As Mac users, do we undervalue Microsoft products?

I recently ran across this blog article by Bill Gates. I admit that I found it intriguing, and I am impressed with the excellent work overall that he does. That said, I think he may be overstating the future of personal assistants. He knows far more than I do about the future of computing, but if I recall correctly, we were promised that computers would save us a great deal of work and free up a lot of time. If anything, the opposite seems to have happened.

That said, Microsoft is leading in several areas and is undoubtedly the leading vendor for business and enterprise-level software applications. With their investment in OpenAI and the integration of AI technologies throughout their platforms, I wonder if we are underestimating, as Mac users, the value of Microsoft products. I am fully aware that Tim Cook said that artificial intelligence (machine learning) is a foundational technology and that Apple is investing billions of dollars in it. And, aside from any external application that may arise, machine learning is, and will be, more deeply integrated into Apple’s hardware and software. Nevertheless, I wonder if Microsoft will always lead in this area.

I would genuinely appreciate your thoughts.

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There’s a phrase in the enterprise software world… “best of breed”. In honour of Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft, I coined a more accurate phrase for how I see it being used… “biggest of breed”.

The “success” of Microsoft in enterprise is more to do with inertia and resistance to change, or to be different, than with quality products.

My current motto I ascribe to Microsoft’s enterprise software division is “Good enough is what we aspire to!” If I have to reduce my assessment of their software to one word, it’s sloppy.

So, no, I don’t under value Microsoft products. They’re as predictably sloppy as ever.


I think “new Microsoft” (Nadella) is better than “old Microsoft” (Ballmer) in a number of ways. I think they’re less about shoving things down peoples’ throats and more about actually trying to be really, really good in certain areas. AI would be an example. The Surface line would be another.

That said, they still have market dominance - and that leads to complacency in certain areas. I still don’t like Windows all that much, for example.


Is this the Microsoft that stuck a large Bing AI icon in the Edge browser, that looks (predictably) like it was done by a different division than the rest of the browser and overpowers all the other (already cluttered) ‘furniture’ in the window?


I mean, I don’t use Edge, but can’t that button be disabled pretty easily? “Old” Microsoft would have put it in the browser, not allowed it to be disabled, and told anybody that asked (including the government in an antitrust case) that it wasn’t possible to remove the icon without breaking Windows itself.

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Or the Microsoft that makes you explain when downloading chrome or disabling OneDrive.

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As Mac users, do we undervalue Microsoft products?


Edit: ok, now that I got that snarky answer out of my 5PM Friday brain: Microsoft knows how to talk about the future but has never innovated their way there. I expect that to continue. I think any investment in AI is ostensibly noble, and I think current AI applications are interesting. I think Humane is doomed to fail, not because the idea is bad, but because the implementation sucks. Same deal with Microsoft.

When all this AI tech is rolled into a product normal people might actually use (like, say, Siri), I think then we’re on to something. Until then, it’s a lot of chest puffery.


Fair enough, but I don’t know that makes them any worse than Apple in many situations.

I mean…can I tell Apple that I never want to see their Apple Music nonsense ever again? If I open the Music app on my Mac (the only way to access my purchased music from Apple on the Mac), it defaults me into the Apple Music thing.

And if I have my headset multipoint paired to my MacBook, it frequently pops up Music when I’m trying to resume playing my podcasts on my iPhone. To the point where I would have been willing to uninstall the Music app, but that’s not allowed as apparently it’s a core part of the OS. I’ve configured Keyboard Maestro to close it automatically whenever it opens.

And that’s Music - which is completely non-essential. OneDrive is at least (functionally) Microsoft’s built-in backup service, albeit tied to their cloud. Disabling that at least deserves a warning, IMHO.


They appear to have backtracked on that … Microsoft backtracks, no longer asks to explain closing OneDrive on Windows 10 and 11 - Neowin

I have recently subscribed to MS Business for my consulting. I am not a power user of either Mac or Windows but I do like what they are trying to do wth the applications they have. Teams is very useful with clients and of course while their Business suite is waaaay more than I need, it is also compatible with most if not all clients so if I am thinking of productivity and just getting stuff done in relation to who I am going not for, MS is fine.

I think MS, while they may be technically sloppy, seem to have the philosophy of the fun but weird Uncle: “Hey, you want to do that? Sure, here you go!” And it’ll suit 80-90% of users.

Apple is more like your Mum, “You are NOT going to do THAT, dressed like THAT, in THIS house!” :rofl:

Also, WatchOS 10: what a regression might be an example of the other side of that coin …


Microsoft is doing great (look at their share), and has some great products and services.

Office 365, Outlook, Onedrive, Teams, Azure, etc, are all winners. And they have a full selection of corporate products and services.

I use a few of them, with very good results.


I think Microsoft undervalues us.


I am so using that in my next board meeting……”a lot of chest puffery” :joy:

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I find that for enterprise and a number of businesses, MS reins supreme. Their apps are memory monsters, slow and laggy. Every time I receive an attachment I open it in iWork suite. The only exception that can be tolerated is Outlook; perhaps because I use it a lot. Teams = fussy; .docx / .xlsx / .pptx make my eyes hemorrhage. All of the peripheral apps are crap.

#js #imo

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Most of the Fortune 500 use Microsoft software. Most unicorns use Google Workspace. But whether we use Microsoft software or not, businesses still depend on Microsoft formats.

In 1993 Bill Gates was quoted as saying: “The internet? We are not interested in it.” Microsoft totally missed how important it was going to be. Today some people think Apple was surprised by AI. They are jumping in now but they may be a decade behind the leaders.

Microsoft is no longer the Windows company. Their percent of revenue from Windows is about the same as Apple’s percent that comes from the Mac.

Satya Nadella said Microsoft would strive to create products and services where “the end-user gets the experience they want”. In that respect it appears they are much like Apple today.

AI is the big disrupter. Since it currently resides in datacenters anyone can create the next big thing because it doesn’t depend on the user’s hardware. I think the future is up for grabs.


So is the school bully. :man_shrugging:


I have to use Windows occasionally for work. Still not a fan.

On the flip side, Microsoft makes a wide array of solid Mac apps. We’re long past the days when I felt like a second-class citizen at work because I’m running a Mac. I get a lot of mileage out of Outlook, Teams, and Visual Studio Code.


Mr. @Bmosbacker asked our opinion about Microsoft, Microsoft services and apps, and whether they are beneficial to Mac power users. In response, I’m sharing my opinion.

This is a forum about apps, service providers, great companies, great products and Mac power users. That is all there is to it, dear sir.

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Probably depends on the product to be honest (your question was only about Microsoft products, so I will not be adding any snarky commentary on the company).

You can prise Excel from my cold, dead hands. Numbers and Google Sheets have never been able to replace it. (I actually think both Apple and Google knew they didn’t have the skill, time or inclination to surpass Excel, so simply didn’t bother.)

Microsoft Word does a couple of things well that the other apps don’t do, but I can live without it. It’s not “cutting edge” or indispensable.

Powerpoint is an interesting one. It’s what most folk in my professional setting use, partly I think because it does stuff that Google Slides can’t do, partly because it’s familiar, but also partly I think because if you’re passing a presentation to a third party, this is the safest way to do it. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s of value, simply that it’s ubiquitous. Having said that, I suspect a lot of presentations would go less smoothly if we all stopped using it tomorrow.


As a side note about your remarks on PowerPoint, I believe many presentations could significantly benefit from minimizing or even omitting slides altogether. Enhanced storytelling, developing a narrative about the reasons, methods, and timing, and relying less on slides could lead to more engaging and effective presentations. While there is a definite role for slides in illustrating or highlighting key points, they are frequently overused as a crutch, detracting from the potential impact of the speaker’s message. I have certainly been guilty of over reliance on slides. I’m trying to do better. :slightly_smiling_face:



In the 90’s I worked for a company that relied heavily on slides. Senior staff would disappear into their offices for weeks preparing for one biennial event with the CEO.

I agree with Jeff Bezos, there are other ways to conduct meetings.