Apple gets you without even trying.
You buy an Apple product and when you buy another one, it works with such ease that you wonder why the whole world was not built like that.
I'm exaggerating, of course, but only a little bit.
Apple has always dedicated its soul to making its products human. However, this has become more difficult as the technological sphere has become more complex.
What, however, if you just want to leave Apple? And if you thought, like others, that it was a society built on fiction and snobbery?
Is it possible to go elsewhere and enjoy the same ease synchronized seductively?
This is the existential question that I forced myself to explore. My first stop was to visit Apple's oldest rival, Microsoft.
What would one of his stores suggest to move me away from the walled nation of Apple?
A very cheerful saleswoman from Microsoft immediately greeted me. She wanted to help. I wanted to know why she was so happy. It's turned out that's what it is.
So I asked: "Is it possible to get the same seamless experience with Microsoft as that obtained with Apple?"
"It's easy," she replied.
It is? Why did not anyone ever say that before? There would have been a world of opportunities to explore. Still, I was in a store where laptops, tablets, but no phones were installed. And, as far as I could see, no smart speakers or watches.
"All you need is a Microsoft account," she continued.
"So, if, for example, I have a Dell laptop, a Samsung phone and other devices, have a Microsoft account equivalent to having iOS and everything will work together?"
Of course, I described the devices of my wife. She's not entirely an Apple fanperson.
I was always struggling with the idea that life in the firmament of Microsoft could be of such disarming simplicity. I've pointed to all the hardware in the store and asked if the salesperson would recommend to any of them to start my Microsoft-based seamless experience.
"Not really, Microsoft is talking about software, all you have to do is start working with Windows and you can easily have your files everywhere."
"Yes, but what about a smart speaker?"
"There is the Harmon Kardon in which Cortana was integrated," she replied.
"And how can I get Cortana?"
"You have just downloaded the application."
Here, of course, one of the main differences between the Apple ecosystem and everything else. With Apple, you feel like you do not download anything. Apps are already on your phone and easily synced with your laptop, iPad and even your HomePod.
Apple wants you to feel, that you do not think.
The saleswoman took out her phone and showed me how well Microsoft applications work on her Samsung Galaxy S10.
"Does a Samsung work better with Microsoft software?"
"No, it does not matter, you can use an iPhone if you want."
"And does it work the same?"
"OK, but which phone would you really recommend?"
The answer she gave was curious: "Well, Microsoft has not announced yet."
Excuse me? What was it?
"Are you bringing new phones?"
"I do not say that," she replied. "We had Windows phones, then we bought Nokia and …"
She was silent, as if she was not sure she had to mention the supposed announcement or the way to describe one of the most dramatic difficulties of modern technology.
Instead, she has directed me to the store's free classes to help you become Microsoft transparent on all the devices you now own.
Sample class: Be organized with OneNote. Second class of sample: Improve your privacy.
I did not see a class called Stay away from Tim Cook's crowd of self-sufficient installers.
You know, Microsoft knew how to make money – brutally – through software services long before Apple joined the group.
"So why is Microsoft selling all this hardware?" I asked.
"We've been doing it for 10 years," was his wonderful non-sequential answer. She immediately started telling me that the Surface Go was as good as a laptop and that there was a smart speaker that also worked with Alexa.
You're not even faithful to Cortana?
Go to a Microsoft store and it seems that they are happy with the hardware you use. They are even happy to see Apple products. Why, the saleswoman has confessed that she still had an old MacBook. "It's really old," she says, not revealing what computer she's using now.
The message was clear: as long as you use Microsoft software, Redmond is happy and you should be too.
This is the real window on simplicity. Allegedly.