Apple Mac vs. Microsoft Windows PC

The “difference between Apple and Microsoft is not just a philosophical stance, but reflects the two companies’ differing business models,” Daniel Eran reports for RoughlyDrafted.

• Apple makes its money selling hardware, so it was always in that company’s interests to sell the best hardware possible and make sure its Macs offered features and performance ahead of bargain PCs. Hardware quality and the user experience were valued over high volume, low margin sales because that’s what enriched Apple.

• Microsoft makes its money selling software licenses, so it embraced the idea of selling new software for old hardware, running old applications on a new version of Windows, and selling copies of Windows for PCs of any price. Volume was valued over hardware quality and user experience because that’s what enriched Microsoft.

Eran writes, “Today, those same legacy factors and business models are still in place. That’s why Apple is unlikely to ever make major market share gains across most of Microsoft’s established business, but its also why Apple is well positioned to cherry pick the most valuable segments of the market and offer the best product to users able to make a choice.”

“It also complicates Microsoft’s ability to take Apple on directly. Vista carries so much baggage from Windows XP and the wide swath of third party software it has to accommodate, that Microsoft is left without the ability to move quickly and decisively to match Apple’s moves,” Eran writes. “Microsoft has become the same lazy dinosaur that Apple had turned into in the early 90s.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Is Apple “unlikely to ever make major market share gains” if they offer hardware that runs not only Mac OS X and highly-regarded Mac-only software, but also runs creaky, old, legacy-ridden Windows and Windows applications? Oh, wait, they do – and the Mac is starting to take market share from Microsoft. People who use both Mac and Windows overwhelmingly choose Macintosh. Let them run both and the Mac wins. Windows market share is largely based upon customer ignorance. That is a weak advantage that can be overcome, as Apple is proving via their growing retail store network and allowing Windows-only users to take their “insecurity blanket” with them to the Mac, where they can clearly see the folly of their ways for themselves. Windows Vista is little more than lipstick on the XP pig: many more users today are capable of seeing Microsoft for what it really is than in the mid 1990’s.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Analysts: Vista could provide ample opportunity for Apple Mac market share gains – November 21, 2006
Apple Mac’s 2007 market share climb will dumbfound almost everyone, create mayhem in PC market – September 08, 2006
A Windows Vista reality check for Microsoft – September 08, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Apple introduces Boot Camp: public beta software enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP – April 05, 2006
Intel-based Macs running both Mac OS X and Windows will be good for Apple – June 10, 2005
Why buy a Dell when Apple’s Intel-based computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows? – June 08, 2005


  1. Anyone read this at the bottom of the page? Time to boycott Digg I think…

    I’m pointing the guys at Boing Boing to this appalling Microsoft censorship. Displaying their true nature again…

    This content has been censored on Digg. Digg ranks and displays online news for tens of thousands of Internet users. The system purports to be openly run by its users, who vote for submissions in order to raise the profile of online content.
    However, Digg is sponsored by Microsoft, and has signed sponsorship agreements that limit freedom of speech regarding Microsoft and its products. Microsoft also sponsors online users to post astroturf and dispute accurate information that is in any way critical of the company and its products.

    Recently, a small minority of anonymous Digg users have worked to censor anything from RDM posted to Digg by any of its users, and harrass anyone on Digg supporting RDM.

    Digg’s official response has been to ban all RDM articles, and delete records of them on its site, along with all user comments involving Microsoft and the censorship and sponsorship of the Digg system. When asked to review its censorship of RDM, Digg responds by saying it will continue to ban all RDM articles because it does not want to receive ongoing complaints from users who do not like RDM content. You can balance the feedback Digg receives by letting it know what you think about censorship and slanted information sources pretending to be legitimate and open.

    You can join over 590 readers who have petitioned Digg to stop its censorship of RDM articles and request that the site act impartially, regardless of its sponsorship. You can also petition Apple to build a content system that provides access to information that is not controlled and manipulated by a monopolist.

    End Quote

  2. Diggnation and This Week in Tech were my two favorite tech podcasts. In the last two months, they’ve both clearly lost all editorial integrity. TWiT, at least, still TRYs to maintain the appearance of impartiality, despite sponsorship by Dell and Intel. (Leo is still too much of a go-along-to-get-along type of reviewer, but at least there are still opposing viewpoints presented.

    Diggnation, on the other hand, has recently just gotten embarrassingly bad. They recently became sponsored by Microsoft. And it shows.

    The days of honesty in reporting at the most popular tech podcasts is, I fear, a thing of the past.

  3. I don’t think Macs will ever have huge marketshare (eg. 40-50% of the PC market). There are too many dumb PC terminals, too many developing countries using Linix. But i think Macs will always have a profitable and sustainable segment of the overall PC market and that’s all that matters to me for Mac marketshare in the long run. Analysts have got to stop looking at overall PC marketshare because that doesn’t tell the entire story.

  4. MDN … lighten up.
    “Is Apple “unlikely to ever make major market share gains” if they offer hardware that runs not only Mac OS X and highly-regarded Mac-only software, but also runs creaky, old, legacy-ridden Windows…”

    Yes. The answer to your question is “YES“! While it’s certainly true that Apple is gaining market share – I guess you could consider it “major” if you are self-referencing – it is unlikely to become a major player in terms of numbers of systems sold unless they change their business model and venture into the discount-systems end of the pool. That may help their over-all count, but not their bottom line, so why do it?

    Apple is already a major player. An industry leader. And gaining market share, a percent or two a year (non-self-referential), taking their sales from the upper end of the market – the creme.

    Most systems sold cost under $1,000 – including monitor and printer. Apple sells the Mac mini to that market – just barely. Add a comparable LCD and a $50 printer (and keyboard)(and mouse) and you are teetering on the edge of $1,000 – if you have bought the RAM needed to make the system run reasonably well. And the mini isn’t quite the games monster a $1,000 PC is. An excellent computer, just not as single-minded as a WIntel in that range. So most of the market is closed to Apple – by Apple’s own choice, and it’s a choice I don’t dispute. Apple would have to be the top vendor in the over-$1,000 market just to exceed 10% of the overall market. I believe this is possible!

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

  5. To ‘Apple won’t take huge marketshare’:

    for any competitor to beat an entrenched competitor they must not only do a good job (better, cheaper, redefine the game), they must do things the entrenched competitor CANNOT do. For example, no one thought the microprocessor would beat IBM, DEC, Honeywell, Burroughs, etc mainframes and minis. While the PC was cheaper, faster and better the big plus was that you could continue to do work even it the mainframe or network went down.

    Enter Apple. What can Apple do that MS can never do? The list includes:
    1. be ‘cool’
    2. leverage off the iPod
    3. control the whole widget (Zune and 360 aside)
    4. invent new hardware that is compulsive (iPhone, iTV)
    5. remain relatively trouble-free (viruses, etc)
    6. Attract the best IT talent
    7. Easier to use

    MS really needs to do another WinOS re-write, but I don’t yet see anything that Apple can do that MS cannot.

  6. “Windows market share is largely based upon customer ignorance.”

    I have few very close friends. From the first sight in early 90’s we wanted macintosh. Obviously it never was a reason to live, but more we used computers, more we knew, how it should work/look like and the answer was always the same. Today we still struggle with M$ because of one reason: money. We still can’t afford a mac. Mini is not enough, we need MacBook or iMac.

    Another thing that does not help, is lack of Apple Poland and all the great support polish users would be very pleased to see. So far we’re condemned to accept cynic rules of Apple IMC Poland company, buffoon reseller. Even not so long time ago launched internet-based action “We Want Apple Poland” doesn’t give polish mac community a good reason to look for early changes – Poland is probably still one of the markets not enough attractive to Apple.

    Going back to me and my folks – after all it’s not totaly pessimistic. Our jobs are getting better, our earning’s grow and I hope to become lucky user in July (if our fabulous goverment won’t fuck up more of most important things in economy).

  7. Market share does matter to software developers. You will always have a high difference in number of applications available in one platform vs the other. While Apple has less apps in the consumer side it has plenty of high quality apps to cover. It is the biz segment where it sucks wind. Then again Apple may not be interested in the biz segment. I don’t believe it means much to biz that Apple can run 2 operating systems.

Reader Feedback

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