“After signing a peace treaty eight years ago, the friendly rivalry between Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates is suddenly not so friendly anymore. During this week’s MacWorld trade show, Jobs is expected to unveil a low-cost Mac pre-installed with a word processor and other office software – a direct assault on Microsoft’s core business. Online rumors say the new G4 machines will cost about $500, but will lack a monitor,” Mary Huhn reports for The New York Post.

“Along with low-cost flash-memory iPods and an iPod-compatible Motorola cellphone, it’s also rumored Jobs will introduce iWork ’05, an upgrade to its own AppleWorks productivity suite which would compete with Microsoft’s Mac Office 2004,” Huhn reports. “Now with Apple’s update to its aging AppleWorks, it gives home consumers one less reason to buy Microsoft Word for Mac. The software could cut deeply into Office for Mac sales, said Joe Wilcox, a senior analyst with Jupiter Research. ‘Consumers aren’t interested in productivity suites. They only want word processing.'”

Huhn reports, “The on-again, off-again rivalry is one for the record books. ‘Apple and Microsoft have an unusual relationship,’ Wilcox said. ‘Microsoft is the largest Mac developer and had its first application success on Mac with Word and Excel.’ Even after the relationship derailed two years ago, Microsoft and Apple ‘kissed and made up again’ Wilcox said. But, now the dust storm has kicked up again. ‘The musical deal is definitely a thorn for Microsoft,’ said Wilcox, who explains Microsoft had the infrastructure in place to make a move in musical market place when iTunes and iPod came from out of nowhere. ‘Consumers went to iPod and Apple doesn’t want to share,’ Wilcox said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we have always said, even as many short-sightedly waved (and continue to wave) the white flag, the war is not over. And, yes, we shall prevail. For the naysayers: In 1929, Ford held just over 61% of the U.S. market for automobiles. GM’s market share stood at just 12%. Ford was thought to be invincible, with GM regarded as a niche auto maker. Probably, some analyst at the time said, “The reality is, long term, GM will always be a niche player.” But, in 1936, just seven years later, Ford held just 22% of the market for new automobiles while General Motors held a 43% share. No company is invincible. Not even Microsoft.

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