STEVE JOBS MAY NO LONGER BE WITH US,
BUT HIS APPROACH TO BUILDING
THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE IS ALIVE AND
WELL, AND NOT MERELY AT APPLE INC.
BY BRENT SCHLENDER
ILLUSTRATION BY MATT DARTFORD
For decades, Steve Jobs extolled the virtues of “building the whole widget”—in other words, designing and manufacturing a computer or a digital media player or smartphone as an organic whole, from the mo- lecular materials of the hardware to
the abstract bits and bytes of the software.
The resulting products may not always have
been as inexpensive or utilitarian as the
standardized machines that ruled the PC
marketplace, but they did always possess
the svelte and winsome quality that Apple’s
loyal customers love with a passion.
Earlier this summer, Microsoft tried to make
like Apple. The company had never itself built com-
puters, out of deference to its many hardware part-
ners, but on June 18, it revealed the results of a
three-year secret project: a sleek and distinctive
Windows tablet PC called the Surface.