Thurrott: Microsoft looks like it’s ready for the proverbial pasture

“You’ve no doubt seen Apple’s infamous Switcher ads. Who hasn’t? In ad after ad, a Windows PC–played to humorous effect by affable comedian and “The Daily Show” contributor John Hodgman–is played the fool by Mac, a barely tolerable student slacker played by Justin Long (who I’m sure is a fine guy in real life). The Switcher ads are painfully effective, though anyone with even a modest understanding of what’s really going on today in the PC marketplace will tell you that Apple’s claims often stretch the bounds of credibility,” Paul Thurrott writes for SuperSite for Windows.

MacDailyNews Take: How about some examples and proof of Apple stretching the bounds of credibility in their “Get a Mac” (not “Switcher”) ads, you ask? Thurrott, predictably, offers none.

Thurrott continues, “So why do I mention this here? After all, as a Windows IT Pro UPDATE reader, you’re ostensibly an IT pro of some kind. What could these consumer-oriented bits of fluff possibly have to do with work? …My feeling is that consumer- and business-oriented technologies have been cross-pollinating since the dawn of the PC era… The reason this is important to IT pros is that the cross-pollination… is in danger of reaching a tipping point.”

These Apple Mac ads are, Thurrott continues, “in my mind, to computing what the ‘swift boat’ ads were to the 2004 US presidential election. To date, Microsoft has had an unspoken rule about its competition in the consumer OS space: It pretends there isn’t any. But with Apple making steady ground in OS market share since Steve Jobs returned to the company, especially in key markets like the US, consumer sales, and, most especially, the mobility market, it’s time for Microsoft to respond. My hope is that the company can make a more effective and more aggressive response than the one that sunk John Kerry’s presidential aspirations four years ago.”

“Microsoft has been notably silent, allowing Apple to control the discussion and let perception become reality. And honestly, why would Microsoft even license Exchange to Apple? Are they crazy? Between this and all the other ActiveSync licensing, they’ve effectively ceded the smart phone market to their competitors,” Thurrot writes. “What’s next? A license to run Windows applications on the Mac?”

MacDailyNews Take: Rhetorical question, we know, but we already have a license. We can run Windows apps on our Macs already.

Thurrott continues, “It’s time for Microsoft to respond to the challenges it faces with leadership and authority. And if you care about the systems you support now, your jobs, and your very livelihood, you might do demand the same from the company. All of us have backed the same horse. And from what I can tell, that horse looks like it’s ready for the proverbial pasture.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Demand all you want, but just because you’ve backed the wrong horse doesn’t mean you can force it to win. Your horse is lame (always has been). The race is over. Most people don’t see it, yet, but it’s over. Apple Macs are the only universal computing systems available today (outside of Psystar wink). Apple’s Macs run the world’s largest library of software. Even Paul Thurrott himself has already recommended that people buy Apple’s iPhone 3G and also recommended that people buy Apple Macs, calling them “the ultimate PC.” For Jobs’ sake, even John Dvorak is advising that people buy Macs!

The “Get a Mac” ads are effective, but just like the so-called “swift boat” ads, they are not the main reason for success of one and the failure of another. Apple Mac is gaining converts because:

• People are sick and tired of Windows frustration
• They can find Macs much easier now due to the growing network of Apple Retail stores
• People are becoming more tech savvy
• Apple Macs are superior personal computers than Windows PCs
• People are finally realizing that Apple offers better support and higher customer satisfaction
• The iPod (and iPhone) has introduced or reintroduced people to Apple quality
• Word of mouth from family, friends, and co-workers
• There are more reasons, but we’ve made our point: it’s not just “Get a Mac” ads driving the change.

IT people, the best way to protect your livelihoods is not to demand that a massive bureaucracy devoid of effective leadership somehow magically begin, after 30 years, to create quality customer-focused products while obsessing over every minute detail, but to instead stop throwing up roadblocks and perpetuating outdated, laughable myths, and embrace the superior Mac OS X platform – you’re going to be using it in some or many forms sooner than later.


  1. “though anyone with even a modest understanding of what’s really going on today in the PC marketplace will tell you that Apple’s claims often stretch the bounds of credibility”

    It’s true. Justin Long made me believe my new Macbook would come with an iMovie of a hot French chick and would use Time Machine to clone itself every hour.

    Apple’s credibility is stretched almost as thing as Paul Thurrott’s!


  2. You might be right, but Apple still needs to offer “poor” ppl a low-cost Mac. Jobs needs to reconsider this “We can’t ship junk..There are thresholds we can’t cross..”-attitude.

    Many, many ppl would be to get a Mac if there was a cheaper version available. It might be junk to Jobs, but not to them. Mac market share will never beat Windows as long as Apple dont offer low-cost Macs – whether its a matter of actually having a choice or not.

  3. I don’t like those commercials. Confident people don’t bash the competition ;-(
    Apple, shut up and just deliver good revolutionaty products. That’s all we’re asking
    Steve Jobs, you better start contributing to the global goodwill. Bill Gates has the good role today.

  4. The very last sentence from Thurrot’s story says what we’ve always known: IT guys favor Windows because their jobs depend on it — NOT because it is the better computing platform.

    “…And if you care about the systems you support now, your jobs, and your very livelihood, you might do demand the same from the company. All of us have backed the same horse. And from what I can tell, that horse looks like it’s’ ready for the proverbial pasture.”

  5. Forget pasturing a lame horse. Do what they do to most horses with broken legs, humanely put a bullet in their head. That’s the best thing for Windows (and arguably some of the IT people I’ve had the misfortune of knowing).

  6. I can’t believe how effective the Get a Mac ads are, even to the point of getting under the skin of Gates and Ballmer.

    People used to complain and say they were tired of seeing the same idea over and over but I think the ads are starting to become apart of our culture just like the iPod spots. That’s bad news for Microsoft.

    Also, I don’t think Apple would’ve produced the same effect if they ran those commercials showing OS X in action like you fanboys initially clamored for. Guess it’s a lesson that you should leave advertising to the pros.

  7. I see the writing on the wall. I’ve been working in “Microsoft Shops” for years, using Visual Studio, C#, VB, SQL Server, ASP.NET, IIS, Windows Server, SharePoint, etc…

    Sure, I may have a nice sweet job for another 5-10 years (maybe) as Microsoft winds down, but I have serious doubts about microsoft’s dominance after that time, and I want to still have a job.

    I have an iPhone, Macbook, and I’m learning Objective C 2.0 and writing iPhone apps.. but I almost feel silly doing this too, as Objective C 2.0 is just not very widespread. Do normal Mac developers just write in C++, or do you guys actually use Objective C?

  8. Low cost Mac? That’s all we need! And it doesn’t have to be that low. Starting point: $759.
    A good $759 complete solution and Apple worldwide market share quadruple in 2 years.
    Apple don’t have to hit 30% market share worldwide… a good, stable 15% and game over.

  9. @R2 – R2 is right – Jobs and co. tried in the past to pit mac’s versus windows via a technological standpoint and it almost put apple out of business…consumers don’t know or don’t care to know how the machine works they just want to buy a reliable machine….Since windows is not reliable apple is filling that need and advertising it to the masses in a way that they can relate…not techno gibberish…

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