In 1993, my dad bought our family its first PC. Little did I know that what I considered the Minesweeper machine would be a lifelong line in the sand for my father.
Brand loyalty was and is still very much a thing. It was to the point that I was worried about telling him about my first Macbook I was using at work when I was 25. We were a Microsoft family as much as we were a Chrysler family. He’d tut-tut over the quality and usability of Apple products, and in a lot of ways back in the ’90s he was right. Then came the iPod in 2001 and the iPhone in 2007.
Microsoft’s work with General Motors on robotaxis, and Apple’s half-hearted effort on its own self-driving technology, have got me wondering: Which operating system do you trust to ferry you across town without human intervention? In tasks where a system crash may well involve bodily harm, does brand loyalty or perceived quality come into play?
Microsoft is a solid company that has given us years of great technology! But a Blue Screen Of Death would definitely take on new significance in self-driving cars. Apple has tons of slick tech that looks great but can be quite fussy — and sometimes doesn’t play well with others — which won’t cut it in a self-driving future, if it even commits to working in that space.
Will an established OS maker win your confidence? Will Google emerge on top?