The Financial Times: Apple’s Mac is back and staging a run

“The US government proved that Microsoft possessed, and illegally exploited, monopoly power in the ‘antitrust case of the century,’ the six-year action that ended in July 2004. The Final Judgment allowed Microsoft to remain whole, but imposed conditions that permit rival software makers to tuck their products into its Windows operating system. Anti-Microsoft groups were outraged; a spokesman for one said: ‘This decision represents the failure of antitrust laws in the high-tech industry… An unrestrained monopolist in the most vibrant sector of the economy cannot be good for America,'” Thomas W. Hazlett writes for The Financial Times.

“The critics were right: the Government’s remedies have had little impact. Yet today customers are flocking to Microsoft’s competitors. Hammered on multiple fronts by opportunistic rivals, the high-flying starship of the PC Age has stalled, and many wonder if it will now crash and burn,” Hazlett writes. “Compare the fortunes of Apple and Microsoft. To most, Apple is yesterday’s news, ‘That ‘70s Show.’ But the company, despite myriad marketing blunders, has survived, and today the Mac is back. Finally price competitive with PCs, and offering software used interchangeably with other programs, the company is staging a run. Apple’s share of the US desk top computers market was up by half from 2003 to 2004.”

Hazlett writes, “That share is still low – just 3 per cent for desk tops, about twice that for notebooks – but a much bigger run may be in the offing. That is because of the plague that has hit the Windows world. Apple, with its tight, integrated interfaces cinching hardware to software has proven powerfully resistant to viruses and spyware, the poisonous infections of the Internet. Meanwhile, Microsoft users scramble to update their software with the latest patches, frantically downloading anti-viral software, running and re-running spyware disinfectants. With the Mac offering equally proficient word processing, presentations, spread sheets, web browsing and email, along with the standard multi-media applications, many are asking: Why bother?”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A nice article that also makes mention of the facts that over the last two years, Microsoft’s shares have risen just 5.3%, while Apple’s have surged 373% and that Microsoft’s market cap has flat-lined at $260 billion, while Apple’s cap has nearly multiplied sixfold from $6 to $35 billion.

16 Comments

  1. Dang ! Now that’s some positive PR. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    Magic Word “being” as in It’s cool being the only one on my block with a Mac. Not for long though.

  2. I fail to see the correlation between Apple’s control of hardware & software and the fact that they are secure from viruses. Windows machines are not secure from viruses because the Windows OS is a piece of crap and was not built securely from the ground up. It has holes and poorly designed patches for those holes. It has nothing to do with hardware.

  3. Correllation? Perhaps not. Nevertheless, it does make it nice that the company (Apple) which is providing the hardware ‘gets’ the operating system, and vice versa. Not all WinTel PCs are built alike, and while I’ll stipulate to Windows even being able to function at all on a myriad number of machines is just short of amazing, it’s not because of a tight collaborative process between the hardware and software engineers, but rather due to authoritarian edicts handed down from Redmond that the various hardware merchants must either adhere to or perish, regardless of any rational arguments to the contrary. Mussolini may have made the trains run on time, but in the end he was dragged through the streets by his boots…

  4. jimbo-

    i think we’ll all agree that windows is a pos, but part of the reason it is is because windows has to cater to all different kinds of hardware architecture. apple, on the other hand, controls everything. window’s BSODs are much like our (mac users, that is) kernal panics, and relatively speaking, there are many more BSODs than kernal panics.

    it is ironic, however, that what got microsoft to the financial top (licensing of the os), could very well lead to its demise.

  5. I don’t think for one minute that the continuous positive press about Apple is not havinganimpact. For every person buying a Mac there must be thousands who have been made to think about it.

    Gently gently catchee monkee…

  6. Totally, notatotal. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Scott, the problem is not with the hardware. Far from it. The problem is with the OS running that driver. Take the very same PC, delete Windows, reformat the HD, install Linux or Unix and BANG, you jump into the future: what looked to you an outdated slow PC full of troubles suddenly is as solid as rock, twice as fast, and smoking your newly bought friend PC latest and the greatest running Windows XP.

  7. Even tho it is not technically accurate, I really like the imagery inspired by “tight, integrated interfaces cinching hardware to software has proven powerfully resistant to viruses and spyware,”. It conjures up in my mind the image of a safe or the phrase “Fort Knox”. And so far (compared to Microsoft at least) Apple really is the Fort Knox of computer security.

  8. The Gods have smiled on Apple’s plans and efforts since the NeXT purchase and return of Steve Jobs and it is no accident. Jobs & Co have worked their *ss off with the development of OS X Client & Server, X-Code, ,Mac, iLife, iWork, Safari, Apple Retail, the iPod & iTMS, X-San, the Pro Video Tools, the X-Server and RAID, the G5 Project (with IBM) and lots of other stuff.
    Behind the scenes and under the radar, Apple has been deeply involved in MPEG-4, 802.11, Bluetooth and other industry projects. The period since Jobs return has been marked by broad acceptance of the Internet, e-retailing, streaming media, the conversion from floppy media to CD/DVD, the adoption of wireless and other technologies and Apple has been right out in front on everything but CD burning. At the same time, Apple has overhauled the way it manufactures it’s products and has lowered it’s costs of production to a level comparable to Dell.
    When Jobs returned to Apple it was worth more dead than alive and was fading fast. Today Apple has a market cap of well over $30 (US) Billion, over $7 (US) Billion in the bank and NO DEBT. This was pulled off through the bursting of the tech bubble, the 9-11 economic shock, a severe recession and a very lean shake out of the tech industry. An amazing feat.
    Look up articles about Apple from just 2-3 years ago and they were being criticized for their corporate governance, etc. As an Apple Shareholder, I think they have done an great job and the market value of the company reflects that finally. The company is well positioned and the market is moving Apple’s way.
    The release of Tiger is coming at just the right time and is going to pry Wall Street away from it’s obsession with the iPod. What they do not realize is that without the Macintosh the iPod would never have been what it is now. It all comes back to the computer. Well done.

  9. 6 billion six fold would be 384 billion.
    Imagine folding a sheet of paper in half, then in half again, then in half again……..

    6 Original
    12 after 1 fold
    24 after 2 folds
    48 after 3 folds
    96 after 4 folds
    192 after 5 folds
    384 after 6 folds

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