Music by VICE

Microsoft Challenges Apple's Music Production Dominance with Bitwig Studio Partnership

The Seattle-based company is banking on touchscreen production being the next big move.

by Joshua Glazer
Oct 9 2015, 7:13pm

There is a fundamental teaching in Buddhism of the impermanence of all things. Not many dance producers are Buddhist, though, and there are few things tougher to imagine than a return by musicians to Windows products after more than a decade of Apple dominating the computer-music community.

Nevertheless, the impossible seemed possible this week when on the same day that Microsoft announced their new Surface Book touch screen laptop-tablet hybrid, Berlin-based startup Bitwig debuted Bitwig Studio 1.3, with touch capabilities that are custom made for the new Windows machine.

What this means for the future of Microsoft as it pertains to computer-generated music is certainly open for debate, but as Peter Kirn eloquently explained in a post on his site, Create Digital Music: "Apple's strategy is clear: make one line of things that are laptops (running OS X), make another line of things that are touch-based (running iOS)...That's still left some creative types in the gap between the two. That is, it did, until today."

Of course, the Surface Book could end up being another Zune, and there's no reason to believe that DJs and producers are going to start ditching their Macbooks and iPads en masse. But the myth of Apple's infallibility has long since burst, and Bitwig, though only on the market since last year, has already gotten a lot of traction in the electronic music world, counting Deadmau5 among its biggest fans.

Only time will tell if Microsoft can usurp the ubiquitous Macbook on stage.

create digital music
Surface Book