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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!!!

  4. If you think touch screen isn’t the future for creative work, then you are rusting. You are just like those who believe keypunch cards are the only way to write program. Come back to the future please.

    1. Gorilla Arm

      The side-effect that destroyed touch-screens as a mainstream input technology despite a promising start in the early 1980s. It seems the designers of all those spiffy touch-menu systems failed to notice that humans aren’t designed to hold their arms in front of their faces making small motions. After more than a very few selections, the arm begins to feel sore, cramped, and oversized — the operator looks like a gorilla while using the touch screen and feels like one afterwards. This is now considered a classic cautionary tale to human-factors designers; “Remember the gorilla arm!” is shorthand for “How is this going to fly in real use?”.

      1. @Derek Currie,
        You drawing on this nearly horizontally, like you would on a drawing board.
        Pull the screen closer to you (get that keyboard out of your way).
        The screen lays at an angle so you can lay your palms on screen while you draw and I am not sure about being able to lay your whole arm down on the screen while you draw,but can always grab the top of the screen to be able to lift you arm up slightly off the surface of the screen if laying your arm on the screen is problematic.
        You aren’t trying to draw on a large monitor when it is totally in a vertical, upright position.

  5. All the Apple/Mac users are so dyed in the wool Mac users, that none of you can admit a great computing and design innovation from another company other than Apple, whose definition of innovation these days in highly questionable?
    Really Mac users?…
    This is why we all get grouped in to the derogatory name of Apple Mac Fanboys Fanbois.
    Come on Mac users…
    Admit it! The Microsoft Surface Studio large tablet screen computer is ALL sorts of awesome!
    The question Mac users should be asking themselves is
    Why isn’t didn’t Apple’s design studio Innovating a design such as this?
    This computer/large Screen tablet combo is a simple, clean, beautiful, elegant & gorgeous design!!
    Why didn’t Apple come up with this?
    This is Apple’s MO, Mac users!!!

    I am a 20 year veteran Mac user and the Surface Studio computer has got my serious attention is a serious visual illustrators’ creative tool machine!

    I use both fingers and stylus to do my sketches, drawings, paintings or illustrations on m large screen iPad Pro.
    I have NO problems with trying to adapt to using a real large screen to draw upon with either fingers, stylus or both!
    I STILL use a 2 ft. Portable drawing board to draw on and used to draw on 4 and 5 ft. drawing and draughting tables.
    The Surface studio works just like an artist’s drawing table!
    So, I don’t think finger and stylus drawing on a 30 inch digital touch screen tablet monitor will be a big stretch for me or any other artist coming from a more traditional art background!
    And as someone here pointed out, you do not see fingerprints and smudges. on a backlit screen when using. it!

    All Apple has been doing, since Steve Jobs died, is innovating and designing on an Incremental scale.
    Almost like Microsoft used to do in its past.
    Making the same old tired designs thinner and thinner is an engineering and design challenge, but “thinness” is a “feature”, not a REAL design shifting innovation!

    Apple used to be a product design paradigm shifting company/leader for the whole computing industry!
    They are just designing and making a lot of incrementally “me too” devices based on their older design innovations, now!

    A touch bar on the new Macbook Pros Is impressive, but only another incremental design innovation.
    NOT anything a groundbreaking as Microsoft,s Surface Studio computer.

    I watched Microsoft’s demo of the Surface Studio, it’s an impressive piece of creative hardware technology.
    I am seriously thinking about jumping off Apple’s “design cruise ship to nowhere”, selling some stuff, and purchasing one of these as my NEW design & workstation studio.
    This is how much I like and am attracted to this machine!!
    This is something Apple SHOULD HAVE VISUALISED, DESIGNED and BUILT, but didn’t!

    This Surface Studio computer looks like a serious, powerful,andvlarge visual creatives’ tool and computer.

    I am in love with this thing that is how well I think this is designed!
    I am freakin’ blown away by this thing!
    I”ll deal with learning and using Windows just to purchase and get my hands on one of these!
    Why Apple…

  6. I’m sorry, but Microsoft got it right on this round. The only question is how long will it take until Apple realizes it, and how much market share will they lose until then. I’ve long hated Microsoft products, but more and more they look like they get it and Apple is slowly losing the plot.

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