The Telegraph: Apple blossoms as Microsoft wilts

“It has been a bumper year for the California-based [Apple]. More than three billion songs had been bought through the iTunes music store since 2001, and that 110 million iPods have been sold worldwide,” The Telegraph reports.

“Apple sustained the momentum by increasing the capacity of its iPod range, giving it a facelift, adding a new selection of pastel-coloured iPod shuffles, and introducing video-playback to a thinner, squatter iPod nano. Oh, and it launched a mobile phone,” The Telegraph reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Not-so-minor omission: Apple also released the iPod touch.

The telegraph continues, “In all the brouhaha surrounding the iPhone launch, it would be easy to miss one of Apple’s biggest successes this year – the upsurge in sales of its computers. Apple shipped more than two million Macs between July and September this year alone, a 34 per cent increase on those months last year… If Apple’s rise continues, it may soon be able to think about posing a more serious threat to Microsoft’s dominance.”

“Bill Gates’s company seems to have been caught napping, failing to get to grips with a consumer demand for flair, innovation and beautiful design,” The Telegraph reports. “But more worrying for Microsoft will be the backlash against its latest operating system, Vista, released in January. Its snazzy new graphical interface wasn’t enough to win over many consumers. Vista makes heavy demands of computers, and lots of people found it sluggish and bloated. Such was the lack of interest that Dell began to offer computers preloaded with the older operating system, Windows XP, as an alternative.”

The Telegraph’s Best of 2007: Apple iPhoneWhile there is definitely room for improvement, its intuitive interface and stunning good looks have set the standard that all future mobile phones will be judged by.

The Telegraph’s Worst of 2007: Windows VistaWhile it’s lovely to look at, this operating system can feel sluggish. It has perhaps shaken consumer confidence in the Microsoft brand, and goes some way towards explaining why Apple’s star is in the ascendancy.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Linux Guy And Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

Slowly they awaken.

95 Comments

  1. “Bill Gates’s company seems to have been caught napping, failing to get to grips with a consumer demand for flair, innovation and beautiful design…”

    Yes please, let’s keep Microsoft thinking that all they have to do is make shinier, newer-fangled products.

    Of course, successfull products need fair, innovation and beautiful design. But the reason Apple’s blowing everyone else out of the water is not these things.

    It’s the integrated, holistic design.

    The iPhone’s data protocol (EDGE instead of 3G) is a textbook example. It’s evident that Apple looked at their options, and saw that they could either a) ship a product that had the latest and greatest spec, but sacrificed half its battery life to take advantage of a technology with poorer geographical coverage that would make browsing feel only marginally faster, or b) use a technology that was less sexy but would provide 80% of the capability with far less power consumption, lower cost, better predictability, and superior coverage.

    Most other companies, including Microsoft, are stuck in a “feature laundry list” mentality that is just killing their overall product experience, but they can’t seem to bring themselves to cut stuff (probably stuff that focus groups have told them they must have in their next “cool toy”) in the name of simplicity and a disciplined product experience.

    Another great example is desktop content search. Here was MS, sweating hard on a whole new filesystem (WinFS) built on database technology to enable this, and then Apple comes along with Spotlight and adds a couple of kernel services and an indexing daemon and boom, they’re done.

    More designed with higher specs is not always better.

  2. I use a Dell at work and I have a MacPro laptop.
    Let’s just say I hate using the Dell. Its slow, clunky and unresponsive. I can’t even get sound (because the company doesn’t want anyone listening on their computer), because there are no speakers plugged in. I don’t get it! You have to buy separate speakers after you paid for a computer?
    If it wasn’t for my MacPro, I’d go crazy!

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