Apple versus Microsoft: who had the better 2015?

Microsoft's 2015 innovations weren't limited to operating systems and phones, its latest laptop pushed boundaries as well.

The tablet/laptop hybrid is the holy grail of devices and none have gotten closer to it than Microsoft's Surface Book. Its Muscle Wire mechanism – which allows the screen to separate from the base – is junkyard-magnet strong and toaster-easy to use. Powered by Windows 10, the Surface Book parties like a tablet but gets down to business like a laptop.

And consumers are falling in love with it: the Surface Book sold out its launch stock. There's little doubt Santa's sleigh will be full of Surface Books this Christmas.

Windows 10

2015 also saw Apple release its answer to the Surface Book, the iPad Pro. It's a beautiful device and yes, it can multitask as well as a single parent working full-time, but iOS doesn't have the same functionality as Windows 10. The iPad Pro is still only a tablet – albeit one with a well designed keyboard accessory. It's just not the same level of innovation as the Surface Book.

Apple Watch

But what about the Apple Watch? Unfortunately the abilities of Apple's wearable could not match its hype. It tells the time, it makes calls, it listens to dictated texts – it's like a cell phone from 2005 except it sits on your wrist instead of in your pocket.

The Apple Watch then is a sort of microcosm of Apple the company in 2015. It made money with a lot of style, but it didn't have much substance.

The verdict

In terms of innovation, 2015 belonged to Microsoft.

And thanks to that innovation, the old giant isn't looking as feeble as it once did. But by no means did Apple suffer this year for its "safe" stance. It's still the largest company in the world with an R&D budget that NASA scientists can only dream about.

It's going to be an interesting 2016.