macbooks. $4K+ for a laptop??? You gotta be kidding me!!!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.