Nearly every segment of the PC food chain needs Longhorn to succeed

“More than Bill Gates, more than Steve Ballmer, it’s Microsoft’s Jim Allchin who must convince opinion makers and the all-important OEM community that Longhorn, the code name for the next major operating system from Microsoft, is worth the wait. And then the rest of us have to be convinced that Longhorn is the next must-have product in their lives,” Charles Cooper writes for CNET News.

“Mac owners–yours truly among them–will no doubt chuckle at the audacity of some of the coming claims. Rest assured there will be no paucity of hyperbole in the remaining year-and-a-half run-up to the operating system’s debut (assuming Microsoft hits its self-imposed deadline.) …It’s going to be that way because every segment of the PC food chain is desperate for a megahit out of Microsoft,” Cooper writes. “The company, which plans to unleash a massive marketing blitz around Longhorn, needs to create a bigger stir than when it last rolled out a ‘major’ OS upgrade in 2001 with Windows XP [which] was only marginally more interesting than Windows 98 and no amount of marketing hoopla could convince otherwise.”

“Some [Longhorn previews bear] similarities to Apple Computer’s Mac OS X Tiger, which goes on sale later this month. (One critic by the name of Steve Jobs went even further. ‘They are shamelessly copying us,’ he declared during the company’s annual meeting on Thursday.) Whatever its intellectual origin, the new OS clearly marks an improvement over XP and, if you believe Allchin, will go a long way toward answer lingering user complaints about ease-of-use and computer security. In the same breath, I should point out that Microsoft has created many of those same ease-of-use and security issues, but better late than never,” Cooper writes. “Microsoft also needs to turn out a ‘wow’ product with as many useful bells and whistles as it can. This is part computer science, part guesswork, but Microsoft still hasn’t produced a ‘wow’ version of Windows. If Longhorn doesn’t produce the goods, not even a gazillion dollars in marketing funds will make a difference.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So many elements of the personal computer market have themselves shackled to Microsoft and Windows that it’s amazing that Apple has had the success it has with the Mac. This year-and-a-half or longer run-up to Longhorn’s debut will be a study in media and marketing manipulation. Can Microsoft continue to keep people from noticing Mac OS X by pummeling the world with Windows XP ads and Longhorn promises? Since nearly every segment of the PC food chain needs Longhorn to succeed, how far will they go to ensure that it does?

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28 Comments

  1. Seriously, all Microsoft would need to do, is to almost give away XP to those who have not upgraded yet. They will then generate such a huge hype, that everything is overshadowed.

    it is not a nice plan, and i apologise that my sick mind even conceived of such an idea, but we all know that the words “nice” and “ethical” are seriously missing in todays tech-dictionaries.

    that said, I hope MS-Staffers don’t read these posts.

  2. Jesus, could you imagine what would happen if Apple released Mac OS X Tiger/Tiger Server for Intel & AMD PCs at the end of this month? Not saying they should do that (part of me wishes they would, part of me doesn’t want them to), but they could seriously steal Microsoft’s thunder by selling to their own customers for a good year and a half before MS could react with Longhorn.

    Screw it, Apple just do it. That’s the only way Apple has a chance to actually make a serious dent in Microsoft’s stronghold. While they’re at it, they should include virtual machine software that will allow people to run Windows inside of Mac OS X for intel/AMD. I’m sure there is some great open source software Apple could polish up for the task.

    If Apple did this, they would be the saviour of the PC industry, much like they were the saviour of the music industry. THEN you’d see enterprise take Apple seriously.

    C’mon, a guy can dream, can’t he?

  3. “Seriously, all Microsoft would need to do, is to almost give away XP to those who have not upgraded yet.”

    ph8te, great idea, then Apple users could say, “Windows XP is so crap, they have to give it away for free because nobody will buy it.”

    He he.

  4. Well from what I have read they cut every wow part out of Longhorn so I don’t know how they can wow anyone except with a bunch of B.S. for the next year an a half.
    Hopefully people will get tired of hearing the commercials and get smart and just switch to the Mac and really get Wow! with OSX Tiger.

  5. maybe that is what apple is going to do. Release the Intel version of tiger six months befor the release of longhorn. they would capture the home market for sure…. If that won’t happen what do you think will be the “big thing” apple will counter the release of longhorn with????

  6. I have to disagree with the statement, “Nearly every segment of the PC food chain needs Longhorn to succeed”. I’m guessing that a lot of corporations are content with Windows 2000 and won’t see the need to undergo the risk and cost of upgrading to a new version that doesn’t offer many useful improvements.

    No, instead I think Longhorn will be of much more interest to everyday home users. However, once Tiger has been out for a while gaining recognition, no one is going to be impressed with Longhorn. All people are going to hear about the next year (hopefully) are the amazing things their friends are doing on the Macs with OS X. When/if Longhorn is eventually released, it will have a lot of sales, but only because it will be bundled with new PC purchases.

  7. He’s right. It’ the old “What’s good for GM is Good for America line.” Apple doesn’t have an extensive reseller, consultant, systems integration infrastructure developed. Will Apple help develop this infrastructure? I think it’s in their best interest.
    A system of certifying Apple technicians and systems integrators. Giving them a mini tower to sell to business. Mini Mac = home. Mini Tower = business. XServes and Mini Towers a good Office replacement.
    “Let the games begin” And I think that the Windows side is going to be absolutely ruthless. People tend to get that way when you’re taking food from their mouths and the mouths of their kids.

  8. “a must have product” “Longhorn needs to be a hit for the OEM’s?” This sounds almost like a threat, as if “if nobody buys our product something bad will happen to you all.”

    The linux packagers need to come up with something outstanding and with a good and simple GUI, some people might be willing to buy a Mac, but others will simply opt for an alternate operating system.

  9. Longhorn will be better than XP. How could it not? Windows rubes will go nuts thinking it is the greatest thing ever and we OSX Tiger users will shake our head in dismay as we watch the herd of rubes flock wildly to Longhorn.

    The Media will love it, laude it, applaud it, Microsoft will rake in millions and more head shaking will go on. It is inevitable.

    And Apple will continue to be Apple.

  10. Apple should release a Server version of OS X on x86… only enablling server functions (via command and GUI).

    My point here is that M$ make most of it’s money in the Enterprise market, licences etc. If Apple would offer a Server OS to the x86 world…

    ahhh… all IMHO

    Jb

  11. Jesus people, Apple is never going to release Tiger for Intel. It’s not their hardware so it ain’t gonna get their software. You want Tiger? Buy a Mac. You have a better chance of Intel designing a chip for Apple than Apple releasing a pc version of OS X.

    MW=Fantasy as in “Gee I hope BMW releases and engine that will bolt right up to my Dodge Neon…”

  12. All that Apple has to do in this year and a half is:
    1. Get a 12-14 % share on Pc’s
    2. Better interoperability with Windows
    3. Create an iWork as good as Office, and compatible

  13. Apple could always preinstall Tiger on ipods and once attached to a PC using Firewire, they can let users choose what they wanna boot into. Windows or Tiger, plus they make their money from the sales of the ipod.

  14. ALL I CAN SAY IS:

    ‘VAPOUR-WARE’

    Microsoft is producing a marketing campaign that is all smoke and mirrors.

    They are having so many problems with Longshit that they should just call it service pack 3 and be done with it.

    Like Steve Jobs said – no amount of money can make a crap product a good product. At the end of the day people have brains and if something is crap they will know it – regardless of the bullshit that is being marketed.

    Tiger is NOW and real.

    Longhorn is still in the imagination and NOT real.

    When it finally arrives, Longhorn will either be Microsofts savior OR microsofts executioner.

    My betting is on the latter.

    R.I.P. Microsoft – it was crap knowing you.

  15. It will be interesting as to what illegal and anti-trust strategies will be developed by to make longhorn a success.

    Expect companies to have the thumb screws tightened by microsoft sales staff to ‘upgrade’ and expect bullying tactics at political levels too.

    I can’t wait for the news about all these stories of how Microsoft forced our company to upgrade otherwise they would have cancelled our OS licencing agreements.

    Such is the IT world these days.

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