Microsoft’s latest Copilot Plus PCs

The Verge recently published this article “Inside Microsoft’s mission to take down the MacBook Air”.

Microsoft is trying to take down the MacBook Air again. Let me tell you why I’m deeply skeptical, even though I’m a big Windows user and I don’t use MacBooks. I also happen to be the guy who helped to launch Microsoft Surface computers in Singapore.

TLDR: Microsoft needs to design an ecosystem for young people if it wants to defeat Apple.

1. 90% of the students in my NTU communications classes use a MacBook (Air or Pro). They are all iPhone users and they like the seamless ecosystem they’re locked into. They also like their Apple Watches, AirPods and iPads.

2. Windows is a legacy operating system. It’s complicated, it’s bloated and it’s not designed for young people who don’t like to tinker with tech (like us old DOS farts). You can re-engineer Windows for ARM, but it’s still going to be a complicated interface.

3. Apart from PC games, I cannot think of any Windows-only apps that appeals to young people. I use MS Office all the time, but the students use Canva or Google Slides for presentations. I use those web-only apps too if I need to, but I prefer the additional features of MS Office (which the kids don’t care to use).

4. Talking about gaming, most young people play games on their mobile now. PC gaming is still going strong, but it’s shifting towards high-end gamers where we gamers invest in powerful and expensive components for the best visual quality on big screens. The kids are happy to play simpler games on a 6″ screen and any mid-range mobile processor will do.

I repeat again that I’m a big Windows user. If Microsoft really wants to take down the MacBook Air, I would suggest it start seeding young people with their new Surface devices. Otherwise, I predict in 10-15 years’ time when my students have taken over the corporate world, MacBooks will be the standard office equipment, not Windows PCs.

And BTW, I believe Apple is going to announce major moves in Generative AI soon. They’re not going to miss this boat.