“Microsoft is about to lose the software business the same way that IBM lost the PC business in the 1980s,” Carl Howe (Blackfriars Communications) writes for SeekingAlpha.
“Now, for those of you who didn’t live through it, a quick refresher: In the 1980s, it wasn’t Microsoft who dominated PCs, it was IBM. The IBM PC was the fastest-selling product IBM ever had, and it was the gold standard for desktop machines. But even so, MIS departments (Management Information Systems organizations, what IT was called in those days) still called PCs “toys” and snidely thought that they would never be able to handle ‘real’ work like their IBM mainframes and minicomputers,” Howe writes.
“IBM planned to change all that with OS/2, which would be its best and most compatible system. And best of all, it would work seamlessly with the rest of IBM’s systems and be supported by the IT department. It was complex and needed the latest and greatest hardware (the IBM PS/2) to run, but it worked,” Howe writes.
“Trouble was, OS/2 was too late. The PC ‘toys’ powered by Microsoft software took over — they could be bought off the shelf and snuck into the business without the approval of MIS. And despite the fact they were less capable, no one except MIS cared; they did the job for people who wanted to do a few simple things and who couldn’t wait for MIS. And the PCs got better and better until MIS had to embrace them or become irrelevant,” Howe writes.
“That same process is happening right now, except this time, it’s Microsoft and Microsoft-centric IT departments calling Internet services and non-Windows PCs ‘toys.’ They call Google’s spreadsheet a toy that is nowhere as powerful as Microsoft Excel. They insist Apple’s Macs will never be accepted in corporations. And they insist Linux is just too difficult to work for real business. And besides, Windows Vista and the new Microsoft Office — complete with a completely new interface designed to befuddle users used to the old one — will work so much better and more seamlessly with all other things Redmond. Everyone just has to upgrade, and life will be grand,” Howe writes.
“The only problem with Microsoft’s story is that just as with IBM’s story in the 1980s, there’s now competition from ‘toys.’ The ‘toys’ made by competitors just do stuff that users want. And they do it fast. And the users vote with their dollars,” Howe writes. “Look at Apple. In the time since Windows XP was released, Apple has released five versions of its Mac OS X operating system, which, of course, run on Macintoshes, computers IT considers toys. Each one has gotten better than the last. Today, if you go to a developer’s conference, the cool kids have Mac OS X laptops. Why? They evolved faster than Microsoft-powered laptops, to the point where both the laptops and the OS are fashion statements.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Mac hardware and software night be fashion statements, but, oh, they are also so much more! Developers don’t tote them around just to make a fashion statement. Mac hardware is very fast and Mac OS X is extremely powerful, too. That they look nice while working is just icing on the cake.