Apple shares surge after EU raises fresh Windows Vista concerns

“Shares of Apple Computer gained as rival Microsoft Corp. faced new pressure from the European Union’s top antitrust body, which is raising concerns about the company’s new Windows operating system, Vista. Shares of Apple surged 6.1 percent to $62.29,” Reuters reports.

“The Commission said European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes had written to Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer to express worries about the company’s upcoming Vista operating system,” Reuters reports. “Apple’s Macintosh computers use Apple’s own Mac OS X operating system rather than Microsoft’s Windows… The Commission, the European Union’s top antitrust body, is concerned that Vista may package Internet search functions or software to create fixed document formats, such as the ‘pdf’ format, posing a potential threat to companies such as Google Inc. or Adobe Systems Inc. which provide similar products. ‘We are concerned about the possibility that the next Vista operating system will include various elements which are currently available separately from Microsoft or other companies,’ said Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd.”

“On Thursday, Microsoft fights to stave off fines handed down in a previous case by EU competition regulators. Microsoft is in a long-running battle with the Commission, which decided in 2004 that the world’s largest software company had abused the dominance of its Windows operating system and fined it nearly half a billion euros. Analysts also cited optimism that the delay of the Vista operating system could boost sales of Apple’s Macintosh computers in the holiday-sales-fuelled fourth quarter. ‘There’s more interest around Apple with the Vista delay,’ said Shannon Cross of Cross Research, adding that the stock has sold off heavily since the middle of January,” Reuters reports.

Full article here.

Apple’s brand new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system. Home stereo. Reinvented. Available now for $349 with free shipping.
Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
iMac. Twice as amazing — Intel Core Duo, iLife ’06, Front Row media experience, Apple Remote, built-in iSight. Starting at $1299. Free shipping.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.

Related articles:
Microsoft’s inability to ship Windows Vista leaves door open for Apple – March 23, 2006
Analysts: Apple could benefit from Microsoft’s latest Vista slip – March 22, 2006
Forbes: Microsoft’s Vista slips again – Steve Jobs must be waking up a happy man this morning – March 22, 2006
What’s the difference between Mac OS X and Vista? Microsoft employees are excited about Mac OS X – March 22, 2006
Vista delay causes Windows-dependents slump in pre-market trading; Apple rises – March 22, 2006
Enderle on MS Vista slip: ‘I personally can not recall Apple ever getting an opportunity like this’ – March 21, 2006


  1. The EU has DONE much to stir the pot but is this _really_ what we need?

    Take MS and Apple out of the equation and answer this: Do you want a government legislating file formats and interoperability?

    With the iTunes issue in France and this EU Vista concern, the issue is who should decide the feature set of an application: the market forces or the legislature?

    In either case, I am strongly in favor of letting the market decide. Do we really need Acrobat Reader if Vista natively read and created PDFs? For the answer, just look to OS X that does the very same thing.

    I don’t think the legislature understands technology enough to be trusted with these choises

  2. Mac fan here asking a sincere question:

    Apple has Quartz built into OS X that provides PDF functionality, so why aren’t the EU breathing down their necks? Surely OS X has features built into it that are currently available from Adobe?

    No flaming at all, just want to know why. Cheers.

  3. This is a dumb reason for AAPL to surge. Most likely for another reason, like the lull in Apple’s product plans is ending soon as will be the transition to Intel.

    And I can’t wait until the transition is complete so people will go back to calling them Macs again instead of the hideous moniker of Mactel.

  4. Jim, an excellent question. It’s not fair, but it is entirely because Windows has greater than 90% market share. They are, by all legal definitions, a monopoly. Special rules apply when you are monopoly, as Apple is beginning to find out in the digital music arena.

  5. And I agree the recent surge in Apple stock is not because of this EU vs Microsoft thing.

    It’s just a bunch of poor fool investors who were tricked into buying.

    Apple stock has some more downward adjustment to do.

    The CEO of a company who sells half his stock, combined with the fact that PC sales are expected to slow considerably this year and the next should tell you we need to follow the BEAR.

  6. Jim “Apple has Quartz built into OS X that provides PDF functionality, so why aren’t the EU breathing down their necks? Surely OS X has features built into it that are currently available from Adobe?”

    It’s because the PDFs that OSX creates are compatible with the PDFs that Adobe and a hundred shareware apps can read. Microsoft wants to replace the PDF standard with their own proprietary format that only users of Microsoft software will be able to read, and to include this new format into Vista as a default option. Basically, they’re trying to nudge Adobe out of the market by abusing their monopoly position. Old dog, old tricks.

  7. Jim – the answer to your question is that Microsoft has huge market share, while Apple doesn’t. Microsoft also has more of a history of making their file formats unreadable by other companies (i.e., Office formats), and refuses to let competitors like WordPerfect (through its various owners) be able to open or save as Word docs, etc.

    Not that Apple has never done the same thing, but it makes a difference when you control the vast majority of the market.

    Apple’s stock has nothing to do with the EU letter. Stock analysts are spouting off about people selling shorts, and thus people think it’s a buying opportunity, so they buy. The market is controlled as much by analysts and large buyers as it is by company performance. Perception is reality on Wall Street.

    Also, there has been talk recently of Apple releasing a new iPhone or new iPod, although Apple has done nothing to announce new products. So people are speculating that, with Apple’s 30 year anniversary approaching, that something bit will come out of Cupertino. That probably will happen, but it may just be new Intel iBooks rather than the new, sexy, dream items so many people want to see.

  8. Cheers for the (gruesome) answers,

    I thought that might be the case, so surely Micro$oft can’t call their new formmat a ‘PDF’ because by definition it quite clearly is not a ‘Portable Document Format’ ® as described by Adobe, who invented the format?

    I still use Distiller, I print a PostScript (from within the Print Dialogue) and run that through Distiller, so I guess I still need Adobe Acrobat. For some reason PDF’s created by OS X produce strange results or the printer rejects my file.

  9. Not only is MacDude an idiot (for propogating the fallacy that Jobs sold off half his stock), but it wasn’t an actual “sale.” Jobs simply gave back 4.5 million share to Apple, which will reduce the number of share in circulation (thus increasing the value of the outstanding shares). Apple will then hand over a check of the entire amount of the 4.5 million shares to the IRS for $295 million as a tax payment.

    Not only did Jobs not receive a single penny as a result of this so-called “sale” but the U.S. treasury is now a quarter of a billion dollars richer.

  10. This just in from MacDaily Windows news…..

    Apple shares surge on report that Bill Gates has a hang nail.

    Apple shares surge on heals of global warming.

    Apple shares surge because of new Britney Spears statue.

    Apple shares surge on news of rising gas prices.

    Apple shares surge on news of falling gas prices.

    Apple shares surge on war in Iraq.

    Blah blah blah blah……

    Nice to see Apple going up after crawliing downwards for weeks, that’s the real news and it’s got nothing to do with MS or EU.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.