Apple copied us, says Microsoft exec


 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.


A Microsoft clone? Or an almost Apple computer?


Ariel Nunez/CNET

Is Apple the chicken and Microsoft the egg? 

Or is it vice versa? 

I ask only because Microsoft has regained quite some confidence lately and it’s begun insisting that Apple is merely watching what it does, admiring it and then less than subtly doing the same thing.

As Apple unveiled its iPad Pro, some wondered how the company had become a convert to an object that looks like a tablet and increasingly acts like a computer. Wasn’t this Microsoft’s idea?

Which drove Microsoft Surface General Manager Ryan Gavin to muse this to Business Insider: “We have been learning and perfecting our products in the 2-in-1 category for years now, [but] when Surface initially launched everyone was skeptical, including them [Apple]. And then they followed, and the iPad Pro is a clear example of that.”

Apple followed? But everything Apple makes is magical and revolutionary. You surely can’t be the second magician in town and be successful, can you?

Gavin, indeed, insisted that what was so clever about Surface is that it didn’t mimic any Apple product. “Think about it, if we had been looking at [Apple], we wouldn’t have made a product like Surface Pro or Surface Book.”

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request to think about it.

The theme of who was first has been a regular one, ever since technology began to dominate human minds. From the time Steve Jobs proudly agreed that “great artists steal,” fingers have been pointed, and pointed comments have been made.

In the case of the iPad Pro, Microsoft might have a point. When it launched the Surface, it certainly looked different. Sadly, its marketing was more abject than a raccoon’s golf swing and the product didn’t even begin to enter minds for some time.

Once it did, Apple began to exclaim that its iPad Pro was suddenly a computer. This made Microsoft burst into uncontrollable giggles.

Since then, there’s been a convergence of sorts. Apple now touts the iPad Pro as “powerful,” rather than, say, convenient. 

My colleague Scott Stein preferred to offer a more sanguine assessment in his review: “Once you’ve paid for the Pencil and keyboard peripherals, the iPad Pro costs as much as a good laptop, but lacks its flexibility.”

Perhaps many corporate executives lack the flexibility to see where they might have borrowed or stolen from others. 

Wait, didn’t Microsoft just release, oh look, a slightly MacBook Air-ish laptop?

Does the Mac still matter? Apple execs tell why the MacBook Pro was over four years in the making, and why we should care.

Logging Out: Welcome to the crossroads of online life and the afterlife.



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