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What would a Microsoft – Apple merger look like?

As I waited to speak at a conference this week, someone said that I seem to have a lot of gadgets. It’s true, I’m a gadget freak, but they all serve a function.

Recently, I’ve been assimilated into the Apple fold through the ease of use, great user experience and simplicity of the iPhone and iPad. Historically, I’ve been a Microsoft man, with desktop and laptop. Meanwhile, for email, the Blackberry has always been the trusted device.

These days, when travelling around town, I find my bag is full of Apple, Sony and Blackberry tools and technologies …

Gadget freak

… but then the real realisation came upon me.

The fact is that Apple has redesigned the user experience for content consumption. Accessing knowledge via the net, watching downloaded movies, reading eBooks and playing music, the iPhone and iPad are great.

However, for content generation they are not so adept. There is no way to type fast using their touchscreen systems.

They have no keyboard, just a virtual pop-up keyboard, and even if you buy an Apple keyboard as an add-on, it’s just not very utilitarian.

That is why I also carry the Blackberry and the Sony Laptop.

These are the essential tools for content creation from generating presentations to writing research reports to managing spreadsheets.

That’s why I have so many gadgets.

Gadgets for content creation via mouse and keyboard; and gadgets for content consumption via touchscreens and apps.

One day all of these will come together.

Meanwhile, Apple are rapidly taking off in the financial world as a tool of choice for illustration of key points.

This is when there’s a second realisation: if you want to give functionality to staff or customers, take away their keyboards.

Touchscreen systems, such as those for the Android and Apple operating systems, are brilliant because they package the whole user experience into a very simple interface which is just touch-and-go.

There’s no keyboard to screw things up, just touch and go.

There’s no navigation, misdirection, lost screens or complex data entry – just touch and go.

That’s why banks are finding different uses and methods for applying such technologies.

And here’s an example of one of the best I’ve seen so far.

It comes from a specialist solutions firm Finantix, who have designed and deployed an iPad app for wealth management.

It’s targeted as an illustration tool for bank advisors to High Net Worth (HNW) clients.

Why is it so good?

Because it allows the advisor to chart out and visualise their client’s needs and portfolio very simply and easily.It gives them knowledge of the client, their transactions, portfolio, dealings, communications and appetite for risk.

More than that it gives a profile of all of their financial, business and social relationships, comments and requests and more.

And it’s all held together in an easy app in a visualised form.

I’m sure there are other such apps out there for this and other areas of financial support, but what I love about these systems is they remove the brainwork for usage and enable the brain for the user.

In other words, they take away all the complexity of thinking about what you’re doing with the systems, and allow you to focus upon just what the systems are telling you.

That ease, simplicity and convenience is what makes these content consumption tools so good and yes, at some point they will be integrated with effective content creation tools to provide a truly multimedia rich capability for communicating.

Maybe we should call it Micrapple.

 

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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  • Merger ain’t gonna happen. Microsoft will just be increasingly sidelined due to their inability to innovate; the rules are the same in the software business as in the financial world: move forward or die. Additionally, Microsoft have been getting away with a ‘good enough’ approach to product quality since they started; without credible competition they were able to wing it for a long time, and without a superior paradigm users had no choice but to accept that as the way things were. Slowly, but with a vision that has driven them forward, Apple have rewriten the rule book for today: wi-fi dominated, mobile, touch devices.
    As a Senior Consultant in a niche retail banking software and services company, I’ve been able to re-align my work around Apple hardware and software resulting in a marked increase in personal productivity and, critically, quality, through spending less time grappling with the tools (the point Chris makes above). I would urge all to try – after a day with a Mac you will not go back!
    Typed (quite fast) on my iPad…..