More Apple interest and Microsoft disappointment

by admin on October 29, 2008

in General,Innovation

Robin Bloor, a research analyst I seem to have known forever reckons that Apple is on a roll and could build on its momentum to capture a significant share of the laptop market:

According to Apple’s COO, Tim Cook, about one third of the money spent on computers through US retail (31.3% if you want to be precise) is for Macs. In terms of units that “only” amounts to 17.5% because when people buy Macs they buy higher end models and spend more. About 400,000 people per day pass through Apple stores and it is still the case that 50% of Mac buyers are Windows refugees. Mac stores are so successful that Apple only has to open one in a new geographical area to alter the balance of Mac buyers among consumers.

Robin’s argument is well reasoned but in the last day I’ve found yet another reason to stick with Apple. Some people view it as the best Windows machine Dell/HP/Lenovo never made. Using VMWare it is possible to set up a Windows partition to run alongside MAC OSX in a virtual machine. My experience has been far from satisfactory and I ripped out all virtual machines.

Instead, I’m using the Crossover Mac Pro solution from CodeWeavers. IT allows me to install Microsoft products alongside my Mc products. I don’t have to do any swapping around, I simply load them inside the Mac environment. It works, doesn’t seem to consume excessive resources and the Office 2003 suite runs a dream. I’ve done this because people still insist on sending me PowerPoint and Word documents. Why they can’t use something like Slideshare or GoogleDocs is beyond me.

In other news, my ZDNet colleagues don’t seem that enamored of Microsoft’s announcements this week. At least as far as the upcoming ‘light’ versions of Office applications that seem destined for the online world. Sam Diaz says:

No one really expected Microsoft to completely abandon the idea of desktop software, did they? Today, at the Professional Developers Conference, the company announced that it will be rolling out “Office Web applications,” basically calling it “lightweight versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.”

I have no problem with Microsoft wanting to hang on to the old school suite of Office software or even trying to connect it with an online version. But why is it that the Web versions of these popular programs have to be “lightweight?” Why can’t there just be a comparable Web version of the products?

Yep. I can see that. But Sam saves his most serious criticism for the end:

It’s one of my biggest beefs with Microsoft – big splashy announcements for something that won’t be out for months (or years.) Do you know how many changes and upgrades Google could launch in that time or how many Office users could defect to Google Apps? If this were Apple, the company would be making it available as Steve Jobs stands on stage to announce it. If it were Google, they would have flipped the switch a few days ago and announced it via a blog post this morning.

I know the answer to this. It’s not in Microsoft’s DNA to operate in high speed environments. But that is one of the defining characteristics of the new ‘cloud’ based world. Lots of extra color to this story via the links below.

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Simon G October 31, 2008 at 2:18 pm

The Microsoft announcement could also be pronounced F-U-D.
They are playing the same game IBM did in old days gone by.

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