Since the creation of the personal computer there has been a healthy rivalry between Microsoft and Apple even though for the majority of the time their product offerings have been distinctly different. Apple has always owned the end to end user experience; from manufacture to delivery whereas Microsoft has generally only supplied the software.
Over the last 10 years Apple has been seen as more Innovative with the inception of the many iDevices (iPod, iPhone, iPad) and has started to take the lead in the consumer space; however is that all about to change?
Quarter 4 2012 will be pivotal for Microsoft as both companies are poised to launch a plethora of new devices. The fun will start in September with a Microsoft announcement by Nokia due on 5th September where a new Nokia Windows Phone 8 is rumoured and on 12th September where Apple is rumoured to launch the iPhone 5 and maybe a mini iPad (However this rumour has been around since the iPad launched back in 2010). In addition to these dates we are already aware that on 26th October Microsoft will launch Windows 8, Office 13 and the new Surface Tablet offering. They have even refreshed their logo to increase their appeal.
Over the last few years Apple has certainly dominated the consumer space with its plethora of cloud offerings and has started to encroach on the enterprise space with most companies now offering iPhones and iPads. It is interesting that Microsoft is now fighting back and will certainly have a chance to regain lost ground if this marketing and approach are correct. The element which Microsoft has lacked over the last few years is the complete experience and linking people into a credible ecosystem. By providing a Microsoft manufactured Tablet with a new operating system, a new phone which uses the same App store and is all intertwined with its cloud storage “Skydrive” we could certainly see people who have never truly adopted the Mac way of life migrating and old windows users adopting the whole stack.
Only time will tell if this new model will be successful for Microsoft however changing into a provider who can provide the whole ecosystem like Apple is the right way to go and with constant refresh cycle of products it will certainly keep consumers on their toes and interested. There is even an Xbox 720 rumoured for Christmas 2013.