Enderle details his idea of ‘Apple’s Leopard Strategy’

“This week Apple’s Leopard Strategy became more clear and it seems to have less and less to do with Microsoft and Windows Vista. In fact, looking underneath the covers it would appear that Windows Vista may run just fine on Apple hardware along with Leopard (if that’s what a user wants), even though they increasingly may not need to go that route,” Rob Enderle writes for Digital Trends. “In looking at the detail coming out of the Apple developer’s conference my conclusion is that while Microsoft may be a target for the purpose of publicity and media, from the standpoint of competition, Apple is putting the cross hairs more appropriately on companies like Dell. This is where they should have been from the very beginning.”

MacDailyNews Take: Wrong and right. As we’ve been saying since day one (two prominent examples here and here), Dell and all of the OS-limited PC box assemblers are Apple’s primary targets for now. What Mac users who’ve used WIndows understand and what Windows-only users (Enderle) cannot grasp is that Microsoft is Apple’s ultimate target. Ask people who really use Windows and the Mac to choose just one and the overwhelming majority choose the Mac. Dell et al are collateral victims in Apple’s stealth bombing of Microsoft. By the way, Rob, Apple’s cross hairs have been trained on Dell for quite some time. On November 10, 1997, Apple iCEO Steve Jobs spoke in front of an image of Michael Dell’s bulls-eye covered face and said, “We’re coming after you, you’re in our sights.”

Enderle continues, “If you’ve been watching the latest Apple Ads and if you’ve noticed what Steve Jobs said, you have probably realized that Apple isn’t really positioning directly against Windows anymore. In fact, it is starting to feel more and more like Apple is a way to get a better Windows experience. They even go so far as to promote Windows on the Mac, something they have done poorly in the past but, with the benefit of both Apple and third party software, are increasingly doing very well.”

MacDailyNews Take: Enderle almost actually gets it half right: Apple is embracing Windows initially, but, in the full article, he veers off onto some goofy Media Center tangent. The real point that Enderle has almost half figured out at this late date is that Apple’s overall Mac strategy is: Embrace Windows, then extinguish it (again, we explained it  here way back in June 2005, long before Boot Camp’s April 2006 debut).

Enderle continues, “Now Windows users will never, as a group, move away from the applications and user experiences they are used to. However, most aren’t doing media creation yet. This is expected to change. Thus, if Apple can give these users the Windows experience they need with the media creation experience they want, then Apple can make these users comfortable with both platforms. The resulting strategy could, for once, grow their installed base significantly.”

Enderle writes, “This is the Dell surprise, because companies like Dell can’t do this. If this works, then a level of differentiation will be established that virtually all of the OEMs are looking for, however with the exception of Apple none will be able to accomplish. Granted this is initially only a consumer play, it could have parts that will resonate with education as well.”

MacDailyNews Take: Never say never, Rob. That’s not just a basic debating point, it’s plain common sense. Windows users as a group are barely able to use a personal computer. They use it to surf the Web, email, text chat, run iTunes, get infected with malware, have their machine turned into a rogue bot, and maybe do some word processing. They think the blue “e” is the Internet, Rob. Now, once they buy their Mac to run Windows* and then their new Mac boots up into Mac OS X… Those who try Mac OS X after Windows often experience a personal computing epiphany. Those who’ve just used Windows have no idea what they’re missing; ignorance is indeed bliss. People with Macs will dump the “Windows Insecurity Blanket” they dragged along behind them quicker than any WIndows-only user can imagine. Mark our words.

* They’ll buy that Mac because everybody else is talking about Apple Macs running Windows and/or being virus-free and/or whatever on the local news tech show, in the local paper’s tech guy column, and around the water-coolor at work. They’ll buy that Mac because they saw the “Get a Mac” commercials, because the price is good, because they can get a “twofer” (a PC that runs both Mac and Windows), and because they’re in the Apple Store in the mall just about every week looking at iPods and accessories anyway. Mainly they’ll do it because they think “everybody else is doing it” – you know, they way they make most of their decisions.

Enderle continues, “Microsoft is focused like a laser on the European Union right now and needs a strong example of interoperability with a UNIX or Linux vendor to drive the point home. What better company for that than Apple? Plus, Microsoft is incredibly likely to be willing to help Apple in any way to make their platform work seamlessly with Microsoft’s offerings… So, while initially Apple will likely promise Microsoft that their OS is safe, the actual plan will probably be more like this: once customers are comfortable with the Mac UI, they will gradually train them to use the MacOS exclusively, and then use the then very robust emulation technology to run a declining number of Windows applications without running Windows. Of course this depends on Microsoft not seeing the plan coming and, given the history between the two firms, Microsoft will probably be skeptical to begin with. But, even seeing it coming, given the European Union problem what can Microsoft do about it?”

MacDailyNews Take: A more schizo writer than Enderle may not exist, but at least he seems to be getting it in this section of his article. Factor in Microsoft’s inept management and their bloated opinions of themselves and their company (they think Microsoft is an “innovator!”) and you’ll be getting closer to the truth why Microsoft can be blind-sided by Apple. If you think Apple isn’t working on something like Darwine in their skunkworks, then we have a bridge in Brooklyn with your name on it.

Enderle continues, “Another of the primary reasons Apple isn’t being forthcoming about Leopard is the fear that if people get too excited about a product coming early in 2007 they will stop buying in 2006. So, Apple is intentionally not telling you about the great multi-media features in the new product, the security enhancements that will make the existing line obsolete, or the massive jump in application performance on what will be a fully optimized product on the then current Intel hardware.”

MacDailyNews Take: Security enhancements that will make the existing line obsolete? How can you “make the existing line obsolete” via “security enhancements” when “the existing line” has an unblemished security record already?

Enderle continues, “Certainly you’ve been left in the dark about enhancements that will increase notebook performance and battery life, allow you to seamlessly move between 802.11n, WiMax, and Cellular data networks, and even more quickly create peer-to-peer relationships on the fly. The UI improvements that better make use of the then current enhancements in graphics technology are hinted at but you won’t see the real power until the OS is released when the true power of the visual experience can be a real surprise (and it is believed to be stunning).”

“If you get too excited about what is supposed to be an incredibly amazing product you simply won’t buy a new Apple this year. That wouldn’t be a good thing because Apple would like you to buy both years, if possible, and that means keeping you in the dark about what is coming. It is a typical Apple after all,” Enderle writes.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, if people get too excited about a product coming early in 2007 they will stop buying in 2006, but we believe that Steve Jobs is keeping some of Leopard’s features top secret in order to keep them out of the Microsoft copier for as long as possible. XP Service Pack “Vista” will already have some rip-offs of Mac OS X Tiger features, so there’s no reason to give Microsoft any chance at shoehorning some of Leopard’s feature set into the thing, too.

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  1. Dear MDN,

    Clearly and historically, M. Enderle has proven himself an ill-informed and ignorant shill for Microsoft.

    Do yourselves a favor and ignore him and his wretched attempts at “journalism”, yellow or not.

    Thank you.

  2. People aren’t going to wait 6 months to save $129 on buying Panther if they need a computer today. Tiger is more than capable (stunning?) for anyone new to computers or switching from Microsoft.

    I can see many people waiting a month or so, but that is normal for any new product release, and it’s not something that Apple is going to worry or strategize about.

    The more I read articles authored by non-Mac users, the more I can see that they are making assumptions and predictions based upon pure myths. They really don’t take the time or effort to analyze Apple’s past actions and products.

    I’d love a job as a “journalist”, at least I could guarantee an open, honest, unbiased and pragmatic view point. Send inquiries to manager@nulookgraphics.com. Thanks!

  3. MDN wrote: “so there’s no reason to give Microsoft any chance at shoehorning some of Leopard’s feature set into the thing, too”

    As if Roz Ho didn’t take her developer’s copy of Leopard she received at WWDC and immediately burn a copy for Darth Gates.

  4. 1: Some jackass tech write writes FUD and misinformation articles.

    2: MDN posts it, inflames it and gives their spin.

    3: Vistors bust a spleen over it and perhaps click on a ad.

    4: Rinse and repeat.

    Just imagine being SteveJack or the other writers on this site and having to spew this filth over and over again.

    sick people

    I’m leaving.

  5. Re: The Enderle-MDN Relationship

    They each give the other site hits, and that translates into ad revenue. It wouldn’t surprise me one iota that they, both, post inflammatory comments to their own site from a fictitious reader to further the hit count by spurring irate readers to comment, generating a further avalanche of comments.

    These sites have all of the quality reputation of the National Enquirer. I read it for the entertainment of it all, the pointless and petty feuds by mindless people without a life. It’s much like watching ants fighting over a leaf; insignificant beings fighting over insignificant issues. Albeit, I do wish I had a magnifying glass on a sunny day for some of the idiots on here.

  6. It is as if the USA was based 18 th Century: the main language could have been Dutch or German. Now most people speak US-English as most p-computers speak Windows. It is amazing that the Macbook took 12 % . . .
    Microsoft is to heavy and being backwards compatible is their real problem. Apple is swift and not afraid to change. That’s Apple power and future.

  7. MDN has lost it
    Their takes remind me of kids on a street corner

    My daddy can beat your daddy.

    Oh yeah? My mom slept with YOUR daddy

    Give us a break MDN you didn’t have to highlight Enderle’s article. Now it is searchable and perhaps even believed by the uninformed reader thanks to your re posting

  8. Wrong MDN. While you may have some valid points buried in this long article, Apple and Microsoft are not in competition except for mindshare. As far as marketshare, no.

    Apple’s main competition is with all PC box-builders.

    The only place there is competition is in operating systems. MS sucks. Apple doesn’t.

    Apple is a computer company. Microsoft is a software company. Therefore Microsoft does not have to lose for Apple to win. Apple needs to ship more computers to win. Apple will never ship more computers than all the PC box-builders. It will never happen. Therefore Apple will never beat Microsoft. Microsoft may beat themselves but it won’t be Apple’s fault.

    Linux on the other hand could still beat Apple.

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