“Windows Vista is the biggest release for Microsoft since Windows 95. With that release, Apple was tested — and they failed miserably. I was at Dataquest at the time and not only did I warn Apple to take 95 more seriously, I also accurately forecast the massive decline that would happen to them if they didn’t do just that,” Rob Enderle writes for TechNewsWorld. “This was in 1994, after Steve Jobs had been fired from Apple. Of course, he is back now. Apple is again growing with the market and, unlike 1994, is dominant in an emerging market — digital music players.”
MacDailyNews Note: Apple is not “again growing with the market.” Apple’s Mac unit sales are growing at more than double the overall industry rate.
Enderle continues, “The MS platform has changed dramatically… and it is much greater than just the operating system these days. Apple, on the other hand, hasn’t advanced nearly as much but they are predominantly consumer-based today and less vulnerable to this comparative weakness as a result. Apple will be positioning its Intel-compatible OS version against Vista and they have about 12 months to prepare for the threat. Just like the last time, they will largely leverage hardware this time, and, as before, they will be up against companies with resources that eclipse their own.”
Enderle writes, “Glass is the user interface enhancement that appears to improve on what Apple currently has with Tiger. Granted, Tiger is shipping and Vista isn’t, which gives Apple time to respond. Still, this is the closest to Apple’s capability we have ever seen from Microsoft and for those of us who simply cannot use Apple machines this will be very well received.”
“In 1995 Apple was nearly shut down by a product that wasn’t as visually exciting as Apple’s on hardware that was a pale image of what Apple had on the market. But Windows 95 had more application support and where it lagged Apple the vast majority of buyers found it to be good enough. For this round Vista in many ways is equal to or better than Tiger or more advanced, relatively speaking, than Windows 95 was during its beta period,” Enderle writes.
“As for hardware, unlike 1995, the hardware OEMs not only cover a broader range with companies like Voodoo and Alienware in the mix, but historically staid companies like Gateway, HP, Acer, and even Dell are much more aggressive on design today, often surpassing Apple, which was preeminent in this area in the 90s. While this design parity clearly hasn’t impacted the iPod market yet it is incredibly evident in the PC space,” Enderle writes. “Apple will have to improve its game sharply to compete. However, given the strength at the back end, strength that Apple has never had, the exposure now goes well beyond Apple’s available resources. This means Apple will have to partner to avoid what may be the most damaging competitive threat the company has ever faced. While possible, Apple’s one prevailing weakness has been their inability to partner and unless that changes we should be able to call the outcome of this competition relatively easily — and it isn’t positive for Apple… 2006, at least after August, will be great time for buyers and sellers of PC hardware and that has to be a good thing for everyone — except Apple.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Do you think Apple’s Mac platform “hasn’t advanced nearly as much” as Microsoft’s since 1995? If so, how much crack do you smoke each day? From what we’ve seen so far, does Windows Vista’s user interface really “appear to improve on what Apple currently has with Tiger and is Windows Vista really “in many ways equal to or better than Tiger?” If so, have you been hit in the head with an iMac G5 during an earthquake? And, why would Enderle’s statements even matter, as Apple has stated their intention to be shipping Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard on or around Vista’s debut? Do you think “Gateway, HP, Acer, and even Dell are much more aggressive on design today, often surpassing Apple?” If so, are you legally blind or institutionalized? Do you think “Apple will have to partner to avoid what may be the most damaging competitive threat the company has ever faced” within 12 months?
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