Don’t overlook Apple’s Mac as threat to Microsoft’s dominance

Don Tennant finds it striking that the IT visionaries who foresee a decline in Microsoft’s dominance due to threats like Linux and Google never mention Apple Computer.

“Long before Linux became a thorn in Microsoft’s side, Apple was a full-fledged pain in the company’s you-know-what… Microsoft had to deal with the abhorrence of being perceived as a technology follower, playing catch-up to the operating-system strides that Apple was making. That the best technology doesn’t always win is a truth of life to which Microsoft owes much of its success, and Apple’s technology never really bruised much more than the egos of Microsoft’s executives. Still, it’s interesting that Apple has become so completely marginalized in some quarters that it’s no longer even part of the discussion of a future world order in which Microsoft is seen as less dominant,” Tennant writes for Computerworld.

“I’m no IT futurist, but trust me, you need to include Apple in the discussion… The best technology may not always win. But it’s not going to go away, either,” Tennant writes.

Full article here.

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27 Comments

  1. damn. when Computerworld starts talking like this, PHB can be swayed.

    Concidering that they were a mainstay of “beleagured” apple not but a few years ago – to saying things like “near-bulletproof security”, “compelling account of how a growing number of your peers are using Apple’s technology in corporate environments outside of traditional Mac strongholds” is, well… shocking.

    at least to me.
    -the other steve jobs

  2. Microsoft is being squeezed, Linux one side, Mac OS on the other. Linux is cheaper and more customisable than Windows but still needs a savvy administrator, Apple/Mac OS is more expensive (than Linux) and less customisable but works out of the box.

    Linux and Mac OS are working to improve their areas of weakness and eating in to the middle ground that Microsoft occupies. This has been going on for years and has advanced to the point that in some circles the Mac is now recognised as a competant server OS, in other circles Linux is considered a viable desktop OS.

    Google is a new element, all that cash to burn, what to do with it. Microsoft looks weak now so there’s a market opportunity. Don’t write off the other OSs out there, OS/2 and BeOS still have fans and could make comebacks.

    Windows is dead already, Microsoft near death, it’s the .doc and .xls formats that are the battleground now.

    Here’s a related story, Microsoft Loses Key Windows Architect to Google

    http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1772125,00.asp

  3. DanK:

    Thanks for the link. They don’t seem to have Avalon under control yet, do they?

    Oh. Wait. Avalon isn’t in the first release, is it?

    A question I often ask myself of Microsoft: “People actually buy this stuff?”

  4. This is no longer the 1980’s. Despite M$’s best efforts, the computing world has become more interoperable, thus providing viable alternatives to M$ products. Computers are also increasingly becoming part of the modern lifestyle (audio, video, shopping, etc.), and M$ Office is not necessarily a driver in that consumer market.

  5. “Microsoft has already defied the odds once by staying a dominant player as the computer industry made a major technological transition in the late 1990s from the PC era to the Internet era,” says Thomas Malone, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

    They simply kept offering an OS that wasn’t designed for networking, ignoring the security implications, and hoping we (and the hackers) wouldn’t catch on. Well, everyone has now caught on and they are in deep sewage.

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