Apple vs. Microsoft rivalry heats up again

“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.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple Computer will own the living room, not Microsoft – January 10, 2005
Cringely predicts $249 Macintosh, would make Apple the world’s number one PC company – January 10, 2005


  1. It is an interesting read. Apple is seen as a niche computer maker, but in reality it is the computer for the people. People just don’t know how good it is. Advertise OSX and you will have more converts, Apple!

  2. The only point at which OS X would win over a large number of people is when the $499 Mac comes out. Before then, it would be a waste of advertising dollars.
    BTW, Cringely is right–a $249 Mac would be even smarter, at least for a year or so.

  3. Many large companies in a variety of fields have stumbled and fallen from grace. The Ford/GM example is good but collectively they with Chrysler were thought to be invincible to the little European and later Japanese cars. Look where we are now. MS has been coasting on their size & cash for a long time. Their dominance is ready for the history books.

  4. Momentum IS on Microsoft’s side. Just like an avalanche, it’s all going downhill fast. This could have been a major tragedy if people didn’t have a safe place to run to, but they do. Not only is Apple a safe place to be, but it is much more comfortable there.

    It is sad that some of Apple’s sales are from the demise of their competitor. The race just isn’t the same when the first place runner trips. But, then again, it was his own fault for using such shoddy equipment and training.

  5. Now is the right time for Apple to make a serious move for marketshare (i.e., $499 Mac). With Apple riding high on the iPod, and M$ riding low on virii/spyware/shorthorn, SJ would kick BG’s butt.
    Come on, Apple. Bring it. M$ may have won Round I, but it’s time for Round II.

  6. I agree. Kick Micro$oft where it hurts.

    BTW, I know a lot of you know this already, but here goes; Micro$oft got their name from looking at Steve Ballmer’s penis.

    hehe my magic word is ‘fact’
    read into it what you will…

  7. I’d MUCH rather have a low market share Porsche than a popular piece o’ crap!!!

    Apparently, some people are not so comfortable being in the minority. Welcome to my world!! Don’t give up quality just so you can feel some sort of warped validity by being one-of-the-crowd. Conformity kills the spirit and numbs the soul. Even more evil is trying to make everyone similar to yourself; that’s ugly in many different directions.

  8. Microsoft could have fixed thier Windows long ago but didn’t, they are no longer really interested, they are sitting on so much cash it’s pathetic.

    Gates is getting on in the years, he’s the worlds richest man.

    Gates is giving Apple a chance, there is nothing left else to do, he can afford to be charitable.

  9. Another reason why the Keynote is not being streamed live could be because of heckling from retailers (who are taking Apple to court) that may be present in the audience.

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