A Microsoft Epiphany

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I know this wasn’t the intention of the last episode of Windows Weekly, but I am having an epiphany when it comes to my future of using Microsoft consumer products.

This week’s Windows Weekly was transformative for me. No, not dropping all I have (now) and going Apple but it has opened my mind to see what they are doing over there and appreciating it. It is tempting to go iPhone now that widgets and an app drawer (of sorts) is coming. The iPhone camera in someways has surpassed the Pixel and camera is the most important feature to me. And I actually like some of the changes in MacOS.

I have a Mix of Microsoft and Google which includes Surface Book 3 (read more below), Surface Pro X, XBOX, Microsoft 365, Nest Home Max and Subsequent Speakers, YouTube Premium, YouTube Music, YouTube TV. I use a Pixel 4XL and a WearOS Watch (Gen5). I’ve made this work but it seems like I am always met with frustrations or bending over backwards to make things flow. I sometimes think of going ALL Samsung with my phone, tablet and watch needs but I often get a little frustrated with their duplicate apps, extra services, their own app store and Bixby getting in the way. Due to performance issues with my Pixel, all to frequent Windows Update issues and having to keep this setup “well oiled”, I’m growing weary.

My work allowed me to upgrade to the Surface Book 3 (i7, 15″, 512GB, 32GB RAM) recently and I’ve used both the SB1 and SB2. I’ve been quite disappointed in the SB3. Not only does it feel more top heavy than the previous ones (the wobble is worse on this one), but Windows will lock up to where mouse, keyboard and touch will not respond, even if the system seems to be active (videos will keep playing). Often it will go away but 1-2 minutes later. I’ve reported this via the FEEDBACK app but not knowing when this will be fixed, I can’t keep fighting this.

I like XBOX but I am not much of a gamer these days. I could easily move to Apple TV or Nvidia Shield for my streaming needs. The XBOX is still a little clunky when it comes to navigating streaming services. I was one of the few who actually liked that the XBOX ONE was intended to be more media focused and actually used GUIDE to feed in my DirecTV and use the Kinect to change channels. But they scaled back their media vision and Kinect is nothing more for me than a Microphone to search YouTube videos with. And I dumped DirecTV for YouTube TV.

And let me just say this quickly – Why can’t there be a Smartwatch for Android users that feel as complete as Apple Watch? I’ve used Galaxy Watch and WearOS and both have some strengths but neither one is complete.

This is not a reactionary post…As a tech enthusiast, I’ve got to pause right now. Paul’s analogy of how Windows feels like Muhammad Ali in the ring one last time beyond his prime has given me pause on what works for me with my home network. I want a little more cohesion between my devices and I’m not getting that with my Microsoft / Google hybrid. Microsoft’s partnership with Samsung hasn’t yielded the panacea of better connecting Android / Microsoft devices (though YourPhone is making strides.)

It just feels like the right time to see if I need to change up my “What I Use” devices. I want a coherent whole and the recent Apple Announcements has piqued my interest in seeing if my life/workflow might run better with Apple.

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