“For the past few years, conventional wisdom has been that the one company the consumer electronics (CE) industry needed to fear most was Microsoft. Bill Gates and his team have been eying the CE market for 15 years, and if you study their overall CE strategy, you see that it is to have some type of Windows environment on any and every digital device a consumer will use in the future. They have made major deals with cable companies, telecom vendors and even cell phone hand set makers like Motorola and HTC and are becoming even more aggressive in trying to make Windows based operating systems and user interfaces a key element of CE based products throughout the entire CE eco-system,” Tim Bajarin, Principal Analyst for Creative Strategies, writes for Technology Pundits.
“Indeed, all of their ‘consumer’ based products are aimed at bringing more and more people into the overall ‘Windows World’ and use that as a starting point for Microsoft to sell new CE based products and services in the future,” Bajarin writes. “While I do believe the CE folks need to have a healthy fear of Microsoft in order for them to compete on a somewhat even ground, the company they actually need to fear most is Apple Computer.”
“There is a very distinct difference in the way Microsoft and Apple are approaching the CE market. Microsoft’s way is to create a radical new platform, such as they did with the Media Center, and push it out to the market in a bold fashion in order to get people focused on the concept and then let the early adopters help them validate the platform. In the meantime, they keep working on evolving the actual Media Center platform and in typical Microsoft fashion, eventually get it right by the time they have version 4.0 or 5.0 on the market. On the other hand, Apple’s approach is very subtle and in a sense, delivers new features that help move consumers towards the Mac and related products in a more controlled and measured way, but with better results,” Bajarin writes. “Unlike Microsoft who developed the Media Center platform and thrust it on the market as a new concept that needed to be evangelized in order to get it accepted, Apple uses a more controlled approach by adding new features somewhat sporadically and gently brings the market along with them and before you know it, Apple has become a CE powerhouse in their own right.”
“By using this more subtle approach and gently moving the market towards a Mac world where everything is easy to use and works together seamlessly, Apple could become one of the most important, if not the most powerful CE company someday. And while Microsoft should still be feared by the CE folks, Apple could be the one company that gives them the most problems in the future,” Bajarin writes.
Full article here.
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