The Shape of Everything
A website mostly about Mac stuff, written by August "Gus" Mueller
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January 22, 2015

I've been thinking a lot about Microsoft's HoloLens that was announced yesterday. It looks pretty awesome! Make sure to check out the site, look at the pretty pictures and how they envision HoloLens to be used. Go ahead and get excited about it.

But like that crazy uncle, this is Microsoft and you know not to believe everything that comes out of its mouth. You know deep down that the HoloLens isn't going to be what they say it is, because it never is with Microsoft. For a great example of this, read Ben Kuchera's "Skeptical of HoloLens? It's time to rewatch how Microsoft sold us on the Kinect".

So we're not really disappointed, because we know what to expect.

But for some reason, the HoloLens announcement has really been upsetting me over the last 12 hours or so. Why is MS selling people promises that they know they won't deliver? Or at least can't deliver for another five years? Why are you getting people excited? It's a wonderful future you've got painted here, but we've seen this show before. You need to stop this behavior Microsoft, because isn't helping, and I know it sounds odd coming from me, but I really do want your products to kick ass.

So when we watch the Microsoft keynote, we don't get excited because we know what to expect. We've learned from past behavior not to competely believe what Microsoft is selling.

And this is why so many people love what Apple delivers. When Apple gives demos of their new product, they aren't throwing in CG showing how they hope things will happen some day in the future. Instead they show the real deal. How it's being used yesterday. And it's those possibilities that get us excited. And Apple frames it so well. The product demos never show us at work (because who wants to get excited about work?), instead the demos show us how the product will be used in our life. How it can make the things we enjoy even better.

And that is probably the biggest difference between Apple and Microsoft. Apple knows when it's time to show a new product. Apple knows when something is ready for real world use, and Apple won't rush something out the door because of market pressures.

Apple is your favorite aunt or uncle, who isn't talking about crazy future ideas, but is instead showing you how to hold a pencil correctly, or a tie your shoe. Something you can do today. Apple isn't flailing about trying to grab onto whatever it can so, yelling out for attention. Apple is solid, reliable, dependable.

And I think that is why we're seeing so many people reacting to Apple's software quality lately. You expect Microsoft not to deliver. But we expect Apple to. And lately, it really hasn't felt like they've been doing it.

Software quality issues, botched iOS updates, change fatigue, iCloud problems, iWork feature regressions, app rejections, etc. Did we have a period of time where things were unusually good, and we got used to it? Or are we in a period where things are unusually bad for a time?

I'd even throw half an Apple Watch in the list, because did you really need to announce it so far ahead of launch? Was it just to spite competitors? Or was it market pressure?

I have relatives asking me about why their Macs are slowing down. They switched from Windows for a reason, back when I used to brag about how OS X updates would speed up existing hardware. Remember those days?

Now I'm just not sure what to say when folks ask me about their OS X problems. It's disappointing, but not so unexpected anymore.