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Microsoft exec criticizes Apple for giving customers old tech

Technically Incorrect: Brian Hall, general manager of the Surface brand at Microsoft, says Apple is doing its customers a great disservice by not innovating in computers.

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


Doing his customers a disservice?

James Martin/CNET

It's not easy when you're 40.

You can't keep up with things the way you used to.

You start to peddle old ideas instead of new ones.

This, perhaps, is at the core of criticisms leveled on occasion at Apple.

Oddly, the latest comes from Microsoft's general manager of the Surface line, Brian Hall.

In a tweet on Thursday that sounded in equal parts exasperated and bemused, he said: "I compete with Apple and respect them. but they ARE doing their customers a disservice at times with old tech..."

Apple didn't respond to my request for comment.

I confess to being somewhat in sympathy with Hall. I'm writing this on a MacBook Air that is nice enough, but it's as if it's been around for longer than Donald Trump.

It feels utilitarian rather than exciting, functional rather than stylish.

Perhaps that's a symptom of the expectations that Apple has engendered across its whole product line. Perhaps we humans should just chill a little and let Apple do its thing. Or perhaps Apple is slowly weaning us off certain sorts of computers altogether.


Indeed, Apple did have a (sort of) response to Hall only this week.

It released a new iPad Pro ad in which it claims that its tablet is now actually a computer. It's a miracle.

Yes, this means you'll have to buy a stylus (Apple translation: pencil) and invest in a keyboard. It almost seems like airlines that nickel-and-dime you for the extras.

For many, though, a computer is still a single thing that isn't heavy, that you can carry everywhere and that works as soon as you open it up.

There again, we used to think computers were things that sat on your desk and left no room for all the Economists you haven't gotten around to reading.