After watching the Apple Keynote last night one thing became clear to me – Apple and Microsoft are not competing and I am pretty sure they have agreed on this a long time ago.
All the noise is just from people who do not see that these companies are in completely different markets and whenever they do venture into their “competitors” turf it is half-hearted and probably just for show.
So Apple is and will be for the foreseeable future a Consumer oriented company, selling to the Consumer and not to the Enterprise. Microsoft might make a lot of noise saying they do also address the consumer market but to be honest, they are a purely Enterprise oriented company. They have failed with any Consumer oriented product (let the XBOX be the exception to this rule) and their entry into the Consumer market with products like the Zune, Live xyz and unfortunately also Windows Phone in its current state have failed (I know we could argue about every one of these).
Apple has not done much better in the Enterprise space. Their Server product just turned into add-ons for OS X Lion and even if you parse everything that they have announced yesterday (which was quite a bit and well done) it was very hard to identify any Enterprise related features (I mean I could get totally excited about support for S/Mime – but that was all).
This said the most exciting announcements from last night for me in my role as the IT responsible for an Enterprise customer is that we finally reached the age of wireless sync and PC-less activiation and usage of iDevices. This is a big thing for Enterprise customers even though I don’t think we were the target group for these new features.
iCloud is cool and looks much better than anything on the market – again for Consumers. In the Enterprise Space Microsoft rocks with Office 365 which is just so much better than anything else out there and there is no comparison between these cloud services because there is NO comparison. They are targeted at different use cases like a bike and a boat are targeted at different use cases – to compare them wouldn’t make any sense.
So I am glad to be able to use both of these great products – in my private life my gadgets I use around the house finally can sync wireless and get a ton of new features this fall, at the office I enjoy Office 2010 and Lync telephony and videoconferencing, knowing that Microsoft's next release again will be better than the last – while at home Facetime is just the better choice. It’s all good and competition is overrated.