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Can Apple Take Microsoft on the Desktop?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the put-em-up-put-em-up dept.

Businesses 528

An anonymous reader writes "RDM asks Can Apple Take Microsoft on the Desktop?, a comparison of recent sales and profits and the future outlook for Macs and PCs. It's the opinion of the article's author that Apple doesn't have to take a majority share of the desktop market to win. The key is to take the most valuable segments of the market. They show via a few quick financial numbers that even though Apple is selling fewer machines, they're making more money per machine than your Dells or your Gateways. Not being beholden to Microsoft gives them a big advantage when competing with traditional PC sellers. Once Apple is positioned, Microsoft will be forced to choose whether it wants to battle Mac OS X for control of the slick consumer desktop, or repurpose Windows as a cheaper, mass market alternative to Linux in corporate sales. If it doesn't make a choice, the company will face difficult battles on two fronts.""

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Yes (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228590)

If Microsoft bends over the desk. (Come on, this was the expected joke - the title was phrased this way on purpose)

Re:Yes (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228770)

I don't know... even with a condom, I don't think the Mac would want to take PC.

Too high a chance of getting a virus.

Re:Yes (2, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228918)

I don't know... even with a condom, I don't think the Mac would want to take PC. Too high a chance of getting a virus.
No, Macs are immune to PC viruses! (as long as you don't use MS Office)

Re:Yes (3, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229038)

The Mac/PC ad concept just got very interesting...

No (4, Funny)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229072)

Of course not, since 2007 if finally going to be the year of the Linux Desktop.

A disguisting victory (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229272)

Microsoft bends over the desk and spreads its ass cheeks exposing a thick entanglement of ass-hair and dried faeces. Then they start screaming that Apple wants to violate their innovation. What are the chances of a company that plays that dirty wiping properly?

My Mac seems to be surviving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228602)

Oh sure, I think it's a little uncomfortable with IE7 running via Parallels on there, but it knows it's the real owner of the machine and that it's work related, not personal.

incorrect title (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228630)

RDM asks Can Apple Take Microsoft on the Desktop? ... They show via a few quick financial numbers that even though Apple is selling fewer machines, they're making more money per machine than your Dells or your Gateways.

So then the proper title should be "Can Apple take Dell or Gateway on the Desktop". With the release of bootcamp, Apple's competing against Dell and Gateway in the Premium consumer hardware space (which Dell/Gateway suck at anyway) so it's no wonder Apple's winning.

The flip side of that is that as commodity beigeboxes, Dell and Gateway do great in the corporate world, which is a space Apple has yet to penetrate to any large degree, because the customer doesn't fit their product space.

Re:incorrect title (4, Interesting)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228826)

The flip side of that is that as commodity beigeboxes, Dell and Gateway do great in the corporate world, which is a space Apple has yet to penetrate to any large degree, because the customer doesn't fit their product space.


While I agree that Apple doesn't necessarily fit the generic corp desktop, I wonder if it might just be a matter of grabbing the executives who are always in the market for premium computing hardware. A decked out MacBook Pro is nothing to scoff at and it may just be a matter of getting execs to try them. It coudl cause a push for some companies to adopt cheap Macs on the desktop. Maybe if Apple can bring the price of the Mini back down. Ultimately, I think it simply comes down to breaking the Windows addiction. Paralells is great and all, but does it really make sense for companies to run BOTH OS X and Windows on each desktop? Because you know they're still going to be using some Windows/DOS app that they just can't get rid of..

-matthew

 

Re:incorrect title (3, Insightful)

cavtroop (859432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229124)

You'd be able to pitch this to the high-end customer (upper execs, etc), but you'll lose them when the find out that the Mac won't work with Exchange (no, Office for Mac doesn't count, they need full-blown Outlook). Along with the other Exchange-centric plugins, suchs as Meestingplace, Blackberries, etc. MS it way too entrenched on the back end, so making the choice of MS for the desktop is a no brainer.

But Not Necessary (2, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229150)

The problem I see is that people think that all companies buy top-of-line PCs. A Decked-out MacBook Pro? I don't think so.

I have a feeling that a lot of companies are like the one I work for. We don't have a huge I.T. budget, so we have to be creative with our computer purchases (ie, eBay). This also means we are n-1 to n-2 generations or more on hardware, and n-1 on the operating system. Though, I should note that I work at a factory where we still have production PCs running DOS. (If it ain't broke, don't rewrite it.)

If Apple brought their system prices down to that of the common beige box, then and only then could they hope to truly capture the corporate market at large. But, that would mean less profit per box. And, in the end, Apple doesn't seem to really be suffering, so why would they want to hamstring their bottom line? The last time I read about Apple's bottom line, it was very healthy.

Thus, I does it really matter that Apple only has 5% (or whatever it is) of system sales?

Re:incorrect title (5, Informative)

gutnor (872759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229306)

"It coudl cause a push for some companies to adopt cheap Macs on the desktop. Maybe if Apple can bring the price of the Mini back down."

It is not a question of cost. Mac are quite competitive compared to equivalent machine. The problem is the range of available machine. You have a *very* limited subset of hardware you can choose from Apple, and all of them are designed either for home ( cheap one ) or for very top of the range professional ( MacBook Pro, MacPro )

There is no average common machine. Example: The mac mini is slightly underspec for a developer ( mainly: harddisk sucks, only 2 GB memory max ) and the design is completely irrelevant: we have all plenty of lost space under the desk. My company buys beige ibm/dell boxes with the same spec as the mini and roughly the same price, but the fact that the dell/ibm come with standard disk in a standard ugly box is seen as a benefit, unlike in my livingroom.
Off course, there is the mac pro, but it is completely overkill, both in cost and performance. ( Again, not saying it is not competitive against similar spec machine, but that's the equivalent of 'if a knife is not good enough for hunting, we also sell machine guns' )

Re:incorrect title (2, Insightful)

Mattsson (105422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228902)

Exactly.
Apple does not compete directly with Microsoft and won't do until they release an OS that run on industry-standard x86-boxes instead of just Apple-proprietary x86-boxes.

As people who run Apple often tell me when I whine about OSX not running on standard hardware; Apple is a hardware-company who makes an OS so that their customers can have something to run on their boxes, and they put a lot of effort into making it not run on non-apple hardware.
Microsoft is a software-company that make an OS so that their customers have something to run MS-software on.

If Apple had been smart, they would have made a version of OSX that could run fine on last generation hardware, the one corporations are using right now, so that when the question of upgrading the corporate OS comes, it stands between upgrading the OS on every workstation to OSX or upgrading the hardware *and* upgrade to Vista on every single workstation.

Re:incorrect title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229312)

Except that if Apple had made a version that ran fine on last generation (I assume you mean generic-PC) hardware, then it wouldn't be the Apple experience that Apple has done so well. The nightmare of actually attempting to support that shitty hardware, not to mention somehow getting drivers for all the random peripherals these boxes probably use, would be a disaster.

Re:incorrect title (1)

UnxMully (805504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228958)

Agreed on most of that. Gateway don't do much business that I've seen in the UK, although I'm not in corporate purchasing so my view is limited to what I see on the ground. I suspect we're a bit gunshy when it comes to a supplier that just dumped the whole market and took its toys home. Dell are losing ground to HP and, IIRC, Acer. It seems they're starting to reap the benefits of some truly shocking customer service.

I suppose an interesting question would be if you just want email/browsing/office and access to some apps through a browser, why not use something like a Mac Mini?

Re:incorrect title (4, Interesting)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229328)

The flip side of that is that as commodity beigeboxes, Dell and Gateway do great in the corporate world, which is a space Apple has yet to penetrate to any large degree, because the customer doesn't fit their product space.
It gets scant mention in the article, but a valid point is made that, as far as the corporate world is concerned Linux is increasingly looking like a good option. When you don't have to worry about the latest webcams working, and have an IT staff to manage everything Linux on the desktop is very feasible. Indeed Novell and Redhat are making inroads in this area. What this means is that Microsoft could find itself getting squeezed if Dell and Gateway start co-operating with Novell, Redhat, and/or Canonical on desktop Linux for the corporate world and MacOS X takes over the home user market. The fact that, relatively speaking, Mac and Linux play nicely with each other (compared to Windows and Mac, or Windows and Linux) only makes such a scenario more interesting. In practice, of course, MS still has quite the stranglehold on the corporate desktop. Linux is, these days, good enough to take on MS toe to toe in market, but MS started with a massive advantage and aren't about to give an inch. It will take a long time before Linux makes enough of a dent in the corporate desktop market for ny of this to really matter.

Cheaper? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228634)

How could Windows possibly be cheaper than Linux?

And how is OS X expected to beat Windows on the desktop, when MS's monopoly has blocked Linux (superior though it is) from doing so for a decade now?

Re:Cheaper? (2, Informative)

spikexyz (403776) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228668)

The cost of a product is not just the cost of the box but the cost of the people to support it. Linux requires more support from people with more knowledge and hence the support is more expensive.

Close but wrong (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228940)

Linux requires less support from people with more knowledge. Which is more expensive, I do not know.

Re:Cheaper? (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229178)

The cost of a product is not just the cost of the box but the cost of the people to support it. Linux requires more support from people with more knowledge and hence the support is more expensive.
Linux compensates by requiring less work. In my old work our team maintained 450 Unix and Linux servers, and about 50 Windows servers. The Windows servers required More work. Sure the *nix machines require more specialized know how, but the added amount of work negates the savings. I currently work in a company where the employees have a mixed Mac / Pc environment. The PC users require a lot more help with their computers, but it might also be due to the nature of their job (business people vs. programmers and graphic designers). Luckily we don't have a lot of Windows servers.

Re:Cheaper? (1)

antirelic (1030688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228724)

If you've wasted any portions of your life reading M$ FUD, you'll find that M$ repeatedly states, and has convinced a large part of "Middlemanagement America" that Windows is actually has a cheaper TCO than Linux. As 90% of IT professionals/ametures/downsyndrome know this is complete crap, that 90% goes to 10% when it comes to untechnical Management types. However, the summary is completely... full of shit. "Once Apple is positioned, Microsoft will be forced to choose whether it wants to battle Mac OS X for control of the slick consumer desktop, or repurpose Windows as a cheaper, mass market alternative to Linux in corporate sales. If it doesn't make a choice, the company will face difficult battles on two fronts." Microsoft facing off in the Desktop market, no matter what "part" of the "desktop market" you talk about, is like the USA taking on Hati and St. Lucia in conventional warfare. If Apple could even reach %20 market share, thats still less than a minor threat to Microsoft, and Linux hasnt even seen a 5% share of desktops.... So a loss of %25 market share for desktops would make microsoft angry, but by no means "bring the giant down". TFA also hasnt been paying attention much to the past 20 years in personal computing... like... Apple has ALWAYS had a higher profit margin... but that doesnt mean shit when you lose out on penetrating massive amounts of markets... which is EXACTLY what M$ did rather well and Apple dropped the ball on, and the rest is what it is today. To the parent Papa TrollFlamebate you might just do a fucking search for "MS Monopoly + Linux" and you'll have 400000000 pages of explinations. Or perhaps, you can go back to highschool and do a research paper on "monopolies" and their affects on the free market instead of prentending to be some sort of insightful visionary who asks one line questions that "no one" has asked before.

Re:Cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228774)

Holy fuck. I lost track at around the third sentence.

Re:Cheaper? (2, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229222)

If Apple could even reach %20 market share, thats still less than a minor threat to Microsoft, and Linux hasnt even seen a 5% share of desktops.... So a loss of %25 market share for desktops would make microsoft angry, but by no means "bring the giant down".

Well, not, but it's a start.

If the Mac reached a 20% market share, that could be the critical mass. It would make more developers make apps for it, which would make even more people get Macs, which would make more developers make apps for it, which... well, you get the idea.

And consider: these days, when people think "computer", they usually mean "Microsoft Windows". Why? Because Windows is so ubiquitous that they don't know anything else. If another system took a decent chunk of the market, people would know there's something else out there, and would look into it. And they'd end up checking other systems as well. Mostly Linux, but a few even daring tread into the "extreme nerd niche" of Solaris, QNX, Haiku, MenuetOS, SkyOS, Syllable...

With Vista getting little praise from disappointed reviewers, Apple getting big bucks and high praise, Linux constantly improving, and the ubiquity and platform-agnosticism of the internet... maybe Microsoft won't just fall, but their slice could be about to get a lot smaller!

Re:Cheaper? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228846)

How could Windows possibly be cheaper than Linux?

When pundits talk about Linux, they men Red Hat.

LK

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228652)

The answer is no and it's not even close. Next?

May be, but on a limited scale (0)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228670)

I think Apple could have some limited success. At my doctor's office, they run an "all Apple environment." I wanted to know what applications they were using but the secretary had no idea! All she knew was to click and type into the application.

I for one though, do not like Apple and its OSX as a platform and wonder why people say it's very good as a platform.

Re:May be, but on a limited scale (3, Informative)

wodgy7 (850851) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228746)

Interesting. The fairly large medical clinic at my university is also an all-Apple environment. (Even the TV screens in the lobby run a looped Keynote presentation.) There must be a good set of patient-management apps in the medical space for OS X. I've seen the login screen my doctor uses, but I can't remember the name of the app offhand.

Re:May be, but on a limited scale (3, Funny)

ditoa (952847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229226)

iPatient

Re:May be, but on a limited scale (4, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228798)

I for one though, do not like Apple and its OSX as a platform and wonder why people say it's very good as a platform.

I don't like their hardware strategy, but I like OS X because it requires far less effort to maintain it than anything else I've used. I like it that there's no registry that can get corrupted such that one installer can ruin everything, and most programs don't need an installer or uninstaller (drop the program icon to trash & empty usually removes the program), and that there's nowhere nearly the dependency hell of any other OS I've used. I also like the fact that I can actually force a user account to have no admin priviledges and the software would actually work. This works under UNIX, but for my family, there's always one program that they need that pukes when it doesn't have admin priviledges.

Re:May be, but on a limited scale (2, Interesting)

UnxMully (805504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229006)

...most programs don't need an installer or uninstaller (drop the program icon to trash & empty usually removes the program...

And the odd applications that do require an installer I tend to look on with some level of suspicion. So what are you doing and why? How do I uninstall you when I decide I don't want you any more?

TextWrangler has some method of enabling command line tools which doesn't have an equivalent disable which leaves me feeling edgy about what kind of cruft can be left behind. Not that OSX cares either way, I just get a touch of OCD about untidy systems.

Re:May be, but on a limited scale (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228964)

I think Apple could have some limited success. At my doctor's office, they run an "all Apple environment." I wanted to know what applications they were using but the secretary had no idea! All she knew was to click and type into the application.


It could work in some medical areas because their primary software is often just some text terminal into a medical database. The workstations are often more or less just dumb terminals.

I for one though, do not like Apple and its OSX as a platform and wonder why people say it's very good as a platform.


It is great for end users. Bad for (business) developers. I only say bad for developers because basic things like ODBC are really poorly implemented on OSX. And your default database is MySQL. Not that there is anything wrong with MySQL, per se. It is great for web stuff, but it doesn't have any of the Crystal Reports type things that many businesses require. Just about everything on the Mac is geared towards graphics and end-users.

That said, I'd much rather use and administrate Macs at work (small college) than PCs. Even if it does limit the business end of things. But maybe that is just me.

-matthew

Apple is best where it is at the moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228680)

if it tries to compete on the same level as microsoft ( supporting multiple platforms ) it will encouter the same problems ( duuuuh )

they might succeed at offering a comparable products but at the moment almost everyone agrees their software is superior to microsoft ( except for gaming )

Secret Of Apple's Success - Overpriced x86 Boxes? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228688)

Let's look at Apple's recent history:

Dumped by IBM and forced to scramble to find a new chip supplier. PA Semi wasn't interested, AMD didn't have the capacity, so Apple turned to Intel as their 'first choice'.

The number one topic for Mac owners is now running Windows OSes and apps on their Mac.

Apple manages to one or two models down in price once or twice a year around the time new models are released - just don't do any of those price comparisons to other x86 boxes a month or more after a Mac is released - not fair!

So Apple is pretty much a more expensive way to run Windows apps right now. Mostly targeting the more money than sense / I heart good typography crowd.

So can Apple take Microsoft on the desktop...hey how about those iPods!

The thing I never understood about MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228760)

Carries over to their awkward software, even the slick Vista interface looks overly contrived. Every little thing about Microsoft is distasteful and unpleasant and yet they have built this monopoly. It wasn't just the dirty tricks, we (the tech community) let it happen. We can waste time asking ourselves why or just learn from the mistake and move on.

What you see with windows apps on Apple hardware is the beginnings of the move away from the monopoly. Microsoft had their day, linux for business and Mac for home is infinitely better than suffering another Windows upgrade; the time has come!

Re:Secret Of Apple's Success - Overpriced x86 Boxe (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228906)

Nice rewriting of history. All the indications are that PA Semi was very surprised when Apple didn't pick them as a supplier for notebook hardware. They were expecting Apple to be a major competitor. Also, if IBM had planned on dumping Apple, do you really think they would've added VMX (AKA Altivec) to the Power6 architecture? Since it only supports single-precision FP, and the chip has dual double-precision FMAC units anyway, the VMX unit is almost completely useless except for compatibility with OS X software that uses AltiVec.

And finally, the Intel Macs are broadly price competitive. Even months after its release, the only notebook that competes with the MacBook in its segment is the Vaio C series, and the latter is the same price for fewer features. And of course the Mac Pro is an absolute steal for a quad Xeon machine, even all this time after its release with no updates.

Re:Secret Of Apple's Success - Overpriced x86 Boxe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229058)

The day IBM landed all three console manufactures as PPC/Cell manufacturing contracts was the day IBM made the decision to drop Apple. Anyone who works at IBM who was involved with dealing with Apple will attest to what a nightmare company they are to work with. The paltry four percent of IBM's chip manufacturing was not worth the constant chip order/shipment games Jobs and Co. loved to play. IBM has really taken the high road and let the Apple fanboys cling to their damage control meme about 'Apple choosing Intel', the company is too small and irrelevant outside of digital music players to bother.

"And finally, the Intel Macs are broadly price competitive"

Yeah, sure they are...

What is so sad and ironic about these continued claims is for years Intel fans would scamper over to the Apple store and try to come up with very expensive configurations at the Apple store to 'prove' Macs were 'broadly price competitive' with x86 machines. Now that Apple is stuck with x86 those very same people are doing the same but in reverse by doing the very same games with Dell's store...

Re:Secret Of Apple's Success - Overpriced x86 Boxe (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229148)

While you make a good point, why is it do you think there is so much focus on using a Mac to run windows?

I think it is because someone finally made a computer that people can have a positive buying experience.

Cost is one of the least important things to a consumer, if you provide what people want (ease of use and style are big) they will pay more for it.

APPLE HAS NO MID-END HEAD LESS DESKTOPS! (4, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228692)

they need to fix this real fast! the mini has laptop parts, is not that easy to open and has POS gma 950.
The Mac pro is nice but the cost is high apple could add quad-core cpus at the top end and drop the price of the low end dual-cores as well as lower the video card prices.
The I-macs have laptop parts and don't work that well for people that have good screens. Also they force you to get a bigger screen if you want a better video, faster cpu, or bigger HD.

Re:APPLE HAS NO MID-END HEAD LESS DESKTOPS! (3, Interesting)

Slorv (841945) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229206)

>The I-macs have laptop parts

We have about 40 of them, 17" and 20" mixed and they are more than fast enough for office use. MS Office for macs is not however...

>and don't work that well for people that have good screens.

The iMac screens are good enough for office use. I agree the 17" is a bit small but the 20" is great. My exprience is that in an office environment you need screen real state and speed not effects or calibrated colors. If you work with graphics (in an office) and need better precision, simply get a Mac Pro.

>Also they force you to get a bigger screen if you want a better video, faster cpu, or bigger HD.
I fully agree. This old and still very strange policy is one thing I don't like with Apple.

Apples problem getting in to the office market has less to do with hw and more with sw and more importantly Apple own lack of interest in getting into this market.

not even close (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229324)

Have you even looked at Apple's website?
You can order higher end video cards in them without having to get a bigger screen, you can also get a faster CPU, bigger HD's, and more RAM too.

Article makes no sense (5, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228700)

So the article is saying that because Apple charges more for their computers, resulting in higher profit margins, MS is doomed? The article tries to make it sound like Apple is making more because they arent paying license fees to MS, but in reality they are charging a HUGE premium for their operating system. Compare the price differential of a mac with an equivalent hardware dell, its quite large.

There are so many things in this article that make no sense.

The author claims that the ipod and iphone are going to be major factors in killing the windows monopoly.

The author actually claims that consumers are willing to pay more for laptops because of resale value. I reread that like 5 times to make sure I wasnt reading it wrong.

This sounds like just another fanboy who wants to see Apple win and is grasping at straws for reasons why it will happen.

Re:Article makes no sense (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228804)

Dell is a lot faster to lower costs or put better hardware in to there systems at the same price points then apple is.

Apple and Dell have the exact same pricing (0)

e1618978 (598967) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228806)

So where is this premium you are talking about? http://www.systemshootouts.org/ [systemshootouts.org]

Re:Apple and Dell have the exact same pricing (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228864)

That was done last year apple still has the same prices and hardware. Today dell has lower prices for that same system or you can get more hardware for the same price as the apple system right now.

Re:Apple and Dell have the exact same pricing (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228952)

I haven't seen any evidence of lower prices on the Dell. Apple has kept the same price points, but they've gradually upgraded to faster Core 2 Duos over that period. A MacBook with 2 GHz Core 2 and 1 GB of RAM costs $1300. A Latitude D620 with the same basic features (1 GB RAM, 80 GB HD, DVD burner, wifi and bluetooth) costs $1268, with Dell's "$366 limited time instant savings". The Dell is all of $32 cheaper, and doesn't have Firewire, a webcam, etc.

Re:Apple and Dell have the exact same pricing (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229288)

Latitude
There's your problem. You can get an Inspiron E1505 with twice the RAM and a 120GB HDD for $50 cheaper.

Re:Apple and Dell have the exact same pricing (4, Informative)

AaronPSU777 (938553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229164)

The thing is with Apple you only have one supplier, Apple, and one price, what they say is what you pay, you can't shop around at all. With PC's you have dozens of supplier to choose from. So finding a PC maker that is selling a system at a similar price to a similar Apple system is not difficult. However it is also not difficult to find PC makers selling systems at a lower price than Apple, it's called shopping around, something you are unable to do when buying from Apple.

So yes, you can show me plenty of examples of expensive PC's and say Apple is on par with pricing. But I can reply right back; I just bought an Acer Aspire 5102: dual-core AMD processor, 1 gig of ram, 120 gig harddrive, 15.4" screen, dvd-burner, built in webcam and ati graphics. All of it for 675 bucks, delivered to my door, for just an hour or two shopping around on the internet. Show me an Apple laptop even close to that configuration for that price and I'll eat my hat.

Re:Article makes no sense (1)

arminw (717974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229256)

.....in reality they are charging a HUGE premium for their operating system........

All businesses are primarily interested in making a profit. Apple just has convinced a sizable number of customers that Apple hardware is a better integrated solution worth paying a little extra for. In the end, it is the buyer that determines what anything will sell for. Apple is after those who know and are willing to pay for higher quality. For basic transportation buy a Toyota or Ford. For a little more, get a BMW or Mercedes if you can afford one. Apple is after those who can afford a higher quality computer. If you can't, buy a cheap Dell.

Utterly ridiculous. (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229284)

I can't believe the article is actually serious. It is a COMPUTER OPERATING SYSTEM, not some sort of moral cause. How sad is it that people need to spout some tripe for some company they don't even work for in an effort to get more people to validate their choice somehow? What a waste of life.

On the Other hand (3, Interesting)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228702)

We have these PC vs Mac Spoof videos [lauriemcguinness.com]

all have some humor, and some have a point.

nicely done.

Astroturfing (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229022)

They are probably paid for, but given an unprofessional look to give that grass-root look.

The funniest of them is the FreeBSD dude who is irritated because people mix him up with the Linux dude, neither of which look like an Apple noob.

Astroturfing - but fun

Apple making more per box.. (-1, Flamebait)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228714)

Of course they do!

Their boxes are twice the prize of anyone else, how can they not make money?

suggested tag: no (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228728)

Microsoft has the corporate desktop sewn up, plus they're still cheaper than apple. No way will they ever dethrone MS.

Re:suggested tag: no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229194)

Microsoft has the corporate desktop sewn up, plus they're still cheaper than apple. No way will they ever dethrone MS.

Why does Apple have to "dethrone" Microsoft?

APPLE should come out with mac osx86 for all...... (0, Flamebait)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228730)

systems like windows. Apples hardware is over priced and too limited in choice. aka 7300 nvidia cards for that same price as 7600 cards.

Re:APPLE should come out with mac osx86 for all... (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228878)

Actually, no, this article drives home the point that from Apple's point of view, they SHOULDNT release Osx86. They are making more per box then Dell. If they came out with OSX86, most of the people that would buy it would probably be people that would buy Apple hardware anyway. I'm sure there are a small percentage of people that refuse to buy Apple hardware, but the losses in profits in other areas would dwarf this small gain. So really they would be losing a ton of money for a small increase in market share. They went through this before with the clones. I hate to break it to you, but Apple exists to make a profit. They do that by making things people want to buy at prices that people are willing to pay. I'm sure they have thought about doing so, and came to the conclusion that it would be folly. Apple isn't exactly bleeding cash if you noticed....

Re:APPLE should come out with mac osx86 for all... (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228890)

Well if apple does not release Osx86 they should at lest have a mid-range system with out an build in monitor and on board video.

Re:APPLE should come out with mac osx86 for all... (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228972)

What would be the point of such a machine? The GMA 950 is a perfectly adequate chip for everything but games. And for games, well, if you're playing games, why the hell are you thinking of buying a Mac? Doom III is still considered a "new release" in the Mac world!

Apple is about choice: what they offer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229000)

I just love the logic that Apple will overpower MS even though they offer almost zero choice.
How many different board manufacturers are out there? HD? Video cards? Etc?
So all these different companies are gonna lose ground to the Apple "our way or the highway"?
Really?
People that used to prefer Matrox over ATI and now Nvidia over X,Y,Z will be happy to use the Apple preapproved graphics card
and nothing but?

As much as I dont like Microsoft, the challenges of dealing with the myriads of possible combinations of hardware makes Windows very hard to manage and I have to throw in Linux which is always adding more new support.
The Apple way is definitely the easiest. You test the OS on a very limited variable of hardware and that's it.

F choice.
Choice is for losers. We only run preapproved hardware. Interestingly enough, most geeks would never accept this from another company but you know , its hard to argue with cool...or big boobs.

Re:APPLE should come out with mac osx86 for all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228926)

also they should totally make an ipod that is like green or something all my stoner buddies would totally consider buying that it would be totally boss oh yeah

Re:APPLE should come out with mac osx86 for all... (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228982)

If they did that they would have the all the driver nightmare problems that windows has. Currently they have a good reputation for reliability because they have the luxury of knowing exactly what the hardware looks like when they develop for it. If they allow people to start plugging in video cards with just-released-yesterday drivers they will be staring at the same problem MS has been dealing with for decades.

MS even has a few advantages here that Apple would not have:

1) They have a very large testing infrastructure set up to assist third party developers already in place.

2) Third party developers are going to be more interested in getting their drivers to work well on windows and its likely that the mac will be a second priority.

Eww, gross (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228732)

Can Apple Take Microsoft on the Desktop?

No sex in the office!

Since consumer computing is dying... (1, Troll)

shagoth (100818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228750)

Seriously, Apple has already cast their dice in a move away from computing. iPod, iPhone, iThisandthat are moves that show that Apple isn't really committed to long term computing at least in the traditional sense. Application developers have already felt the sting of the insular computer as appliance strategy. Without real applications (which might or might not last in their Office and Photoshopy forms) OSX has little potential as an ongoing consumer and business platform.

All that said, working with production apps like Adobe CS or Office is unquestionably cheaper on Windows. The workflow is virtually indistinguishable (I continue to work with both) and users won't care. For consumers, it might be that they just want an Internet appliance with unified consumer level apps. For them, OSX will be fine with the iLife suite. Not pro level, but pretty and tightly integrated. Of course, if those same consumers want to game then they'd better like WoW, because that's about it.

Apple doesn't really offer a professional platform no matter how handy a unix command line and perl scripting are. I remember when they tried harder and in fact had a richer environment of third party developers. Tight intergration of app and OS has killed the third party ecosystem on MacOS X which is ironic, really since that's usually what Microsoft is accused of.

Oh, and the article is about hardware vendors competing, not really Apple v. Microsoft.

Quick MS death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228772)

I think if Apple, at the right moment (probably soon), sells a version of OSX to Dell, HP, etc that will is designed to run on a certified version of their hardware they will send Microsoft to their grave. Being in IT in one of the 3 largest corporations, if not the largest, I am seeing a lot of employees wanting to shift from Windows to OSX. We literally have to restrain them... If we could have our existing desktops shipped with OSX, I think IT could be convinced to allow OSX for a larger segment of the business population. The other trick is getting support channels in place...which is costly for a company this large... and if we have to support both, it is even more expensive. But once executives start loving their apples, we will be supporting both, like it or not.

Re:Quick MS death (1)

arminw (717974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229330)

....If we could have our existing desktops shipped with OSX, ......

You can. Just buy your boxes from Apple. Every one of them comes with OSX pre-installed. I'm sure that Apple will give a volume discount. You can even still run Windows for those few jobs where there is no OSX alternative yet.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228784)

Please, Microsoft, focus your attention on Apple while Linux wins in stealth mode.

Desktop Linux is getting better every month. I made the switch 100% two years ago and it's only getting better. I had previously been using a mix of operating systems including Linux. There is literally zero reason for me personally to want to switch to any current alternative. Even if Windows Vista and Mac OS X were free and open source, I question any kind of technical superiority below the window dressing.

As Microsoft and Apple show signs of slowing down and Linux is only speeding up, it seems inevitable their paths will cross on the desktop. The desktop is growing increasingly obsolete, though. If I had something like a Treo 700, iPhone, or Neo1973 with a general purpose OS, the only thing I'd need the desktop for is my day job as a developer. Web browsing, emails, calendaring, and note taking all make much more sense on a mobile device. Media makes more sense in an embedded set top box. Both of which already prefer the use of Linux (only a Windows Media Center PC would need a 3+ ghz fully blown desktop to play a movie).

Re:Yes (2, Informative)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229090)

I question any kind of technical superiority below the window dressing

As a desktop system, I'd say OS X is technically superior to Linux. As far as UNIX's go, Darwin state of the art circa 1995, but its perfectly adequate for a desktop machine that doesn't need to saturate a 400 MB/sec RAID array or handle a server with a thousand concurrent threads.

On the other hand, the graphical infrastructure is really superior. Quartz is a couple of years ahead of Cairo in maturity and performance, which is not so surprising given that its several years older. The compositing infrastructure is really mature in OS X, while its immature enough in Linux that Ubuntu still doesn't see fit to ship a compositing manger by default in Feisty Fawn. And HIView/HIToolbox (the view/control framework that's been slotted underneath Carbon and Cocoa) is miles ahead of GTK+, although the latter has a much cleaner API with less historical baggage. And DRI is just now getting some crucial features (management of GPU memory, virtualization of GPU resources) that OS X's GL stack has had for a while now.

As for slowing down, there is really no indication that Apple is moving more slowly than Linux. It'll still be a couple of years yet before the DRI/X.org/GTK+ stack catch up with OS X 10.4, much less what's in 10.5. And there are some really fundamental problems with XRender that would keep it, without a significant redesign, from being able to support features past what Apple introduced in OS X 10.2.

MS Office (3, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228786)

From TFA:

Apple is competing against Microsoft's offerings, but it's not a retail software battle. Apple is using its integrated software to eat up the prime portions of the PC hardware market.

Nonsense. If they are chasing the corporate market, the key is MS Office, not one OS or the other. The minute that Office for the Mac starts to slip significantly behind in compatibility with the Windows version there will be few corporations that will chose Macs over PCs.

Regardless of what the fanboys believe there's nothing in the Mac's "integrated software" that's a make or break Corporate feature.

(ps - comment written on a G4 Powerbook)

Re:MS Office (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229136)

Umm I'm confused once the mac version of office starts slipping in compatibility with the windows version people would choose Mac's over windows. Isn't that illogical? If companies are using office with normal PC's (a mac is a pc dammit!) alongside mac's with office and find that to be a very important application for them as soon as the mac version of office loses compatibility as long as there isn't a substantial reason for needing those Mac's (some other application) the companies going to switch back to windows. Be logical for a moment

Company A has a art department who prefer Mac's and do lotsa photoshop work but use Office to talk with rest of the company enviroment. Mac's cost a lot of money but its made back in the improved morale of your workers. Their version of office isn't functioning in line with the rest of the company's pc. Dell is selling you PC's at £300 a go which do exactly what you need with minor alterations, Mac requires £500 a computer (assuming a mini) plus the retraining cost for all the staff. If you have those problems I can see IT departments installing boot camp and purchasing windows photoshop licensing, not the other way around.

Shallow research... (4, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228790)

First of all, Apple is in the entertainment business as well, so the profits need to be spread over more than just computers; although they do make more per machine than most PC manufacturers.

But even if Vista stumbles - as the author points out - users stay with an existing MS OS rather than dump MS altogether as Apple owners did when the ][ line dies (I was one to the bitter end) or when Apple failed to keep pace. What Apple has to overcome (as does Linux) is the huge installed base and apps that run on it. The switch to x86 architecture made it even tougher to move to the Mac given the lack of native binary apps for it; such as Photoshop whose CS2 is a bit slow on the newer Macs (CS3 is nice but not yet out).
iPhone - that looks to be a questionable product; given Apple has apparently hobbled it from the get go.

And this is my perspective as a Mac (and Windows) user.

Both Microsoft and Apple are doomed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228802)

DOOMED!


Seriously, Linux may still not quite be there, but at the rate it is improving, it will exceed both Windows and OS X as a desktop platform within the next few years.

Requires a Mac (1)

Supreme Dragon (1071194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228814)

I doubt Apple will ever gain significant market share as long as Mac OS X requires a Mac.

Taking it in the stores (1)

letchhausen (95030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228832)

This is rich: "Apple is expanding its share of the market by building its own, smaller retail stores where users get a better buying experience and better support. "

The cheerleading chumps in my local Apple store are dimwits who spend more time chasing their female co-workers around the register than digging up useful information. So far the simplest information has to be double-checked before confirmed. Mostly they look like future aerobics instructors and act like it too. I guess that's show Microsoft good!

However, if Apple delivers a 12" Intel based Macbook Pro like rumours say, I'll probably buy one and run Solaris and Windows via Parallels. It's just too bad that Apple's initial warranty on their goods is so skimpy. They really wanna jack you with their over-priced and under resourced AppleCare bs. Which isn't that great from what my pro-Mac pals say. Though of course those same people evangelize Apple at the drop of a hat.......still it isn't like Dell is any better at customer service. As someone else here pointed out it would seem that article should pit Dell and Gateway vs Apple......

My recent encounters with OS X Tiger is that it reminded me of Gnome only prettier......

Whoa (1)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228838)

This article contains the most ridiculous apples and oranges comparisons and circular logic I've read in a while.

The first mistake is comparing the net income of Apple to Dell and HP as evidence that Apple only needs to sell a small percentage of computers to "win." I guess for some definition of winning that doesn't include percentage of computers sold, this could be true.

The article then compares Apple's net profit to HP and Dell's, (both of which are lower than Apple's) as evidence that Apple is the dominant player in the desktop computer market. This ignores the fact that much of Apple's profit comes from music sales which are unrelated to desktop computers.

Of course, with a lot of hand waving, you can say this:

A large chunk of Apple's profitability comes from the iPod and other consumer electronics. Those sales are increasingly directing consumers to the Mac, and will help float the company through downturns in PC sales.

But where's the evidence that the iPod drives people to purchase a Mac? The Mac market share hasn't grown substantially even as the iPod has dominated its market. According to this logic, Mac sales should have jumped substantially.

Then, in the next paragraph:

However, as Apple takes away PC sales, an increasing smaller number of Windows licenses are sold.

And where is the evidence for this? Even if Apple makes more money on each computer they sell, the data shows that they still sell about 5% of PC's. Profitability doesn't automatically translate to market share, even if you really want it to.

Sure, Apple can be more profitable than Dell, but it doesn't make a lick of difference as far as Microsoft is concerned, as long as Apple's market share hovers around 5%. No matter how razor thin HP and Dell's margins are, Windows is still shipped on almost every PC they sell.

You have to compare Microsoft's sales with Apple's, if you want to extract any reasonable conclusion.

This is about as insightful as saying "well, General Electric is more profitable than Dell and HP combined, so this spells the end of the Windows PC market."

People are switching (5, Interesting)

ernst_mulder (166761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228844)

For the past 12 years or so I work for a company providing IT support for Macs. For 11 and a half years the Mac world of our customer base this: Mac users bought more Macs and in some unfortunate cases switched to PC's (mostly because of corporate decisions high up in the company's hierarchy).

Lately something strange is happening.

Firstly for the first time in these 12 years I have to help customers switch over from PC's to Macs.

Secondly I've had PC customers buy Macs for their looks and running Windows XP natively as if they were PC's.

The first is happening mostly with small companies and home users, the latter also in bigger companies.

So, Apple in the latter case does seem to gain on the desktop but not necessarily taking on Microsoft.

Very strange.

I think so, in a few years. (2, Insightful)

ErichTheRed (39327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228892)

I think Apple's in a good position for the next generation of end-user computing. Once all the "fat client" applications migrate fully online, it won't matter what the user interface on the desktop is like. As long as a web browser is there, it shouldn't matter. Right now, they have a lot of work to do. There's a whole generation of software developers who are used to the Windows platform, and the majority of businesses use Windows as their core desktop computing environment.

Once people sit down and poke around with a Mac, they're usually happy with it. The interface isn't as much of a stretch from Windows, and the OS is designed to keep the user unaware of what's going on under the hood.

Desktop PCs are going away, and eventually full laptops might follow. The only things that remain to be solved are: (1) Web applications need a user interface that's as fast as a desktop one, and (2) Either people have to give up their privacy and let third parties hold all their data, or local storage needs to be merged with these connected apps.

I'd love to use Macs at work, but our industry uses custom Windows applications that won't be ported in the near future. Getting people to develop for MacOS would be a big step toward business acceptance. Virtualization is great, but it needs to be simple. MacOS did this by placing "Classic" (Mac OS 9) apps in a seamless virtual environment. Users didn't even need to think about it, and that was important. There were _a lot_ of classic apps that needed to be emulated. It would be cool to do that for Windows apps, but I doubt it's ever going to happen.

Re:I think so, in a few years. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229084)

> Desktop PCs are going away

No, they're just evolving. Most productivity apps can be run on a thin-client or a small form factor linux PC with a flash drive. What we still can't replace is the multimedia workstation and this is what most PC's are becoming. Apart from A/V editing, I can do all my paid work from the console. In practice I do run X and a bunch of xterms so I can have Firefox running, I've definitely no need for an accelerated desktop.

The *nix workstation is here to stay for a few more years at least, meanwhile Microsoft will chase the mass market into web-appliance land.

Re:I think so, in a few years. (2, Insightful)

avalys (221114) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229096)

"Once all the "fat client" applications migrate fully online, it won't matter what the user interface on the desktop is like"

And when is this going to happen? The web is a terrible platform for application development. HTML is a joke, Javascript is a joke, Ajax is a joke. Every time I am forced to dabble in web development, I am amazed that people keep talking about web-based operating systems, where the browser is the only software you need to run locally.

Developing an application for the web means you are trying to using a poorly-specified, poorly-implemented document-formatting system with some bolted-on scripting and ugly hacks (like Ajax) to write your software. It is slow, tedious, incompatible, error-prone, and completely devoid of anything resembling good software engineering. I can't imagine how much pain Google went through to write their little online office apps. The HTML-based web will never replace a desktop operating system - mark my words. If it does, it will us back ten years relative to what could be achieved on the desktop.

Re:I think so, in a few years. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229138)

"Desktop PCs are going away, and eventually full laptops might follow. The only things that remain to be solved are: (1) Web applications need a user interface that's as fast as a desktop one, and (2) Either people have to give up their privacy and let third parties hold all their data, or local storage needs to be merged with these connected apps."

So basically, we need to completely re-invent the Web. Good luck with that.

People are not going to give up their 3D-accelerated, slick and smooth OS X and Vista desktop software for the current collection of hacks based on a document markup system called the World Wide Web.

Microsofts Business Tactics (1)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228894)

If M$ continues the trend of insane prices and extortion, Apple might get the opportunity to do a little extorting of its own. I think the real question which we're beating around the bush on here is this: How long is it going to take for an open OS with a real chance of taking out either of these closed and unfriendly giants to emerge? I love Linux, but I don't see it catching on many of the average windows-trained users anytime soon :/

As chance would have it, this morning I came up with a suitable neologism for describing the business practices of the likes of Microsoft: capiXtreme [wi-fizzle.com]

(n.) capiXtreme (abusing a market monopoly to extort assets from clients and use recovered assets in the production of further assets)

(adj.) capiXtremic, (of or relating to capiXtremism or capiXtremics) "a capiXtremic corporation" ; "capiXtremic methods and incentives are the only considerations"

(n.) capiXtremism, (the practice of employing capiXtreme or capiXtremic strategies, policies, or measures) "Microsoft's core business model revolves around capiXtremic strategies that place profits ahead of everything, regardless of what state the organization is in or what the resulting impact will be on the surrounding environment and ecosystems."

That's just great -- for Apple. I guess. (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228912)

They show via a few quick financial numbers that even though Apple is selling fewer machines, they're making more money per machine than your Dells or your Gateways.

Which is why my first computer was a ZX81. The first computer I did real stuff with was a Commodore and my first "really real" computer was a PC XT. I could afford them.

 

This isn't an either/or (1)

ThousandStars (556222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228930)

The article presents a lot of false binary thinking and extrapolation of trends that are unlikely to continue. Yes, Apple's sales growth recently has been tremendous, but it doesn't follow that Apple going from barely distinguishable from white noise to at least a respectable presence in the U.S. consumer market means that Apple is about to take over the world. Apple's biggest problem in terms of marketshare is the lack of an xMac [arstechnica.com] , or mainstream tower; without one, they're artificially limiting the potential size of their market. Furthermore, they happen to have competitive laptop form factors and prices, but a war similar to the one that drove desktop prices into the ground is brewing in laptop land. How will things look in three years when laptop prices fall in the same kind of curve desktop prices saw from 2001 - 2004?

To be sure, Apple is gaining ground, but they're so far from even being a significant threat to Microsoft in terms of OSes that it's almost laughable. The most significant threat Apple poses is by making it necessary for website designers and others to test in Safari and what not; when MS alternatives hit critical mass, then MS is in trouble. That's unlikely to happen from Apple alone or even Apple + Linux; in addition, all Microsoft has to do to kill Apple is stop producing Office for OS X.

Besides, while Apple does make more money per machine, Gateway also sells high-end Xeon workstations and the like. What would be more interesting is to see how many high-margin machines Dell sells in comparison to Apple -- but I'd be willing to bet Dell sells a larger absolute number of them, even if Apple sells more on a percentage basis. Finally, some of the topics raised in an earlier thread about Apple in the enterprise [slashdot.org] may be worth reading because they apply here too.

Questions about OS X - somewhat offtopic (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228938)

Sorry for this offtopic post.

I'm buying a MacBook soon as my new development machine. Everything about it looks great, but I have a few unanswered questions. I've googled around a bit, but I need a developer perspective if possible.

1. The Mac Terminal app doesn't cut it. What's the best terminal app that compares to KDE's Konsole (tabs, colours, all that stuff)? I found something called iTerm - any good?

2. What's the Mac equivalent of /etc/init.d? Can I start/stop services like, say, snmpd, via ssh?

3. What are people's experiences with the rootless X environment? Stable? Well integrated? I ask because I have the feeling I'll be making heavy use of the Fink project and running the odd X app.

4. Does the Finder offer a tree view? I couldn't figure that thing out.

Thanks to all who answer.

Re:Questions about OS X - somewhat offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229200)

Macs are slick in lots of ways... but all of your questions slam very much into the "Mac-wall": The things they anticipate you'll want to do work perfectly, integrate nicely, and perform well. The things they don't anticipate you'll want to do are seemingly impossible to do (even if they are simple, like getting a tree view in your file explorer!).

You can install KDE on Mac OS X now, and get access to all the nice terminals, text editors, and things like that. You'll also have Konqueror, with a proper tree-view!

The X environment is quite well integrated. Running X apps in OSX is easy. They sometimes look "ugly" but they are stable and fast.

When do we get to say... (1)

sokoban (142301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228942)

... that Microsoft is "beleaguered"?

Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228974)

Thinking about what happens if the situation with Apple and Microsoft reverses is a bit scary. It's bad enough that Microsoft has a near-monopoly on the OS market, but thinking about the possibility of Apply having a near monopoly on both the OS and hardware markets is a grim future. Perhaps one could argue that Apple is much more fundamentally sound of a company for production and support of their products than Microsoft, but if Apple were not in the position of underdog having to claw their way to the mainsteam, would it be true? I'm not so sure it would be.

"not beholden to MS" is not why they make money (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228978)

Apple isn't making more money because they don't need to be "beholden" to Microsoft. The reality is that operating system licenses don't cost the Dells of this world that much. They are a thing that goes on every PC and hundreds of millions sold each year means it doesn't cost a great deal per unit for Dell.

What Apple has the advantage of is that they do not need to compete trying to make a system which does exactly the same as their competitor's boxes with exactly the same hardware and resources. They have their own OS and can pick out a few things which differentiate themselves. That differentiation comes at a slight price premium. It is NOT because "they are not beholden to Microsoft" - they could do the same thing with a high-spec PC like Alienware do (ironically part of Dell now), they just do it with their own stuff and application suite and the integrated-monitor-iMac and cute features on PowerBooks instead.

Yes, they actually might! (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228986)

Once OS X becomes untied from specific hardware, we might actually see this happen.

But will it? Until then, I doubt it.

Home users and corporations alike like to custom tailor hardware for their needs, along with a large open market that pushes down hardware costs.

Inertia and social Gordian knot (1)

faragon (789704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228992)

Despite that "Mac" and "iPod" are wide known trademarks, and the "desktop PC" having just two main uses, office and home, there is a hidden mesh of dependencies that makes you to choice the MS Windows option. Today is much easier to migrate from Windows your e-mail and administrative/office applications, but most people don't want to take care of extra annoyances, that is, IMO, the MS de facto monopoly key point.

While OSX is a good desktop OS, as it is XP or Vista, if you want to live without constraints and breath freedom enjoying a highly customizable desktop, your choice is GNU/Linux. Many fears come to most people: What if my disk fails to boot? Where is the Outlook e-mail? Can I play -put a D3D game here-? (...) Where you reply these questions, most users appear to be discouraged. May be the solution could come from some kind of loadable OS, a la Knoppix, using the disk as CD/DVD image cache (with dynamic patching), fault tolerant (fixable via copying the DVD image again), while the data is in alternate disk partitions... et voilà, you've got a crash-proof OS. The Vista FLASH cache techniques are, IMO, just a imagination deficit: if you have mechanic disks with >50MB/s sequential read, why the hell don't you fill 256 or 512MB of RAM with a previously stored OS image?

Competition with Microsoft (1)

Usagi_yo (648836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229002)

Software developers are the key and have always been. Office applications and Games being the chief draw to a particular type of computer for the standard home user.

Open office is a big threat to Microsoft, and Open Office keeps getting better and better. Why do you suppose Microsoft is so behind the scenes Anti ODF? Because the way to an OS's heart is through its Office package. Microsoft office was the only game in town, but now it looks like there is a big push towards ODF .. which will make Open Office a viable candidate for the office applications of small corporations -- which will fuel interest in medium, then large corporations.

Why should a casual (but knowledgeable) user buy a PC and pay $270 for Vista, then another $200-$300 for Microsoft office when they can get a Unix Distro for cheap and Open office for cheap? Yes, you get what you pay for, but with Microsoft products, you don't always get what you pay for, you get less.

Why do you think Microsoft got into the Xbox and game business? Because it was a big business in PC's at the time. By separating it from the Home PC, they kind of protect themselves of games being produced for other OS's, and make a fair bit of profit in that market too.

Look at the Game world of warcraft? It's both a PC and Mac game. Look how screemingly successfull it is. Get a few more games like that to run on Macs and the OS competition will really really heat up.

So, how long until (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229056)

we get people trying to force Apple to ship Macs without OSX? They're abusing their dominant positoin, I tell you!

Won't happen -- Macs can mean prison time (1)

narf501 (1051136) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229110)

Disclaimer: I am a Mac fanatic, so my opinions are biased. However, working in IT, Apple's biggest hurdle is that their OS isn't FIPS compliant, and doesn't have the other certifications that Windows does. FIPS doesn't equal security, but it means that the hardware or software module has seen review and meets the standards. The vendor paid the ticket of admission.

Where I work, I have to supply assurances and justifications for pretty much everything to legal and management. We all have a number of corporate regulations (SOX for example) that if violated will kill my company and land a lot of people in prison. If I install and use Windows, in the eyes of the law, I have done my "due diligence", so if there is a security breach, I can point and blame it on some Windows security flaw. Assuming the third-party firewalls and intrusion software doesn't catch it first. If I use Macs, I can't state to management that I am using "due diligence" -- Macs don't have the certifications which seem meaningless in one area, but are 100% critical in other areas. A security breach (and databases of peoples' info copied) in what would be arguably a more secure environment using a Mac and MySQL would land me in a Federal prison because I didn't follow legal processes and didn't use use an OS that has the pretty colored seals on the box.

An analogy is like a lock on a security door. One is less secure, but certified by the US government, one is more secure, but doesn't sport those pretty colored logos. Then comes a time that both locks are broken into. If I'm using the one certified, I can just say "blame the maker -- I did my part to adhere to standards" -- my rear is covered. The one that isn't certified means I breached policy, and thus am liable for the intrusion personally, and my company is liable as well.

So, until Apple gets the certifications (FIPS 140-2, level 1 for example) that can assure the attorneys I work with that the OS is secure from the CYA perspective, I will be running a Windows installation. I love Macs, but I don't want to spend the rest of my life in a 5x7 because I did "The Switch" at work, and run afoul of US law because of it.

Need More Market Share (1)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229126)

Apple needs to double Mac market share in order for the platform to gain enough respect to be seen as a viable alternative platform by the masses. One way this could be accomplished is through the creation of an enterprise targeted subsidiary. If the Mac had around 10% marketshare, it would become very difficult for third parties to ignore the market. It would also be hard for M$ to eliminate or underfund the Mac BU without being called to the carpet again for monopolistic practices.

I certainly hope not (1, Flamebait)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229140)

Apple is a far worse monopolist than Microsoft. I don't want to see hardware and software owned by one corporation.

Re:I certainly hope not (3, Funny)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229274)

Great assertion. Nothing to back it up, no shred of logic behind the claim, but hey! It's great to fling stuff like this about!

Apple also grind up live puppies to make iPods. Microsoft shred kittens to make those new Vista boxes, and many Linux kernels are built using slave labour from China.

Games are key (1)

Cinnamon Whirl (979637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229152)

For a lot of people, games are still an integral part of PCs. Until Apple gets serious about games, and convinces developers to do likewise, they will not surpass MS. Only by familiarising users with their system during their free time can they hope to get workplace adoption as well.

Entropy and the PC market (1)

Mutatis Mutandis (921530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229154)

The argument seems to be that one of the most significant trends in computing that I have seen in my lifetime, the decoupling of hardware and software buys, and the increasing "modularity" of computer hardware and software, will be reversible.

I don't believe it. Customers, consumers or corporate, would have to be pretty stupid to return to a situation in which they will lose every time. It is a great deal more convenient, and financially wiser, to be able to pick and choose what you need. Suppliers may not like it -- they never liked it -- but the closest, single-supplier monolithic platforms are all but extinct, a process that started with MS-DOS. Apple is basically a relic, a computing coelacanth, propped up by a dedicated fan base. But being cool is not enough.

Apple's OSes may be admirably slick. But they will make big inroads in the general market only on the day when you can select "Apple OS XI" on Dell's site when you buy a new laptop, as an alternative to MS Windows or Linux.

Can Apple Take Microsoft on the Desktop? (0, Redundant)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229182)

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha..... Oh man, let me wipe away these tears. This is just too funny. I don't even know where to begin... Let's see, Apple has had what, 25 years to beat MS? And they've never held more than a small percentage of the desktop market. Nothing has really changed except now there's Linux, which frankly, has a better chance than Apple. Apple dug themselves into a hole on the desktop a long time ago and they've never managed to dig out of it.

They're selling fewer machines, but making more money per machine. Well duh. That's exactly what they've done for the past 25 years. And now suddenly it's some magical advantage? Sorry, don't think so...

What is special about Apple hardware? (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229314)

Nothing. It is all stock hardware, they make money on the OS which comes with an Apple branded dongle in various shapes and sizes (and prices). But that it is, it is standard innards.

fanboism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229344)

there is no way apple is going to do it. sure, they're gaining a bit of marketshare but corporations and joe sixpack aren't going to put up with the high hardware costs that apple is putting out. when the niche of fagbois and the pseudo geeks dries up apple is going to stagnate.
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