Apple's Q2 Earnings Report, Microsoft Surface Laptop - TMO Daily Observations 2017-05-03

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Apple reported some big numbers during its second quarter earnings report yesterday, and raised a few questions, too. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet look share their reactions to Apple’s iPhone and iPad sales, plus they have some thoughts on Microsoft’s just announced Surface Laptop, too.

Microsoft Surface in Schools Aims at Google in Education with Apple Caught in the Crossfire

· Jeff Butts · Analysis

Apple Education

Microsoft has made a number of product announcements that trouble Jeff Butts. The products look great, and it’s certain to give Google’s Chromebooks a run for their money. However, Apple is caught squarely in the crossfire of this battle, and needs to act soon to improve its placing in the education market.

Wow, Microsoft Surface Laptop is $999 of Sexy

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Microsoft Surface Laptop Bloomberg Screenshot

OK, this hurts a little, but I’m going to be try and be strong: the new Microsoft Surface Laptop is sexy. There, I said it. It’s $999 of sexy. It’s sleek. It’s light. It has 14 hours of battery life. But most of all, it’s pretty. I mean, it’s astounding, right? A Microsoft laptop, and it’s pretty. And the company’s Surface Arc Mouse is also pretty. Yeah, and sexy. And at $999 (mouse sold separately), Surface Laptop is even compelling. John Martellaro wrote a good piece looking at Surface Laptop from a technical standpoint, but I think the fact that’s it’s sexy as can be deserves highlighting. Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is becoming an all new company. And with this device, Microsoft has thrown the gauntlet down in a big way. And I’m hoping Apple comes back swinging in an even bigger way. Below is Mark Gurman’s hands-on look for Bloomberg that includes a nice look at the mouse.

Microsoft Launches a New Assault on Apple: Surface Laptop

· John Martellaro · News

Microsoft Surface Laptop

On May 2nd, Microsoft presented its latest product in the Surface family, the Surface Laptop. This is a pure laptop, in the style of Apple’s MacBook line, and has a 13.5-inch display. Notable is the low weight, 2256 x 1504 display, fabric keyboard, four available colors, Windows 10 S and a claimed 14 hour battery life.

Microsoft gets Serious About the Education Market - TMO Daily Observations 2017-05-02

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Microsoft wants a bigger piece of the education market, and the company’s just announced new products mean the game is on for Apple and Google, too. Dave Hamilton and Jeff Butts join Jeff Gamet look at Microsoft’s new education strategy and what it means for the fight to win students.

Touch Screen Macs, iPhone's Name, and Star Wars - ACM 407

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Would Apple ever make a touch screen Mac? Bryan and Jeff chew over recent rumors about Apple making an iMac for creative pros that would compete with Microsoft’s Surface Studio. They also talk about iPhone’s name and Disney’s management of the Star Wars franchise.

Apple's iPad Fights For the Education Market

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Apple using internal magnets to attach Apple Pencil 2 to iPad Pro

The education market is very price sensitive. Three players are in a pitched battle for the right-priced personal computer: Apple (iOS), Google (Chrome OS + Android), and Microsoft (Windows 10 Cloud). These OSes and their implementation on hardware, plus the right kind of marketing and staying power, could determine which company seizes the hearts and minds of schools and students.

Microsoft Opens Minecraft Marketplace For In-App Purchases

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

As part of the Discovery update, Microsoft is also bringing a new feature to the game called Marketplace. Minecraft Marketplace is coming to the Windows 10 platform, as well as Minecraft Pocket edition for mobile platforms. Players can create and sell items in the Marketplace using a form of game currency called Minecraft Coins. When a player creates an item to sell, they can set their own prices as well as take a small percentage of the sale. Once you sell something, such as a custom skin or a map, the app platforms will take a 30% cut. Players can access items they buy through their Xbox Live account. This means that you can access your purchases no matter what platform you use. Microsoft will launch a public beta on Android in mid-April. The beta will test the Microsoft Coins so you won’t see any player creations yet. Microsoft is also hosting a Reddit AMA on April 20 from 9AM-12PM PST.

Microsoft Opens Minecraft Marketplace For In-App Purchases

TMO Background Mode Interview with Microsoft Chief Creative Architect Ben Rudolph

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Ben Rudolph on Background Mode.

Ben Rudolph is a Microsoft Chief Creative Architect. That means he’s responsible for consumer, retail marketing. In Ben’s words, “his team … builds the experience that turns shoppers … into fans of Microsoft. That involves everything about how the Microsoft brand shows up to consumers in the retail environment.” That may not have been of interest to Apple fans just a few years ago, but the arrival of CEO Satya Nadella has changed all that. Ben and I chatted about his early career interest in being a physician and the path that led him, instead to Microsoft. Then we got into the Microsoft’s Surface Studio that sent shock waves through the Apple community last year. We also discussed the refreshing new corporate mission of Microsoft under Mr. Nadella. This interview will take Apple fans where they’ve never gone before.

Avoiding Microsoft Office in 2017 and Apple's View of the Mac - TMO Daily Observations 2017-03-02

· Bryan Chaffin · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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John Martellaro joins guest-host Bryan Chaffin to talk about whether having or not having Microsoft Office on your Mac is a relevant question in 2017. They also try and consider the state of the Mac product line from Apple’s viewpoint, and how the company might look at the importance of new hardware.

Be More Productive: Try a Different Keyboard

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

The Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 Dr. Mac favors...

Last week Dr. Mac showed you how you could improve your typing skills for free at www.typingtest.com. But that’s only half the story. He also types significantly faster on his third-party keyboard than any keyboard Apple has made in the last decade…

Trump Reportedly Drafts Executive Order Targeting Visas Used by Apple and Other Techs

· Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

Macro of a U.S. Visa in a passport

The White House has reportedly drafted an executive order that would target visas used by Apple and other tech companies. According to Bloomberg, the Trump administration wants to change the rules for temporary worker visas known as H-1B, L-1, E-2 and B1. Those rules changes would affect the ways several American companies recruit skilled workers overseas.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Trump's Muslim Ban 'Is Not a Policy We Support'

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Tim Cook from Washington Post Interview

Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees Saturday that President Trump’s Muslim ban, “is not a policy we support.” Echoing his many previous comments on diversity, Mr. Cook said, “Apple would not exist without immigration.”

Perspectives on Mac and PC Shipments and Sales for 2016

· John Martellaro · Analysis

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Both Gartner and IDC reports are out for 2016 Mac and PC shipments. They are in good agreement. But interpreting the meaning of the numbers is tricky. John provides some perspective in the form of simple, easily digested statements.

Apple's Multiple OS Family Used to Be a Good Idea

· John Martellaro · Editorial

The new Microsoft Surface family

When all we had was Mac OS X (now macOS), our Mac life was simple on Intel-based Macs. Then came iOS with Cocoa Touch, a derivative of macOS for touch devices using ARM CPUs. That seemed so very sensible in 2010. Then, of course, came tvOS and watchOS which means Apple has even more code bases to maintain. While perhaps only a mild burden, the biggest problem may be the future development of Apple devices. John explains.

Microsoft Takes Apple by Surprise, Pours on the Heat

· John Martellaro · Columns & Opinions

The contrast between Microsoft’s October 26 event and Apple’s October 27 event has the PC industry in a buzz. Observers who have been diehard Apple fans are casting jealous eyes towards the new Microsoft products. Meanwhile, some observers who have been against Apple for political reasons are making some solid observations that don’t have the traditional earmarks of being self-serving and misinformed. John explores.

Microsoft Just Announced the iPad I Always Wanted - Surface Studio

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Microsoft Surface Studio PC

Microsoft has just announced the Surface Studio, a 28-inch All-in-One computer with a Skylake Processor and a touch sensitive display that tilts. The design, operation and concept of this computer, is basically a giant iPad, the iPad John always dreamed of. His first reaction follows.

Blood in the Macintosh Water: Apple's Competitors Now Sense Weakness

· John Martellaro · Columns & Opinions

Concept of Macintosh, MacBook Pro with OLED strip

Apple’s competitors are sensing Macintosh weakness and are making bold moves. The MacBook Air hasn’t been updated since March, 2015. The Mac Pro, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini are very long of tooth. The latest iMac is coming up on a year old, and only the MacBook looks fresh. Soon, there may be much blood in the water.

OS X: Installing the Older Version of Microsoft Office

· Melissa Holt · Quick Tip

On September 22, Microsoft is going stop allowing its Office 365 customers to download Office 2011. So if you need to take advantage of the time remaining to grab the older version of the popular Office suite, there’s no better time to do so! We’ll show you how.