“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.
MacDailyNews Note: Added 8:42pm EDT: MacDailyNews receives no revenue from other sites to which we link. We are fully independent and choose to link to other sites at our own discretion. We will continue to highlight widely-quoted “pundits,” “analysts,” and anybody else who we find to be correct, wrong, somewhere in-between, at least semi-interesting, or for any other reason that floats our boat. Ignoring certain “pundits” will not make them go away and will only help their credibility as there will be one less dissenting voice heard against them. We receive revenue solely from the ads on this site based on impressions, click-thrus, and/or commissions when you buy something after clicking on our sponsor’s ads. Thank you for patronizing our sponsors and thereby supporting MacDailyNews.