“They Are Off…..”

The race is on between Apple and Microsoft.

The race for GUI supremacy is on between Apple and Microsoft officially. Again. Microsoft made it so this past week with the intro of its response to Apples widely praised and wildly popular iPhone. This Big Box is called Surface and it says Microsoft can do some GUI things like Apples iPhone … but in a container the size of a bread box and at a price that only Las Vegas casino owners can afford … literally.

Surface does some of the gestures and has some of the touchscreen prowess of the iPhone. You know – not just drag and drop but also gestures pioneered in the Web world by the Opera browser but brought to a MacOs powered screen by iPhone. You know – whiz around this way and the screen image rotates, draw down and the list expands or the entry moves down. What Bill promised 17 years ago with information at yourfingertips. In fact it is so important Microsoft has given it a name: NUI-Natural User Interface. What HP had going for it with its touch screen two years before “Information at your Fingertips” back in 1988. Touch screen and gestures will be the next great advance in GUI and User interfaces along with GUI Integration(i.e. where the same GUI code is used whether the display target is a Web page, desktop PC App, embedded device or mobile phone).

A Sumo Contest of Size

This is also a contest of Size. First, its is two Sumo Sized egos in contention – Steve Jobs versus Bill Gates. Second, because Apple has huge mind share like Microsoft used to have ; and Microsoft has huge monopoly market shares that Apple has always craved – and secretly, I think Steve Jobs feels he was cheated out of by his buddy Bill. It is also a contest of size because Microsoft has shown it can blow up its touchscreen to the size of a breadbox while Apple has shown it can do the full works including MacOS operating system into an iPhone the size of a banana bread slice.

Now you tell me who you think is leading.

The contest now is how quickly can each vendor convert their new NUI or gesture-laden, touchscreen powered GUI device into a laptop with at least 14″ diagonal screen selling for about $1500-2000. Given that Vista is el Bloato and carries both serious hardware and software incompatibilities, this means that desktop PC market share is back up for grabs. Linux desktops appear to be non-starters An information-at- your-fingertips notebook will win big Big BIG BBBIIIIIIGGGGGG PC market share.

Given that both of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are confirmed Zero-sum players (“my winning of a monopoly market share means everybody else has to lose”) – let the bbbbbaaaaadddest man win.

Updated: July 19th, 2007

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