Look who got their sexy back – there’s life in staid old ...

World

Look who got their sexy back – there’s life in staid old Microsoft yet

Having gone back to doing what they do best, there's a degree of quiet swagger in big tech's silver fox

Tom Hoggins

Poor old Microsoft. Not even being the world’s most valuable company can entirely shake the perception that the US giant is the fuddy-duddy uncle of the tech bros. As it revealed its new Surface laptops and tablets – including the snazzy dual-screen Neo and pocket-sized Duo – Microsoft’s event maybe did not have the same Hollywood pizzazz and widespread mania of a few weeks ago when Apple showed off a new iPhone.

I’m sure its trillion-dollar market cap is consolation enough, with Microsoft more focused on practical matters such as business software and cloud services than spiffy gadgets, but the new Surface reveals there is flair in the old dog yet. Sexy in its own way, like the loaded accountant coming out the other side of a midlife crisis. One that has focused up, trimmed the dad-bod and got on the cover of Men’s Health.

Okay, that’s a bit much. But it’s hard to deny the strides that Microsoft has made to become a leaner and more agile company since its breakdown a decade ago. And what a midlife crisis it was. You can blame Apple for that, perhaps, with its unbearably smug Mitchell & Webb adverts, that cast the PC as an uptight bore in a beige suit and the Apple Mac as a denim-wearing hipster, that ran from 2006 to 2009. Apple’s slight and its subsequent success seemed to cut Microsoft deep...

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