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How Microsoft Replaced Apple As The King Of Desktop PC Design

Over the last eighteen months we've been seen a strange reversal in the position of Apple and Microsoft in the way the company's are perceived and the desktop products they have launched.

Apple has been guilty of leaving products to age too long, before delivering weak or poorly planned upgrades; and generally displaying the lack of vision it has previously been renowned for.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has been on a run of success which stretches back to the Surface Pro 3. A willingness to take chances, push the envelope and an enhanced appetite for risk have characterised a hardware line which has, from a standing start, become a premium brand of PC hardware which matches anything on either side of the PC / Mac divide.

This despite suffering a relatively early setback with the original Surface.

So whilst Apple continues to rake in significant profits from its desktop line, Microsoft has built a multi-billion dollar business from being more adventurous, demonstrating a better understanding of what customers want, desire or will lust after.

Nothing defined this change better than the contemporaneous launch of the Surface Studio and MacBook Pro last year. Here was a Microsoft product which redefined what a desktop PC should be. Not a machine for everyman but a high-end device targeted at the sort of creative users who were once the preserve of Apple.

The MacBook Pro was badly received by customers, media and reviewers. A negligible impact on overall Mac sales demonstrated its weakness as a product. After just half a year on the shelves Apple has been forced to update it, something those customers who bought into the short lived 2016 model will be very happy with, I'm sure.

Now more than ever Apple needs to sort out its future desktop class offerings. Is it going with iOS and extending the capabilities of the iPad or is it going with Mac and abandoning the tablet market. Its current efforts are having a decidedly negative impact on sales as well as image.