Core Differences: Apple, Microsoft and Why Design Matters

Garr Reynolds over at Presentation Zen posted a very interesting observation and a follow up post that compare and contrast the design and effectiveness of the presentations given by Apple’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates. 

Obviously this goes much deeper than how to properly use PowerPoint. It really speaks to the core differences in these two companies: how they operate; what is important to them; and serves as a perfect example of how company leadership affects every aspect of a company’s products, services, and message.

People love great design. A sexy, fast car. The fit of a well made suit or prefect drape of a designer dress. The simplicity, elegance, and intuitive interface of an iPod. It all matters. So why does Microsoft own 90%+ of the computer operating system market? Obviously a lot of people are not paying attention when it comes to the design of their computer software/hardware and operating system.

But that’s beginning to change. The iPod Halo Effect is real. New iPod owners are discovering the joy of owning and using a device that just works. A very technical device that doesn’t require a user manual. A device so elegant in design and execution that they begin to wonder if using a Mac might provide a similar experience. And they’re switching by the millions.

Design matters. Communication matters. Security matters. Getting your work done and your message out as easily and effectively as possible matters.

Do your technology partners and service providers understand and appreciate good design? Do they communicate technical concepts in sentences that make sense and clarify? Do you get excited about their capabilities and experience and how they can help you with your website/technology/company?

If not, you might want to go get yourself an iPod.