Can Apple’s Mac counter Microsoft’s Windows Vista?

Apple Store“Apple is already gearing up for a major marketing campaign for the holidays, and if they’re able to ramp up demand, and then deliver the system when they say it will be delivered, it could trump Microsoft in a way that Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs would crow about for years,” Elizabeth Millard reports for NewsFactor.

Millard reports, “Before Apple’s recent announcement that it would be releasing OS X 10.5, called Leopard, it appeared that Apple would be drawing mainly on its streamlined OS interface to try and best Microsoft, along with emphasis on its switch to Intel. But the recent news that it would be building robust features into Leopard puts the fresh system directly in competition with Vista, changing the rules of engagement.”

“As Microsoft began its campaign to ease users into thinking about Vista, it seemed that Apple’s only answer would be to point out that it now runs on Intel chip, and emphasize the ability to toggle between Windows and Mac systems thanks to new software,” Millard reports. “But beyond Boot Camp, it turns out, Apple intends to intensify its chances of winning Windows users, and wasn’t about to rest on the laurels of Boot Camp. With the new OS X 10.5 version, planned for shipping in spring 2007, users will be able to tap into new backup and recovery technology, introduce virtual desktops, and have more powerful iChat functions.”

“Another potential advantage for Apple has nothing to do with Leopard’s features, and actually doesn’t depend on anything the company can do internally with development: it’s the ability of Microsoft to release Vista on time and address potential bugs in its beta versions,” Millard reports. “In other words, Apple seems to be fighting Redmond on two fronts, countering Microsoft with its OS features as well as slamming the company through marketing efforts and general commentary.”

“Jobs also noted that some of the features of Leopard would be kept under wraps, not just because Apple is notoriously secretive with its upcoming releases, but because the company didn’t want Microsoft to ‘start their photocopiers,'” Millard reports.

“Although Leopard might present a challenge to Microsoft — and likely inspire some zesty new Mac v. Windows ads — some analysts note that it won’t exactly become an Apple-driven world anytime soon,” Millard reports. “Windows still commands a sizeable chunk of the OS market, with most estimates putting it around 95 percent. Since it’s used in so much of the corporate world, it’s not likely that IT departments will skip Vista and turn instead to replacing desktops and servers with Apple’s lineup. Where companies go, consumers do tend to follow, since many people find it useful to have the same type of system at home as they do at the office, making for easy file transfers and telecommuting.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Mac can run Windows, so what’s the problem? Answer: there is none. People, especially those who shop based mainly on sticker price, can quickly understand that only Apple’s Mac offers a “twofer” – run Windows if you need it and also get the superior Mac OS X, iLife, etc. for the price of one computer.

Millard continues, “In other words, most of the world will still buy Windows, no matter what bugs the first version of Vista might have, and although there could be some converts, it’s still more cult than religion.”

MacDailyNews Take: Illogical. Apple Macs can run Windows and Mac OS X. Nobody else can do so. Apple’s strategy is to first embrace then extinguish. Enough people will do so to create a marked change. And nobody makes a better Mac advocate than a recent Windows to Mac switcher. These people will tell their friends. Apple’s Mac platform has the capacity to grow faster and take more share from Windows than most people think. Some people are going to be very surprised.

Millard continues, “Some might counter with the fact that Boot Camp will make that issue irrelevant, but others believe that the limitations with running Windows on a Mac — most notably, in having to buy a full Windows license — will create limitations.”

MacDailyNews Take: Buy an Apple Mac and, for the price of a boxed copy of Windows, get two computers or buy a Dell, HP or anything else and be stuck with just Windows. That’s the proposition. We think even Joe and Jane Wal-Mart Shopper will be able to easily grasp that one – if Apple can get the message out effectively.

Millard continues, “But just because it won’t become standard equipment in the corporate world in the near future doesn’t mean that Apple can’t increase its popularity — after all, to belabor the analogy, some groups once called cults really did become full-blown religions… If Vista continues to be delayed, and can’t meet its January target, it could greatly benefit Leopard, especially if Apple is able to get the OS shipping earlier than expected.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: From everything we’ve seen, Apple’s Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger – released April 2005 – is itself quite superior to Microsoft’s Windows Vista. Apple’s Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard will only increase the superiority gap over Windows Vista which looks like nothing more than a warmed over Windows XP. Another Microsoft pig adorned with lipstick is not much to which Windows sufferers can look forward or get excited about. Change is coming.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Gartner: Microsoft’s Vista will be the last of its kind – August 26, 2006
Microsoft develops new consumer product: selling vaporware for the holidays – August 22, 2006
Development approaches of Mac OS X Leopard vs. Windows Vista yield very different results – August 15, 2006
Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard is 64-bit done right, unlike Microsoft’s Windows Vista kludge – August 14, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista: If you can’t innovate… try to impersonate Apple’s Mac OS X – August 10, 2006
InfoWorld: With Mac OS X Leopard, Apple aims to ruin Vista’s chance of gaining early traction – August 09, 2006
Big race? Which will ship first, Microsoft’s Windows Vista or Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard? – August 09, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard sets new bar, leaves Microsoft’s Vista in the dust – August 08, 2006
Gartner analyst: It’s a ‘distinct possibility’ that Mac OS X Leopard will ship before Windows Vista – August 07, 2006
Apple WWDC banner: ‘Mac OS X Leopard. Introducing Vista 2.0’ – August 07, 2006
Ballmer analyzes Microsoft’s One Big Mistake, Vista… er, ‘One Big’ Vista Mistake – August 02, 2006
Leopard attack on Vista: Apple taunts Microsoft with much faster operating system launches – July 05, 2006
What Microsoft has chopped from Windows Vista, and when – June 27, 2006
Microsoft botches another copy job: Windows Vista Flip3D vs. Apple Mac OS X Exposé – June 26, 2006
Windows Vista rips-off Mac OS X at great hardware cost (and Apple gains in the end) – June 13, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006
Windows Vista to be Microsoft’s last operating system? – April 21, 2006
Thurrott: Microsoft collapsing under its own weight, Gates has driven Windows Vista into the ground – April 20, 2006
Thurrott: Microsoft going to get eaten alive over Windows Vista’s resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – March 09, 2006
NY Times’ Pogue on Gates’ CES demo: Most of Vista features unadulterated ripoffs from Apple Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Analyst: Windows Vista may still impress many consumers because they have not seen Apple’s Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Gartner: Ignore Microsoft Windows Vista until 2008 (why not just get Apple Mac OS X Tiger today?) – November 12, 2005
Microsoft’s Windows Vista strives to deliver what Apple’s Mac OS X already offers – October 10, 2005
Thurrott: many of Windows Vista’s upcoming features appeared first in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 26, 2005
Microsoft’s Ballmer: It’s true, some of Windows Vista’s features are ‘kissing cousins’ to Mac OS X – September 18, 2005
Windows tech writer Thurrott: ‘In many ways, Mac OS X Tiger is simply better than Windows’ – May 07, 2005
Thurrott: Longhorn demos ‘unimpressive, fall short of graphical excellence found today in Mac OS X’ – April 26, 2005
eWEEK Editor Coursey: Longhorn so far ‘looks shockingly like a Macintosh’ – April 25, 2005
Due in late 2006, many of Windows Longhorn’s features have been in Mac OS X since 2001 – April 25, 2005
Microsoft’s new mantra: ‘It Just Works’ ripped straight from Apple’s ‘Switch’ campaign – April 22, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Microsoft’s Longhorn: ‘They are shamelessly copying us’ – April 21, 2005
Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn will bear more than just a passing resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – April 15, 2005
Steve Jobs: Microsoft copied original Apple Mac with Windows 95, now they’re copying us again – February 08, 2005
The Age: ‘Apple’s Mac OS X at least a generation ahead of Windows XP, iMac G5 clearly the best’ – December 15, 2004
Silicon Valley: Apple CEO Steve Jobs previews ‘Longhorn’ – June 29, 2004
Apple CEO Steve Jobs: Mac OS X Tiger ‘is going to drive the copycats crazy – June 28, 2004
PC Magazine: Microsoft ‘Longhorn’ preview shows ‘an Apple look’ – May 06, 2004
Windows ‘Longhorn’ to add translucent windows that ripple and shrink by 2005 – May 19, 2003
Apple leads; Wintel follows as usual – November 11, 2002


  1. I love my Macs and glad that I am in this camp, but Millard is correct. And, MDN, it doesn’t matter that it is illogical for Windows users to continue using Windows and blindly transition to Vista. That is exactly what most of them will do. The good news is that it will take just a tiny fraction of current Windows users to see the light and switch to Macs to see Apple’s market share double.

  2. IMHO Ms Millard seems far more clueless than the average tech “journalist.” Was it just me or was there a genuine sense of shock in her writing that Apple might actually update and improve OS X? Plus her unwritten assumption that because Vista is new it must by definition be vastly superior to OS X? Well look on the bright side Ms Millard can only do so much damage reporting on tech stuff, just be glad she isn’t reporting on the Middle East.

  3. The problem here is not which OS is superior or better to the other one or if Windows has the greater chunk of the market in the business world, this is mainly about job security:

    There are hundreds of thousands of IT administrators (or at least they call themselves so) out there that are only experienced with Windows.

    And they want to keep their job.

    Therefore, it’s better for them to rely on a buggy Windows (and recommending it over and over again) than to switch to a rock-solid OS that can be maintained by a fraction of them – and therefore will probably cost their jobs.

    BootCamp & Parallels is great for those (portable) Mac users who don’t want to miss the OS of their choice and sometimes need to run their business apps in Windows.

  4. When I sent in this story to MDN, I commented that, ‘A year from now I expect a headline from the author: “Can Beleaguered Windows Vista Counter the Mac?”‘

    It is good that the bozo writers don’t get it yet. It hands great AAPL buying opportunities to those with eyes who don’t allow herd following denial to cloud their vision.

  5. Apple OS X is only used by about 1.5% of the global PC’s. The idea that Apple has any influence on the PC market is just silly.

    Nobody in the “real IT world” is switching to Apple. Apple PC’s are not capable of meeting the rigorous standards need to exist in an enterprise environment.

    “building robust features into Leopard puts the fresh system directly in competition with Vista”

    Like html base email authoring and enhanced iChat… Please, don’t make me laugh. These are features that are be used everyday by millions of happy XP users. Furthermore, iChat is such a useless piece of software; who can you video chat with? Answer, only a hand full of Apple users.

    Face it folks the real world is very happy with XP and looking forward to the soon to be released Vista…

    Vista has so many new features and security enhancements it will take years for Apple to catch up. Remember XP already has all of the features and more then the Leopard-vaporware being marketed by Jobs and company.


  6. Apple should produce provocotive ads for business channels (print. etc.) challenging CEO’s/CFO’s/Business Owners, et. al., to drill thier own IT depts., i.e. windows vs. mac.

    Give them ammunition, talking points, etc.

  7. When OS X has over 100,000 viruses, THEN Sputnik will finally concede that Apple has caught up to Microsoft.

    Of course we all know Microsoft will never let anyone catch up to them in that regard.

  8. I have not and will not purchase a PC or Microsoft OS, so the question is irrelevant. PC user opinions mean little to nothing to me. Let Microsoft apologists continue their shortsighted discussions and debates about Microsoft vaporware. It only distracts their attention from the looming debacle that will define Vista and gives them the glimmer of hope that Microsoft’s relevancy in software development will continue uninterrupted and unchallenged.

    I just want Apple to develop the most functional and useful products for my own needs. As long as Apple thinks prospectively and releases innovative products and services, I am content.

  9. My second favorite troll of all time is back!

    Our “fellow traveler” has spoken!

    I’m convinced. Can I load Vista today!

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  10. Oh my god! Are people really this narrow minded? I have 3 macs and 3 PCs at home and been using both platforms since the early 90’s and in the course of that period been setting up both platforms numerous times and building PC’s from parts and taking iMacs straight out of the box. I have also used every windows and mac OS released since then.
    And if we take a look at the current state of both operating systems Mac OS X beats Win XP hands down in every aspect: Installation, set-up, security, maintenance, usability, stability, adding of peripherals etc. So I prefer OS X over XP but that still doesn’t mean I don’t use XP. I do but only because I have to not because I want to…

  11. Sputnick writes, “Nobody in the real IT World” is switcing.

    Dude, go away you haven’t a clue. In Government, and we are switching as fast as we can and it’s starting with the IT departments, and then we will replace the desktops. In Government you have to get “real” evaluations and cost comparisons. It’s about providing the best possible service on minimal budgets.

    Tell me how MS can compete with Vista? Ever heard of seat licenses? Antivirus costs? Total cost of ownership? Reliability? How about having to replace machines that will work with all the software and programs that have been written? Just keep you head in the sand and you’ll be out of a job. You ultra-geek squad junkies just like messing with your toys. In Government, we care about what works, is affordable, and can get the job done.

    This is serious business for serious people Sputnick, get a real job and go away.

  12. Hey Sputnik I hear that thousands of IT depts are just waiting for November to start installing Vista across the board for their enterprise solutions.

    That would be NOV 2008.

    Around the time Leopard’s successor will start hitting developers.

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