Apple gearing up to capitalize on Microsoft’s Windows 7 launch

Peter Burrows reports for BusinessWeek, “The entire personal computer industry is gearing up for Microsoft’s Oct. 22 release of Windows 7, by most accounts the best version of its operating system in years.”

MacDailyNews Take: That what they said about the Yugo GVX, too: “It’s the best Yugo ever!” Too bad it was still a Yugo.

Burrows continues, “Yet Apple, Microsoft’s nearest competitor, is quietly planning to capitalize on the launch, too. “It presents a very good opportunity for us,” says Philip W. Schiller, Apple’s senior vice-president for marketing.”

“The Cupertino (Calif.) company sees Windows 7 as its best chance in years to win over longtime PC users. Millions of PC owners are expected to head to stores over the next year to replace their aging machines. The surge is expected to be unusually large because Microsoft’s last operating system, Vista, was so poorly reviewed that many people simply stuck with machines running the eight-year-old Windows XP system,” Burrows reports.

“In the coming weeks, Apple is expected to hit those computer buyers with advertising aimed at luring them to its Macs. It will likely make the case that Macs are less susceptible to viruses and are best suited to its popular iPods and iPhones. And look for it to poke fun at Microsoft for making XP owners go through an arduous process to upgrade to Windows 7—one that includes backing up all their files to an external drive, reformatting their PC, and then reinstalling all of their old programs, assuming they still have the CDs,” Burrows reports. “‘Any user that reads all those steps is probably going to freak out. If you have to go through all that, why not just buy a Mac?’ says Schiller.”

MacDailyNews Take: Why not, indeed. Life’s too short. Get a Mac.

30 Comments

  1. I got a Mac, and got my Dad who’s been a PC slave to promise that his next computer will be one. He runs XP now, so that means Apple can capitalise on him without ads, because we all know what XP makes people do now.

  2. I think Apple should think of a way to come up with a money back guarantee type program on their Macs. The biggest reason dillusioned Windows users still aren’t switching to Macs is because Windows and PCs are still the Devil they know.

    But lots of those people would make the switch if there was a guarantee on the line…….Apple products and user experiences are so favorable (especially for switchers) that’d they’d lose very little money on returns due to dissatisfaction and could easily resell them refurbished and recoup the costs anyways. Unlike Microsoft and Dell who would go bankrupt if they had such a guarantee……..

    A Money back…..trial use program for first time Mac buyers would really set them further apart in the industry.

  3. I have been using a Mac now for almost two years now and told myself that I will never buy another PC. Although both my wife and I have our own MacBooks, we have a custom built PC running XP that has been running particularly slow over the past year or so. Multiple times I have set out to backup everything, reformat, and reload the OS. But, out of the sheer number of things that need to be backed up (even with large removable drives), I have always resisted out of fear that I am going to forget or lose something. I finally replaced the whole machine with an iMac and it has been the best thing I have done. Now all three machines are backing up wirelessly to a Time Capsule and I no longer need to worry about losing anything or fearing that something I need may disappear into oblivion.

  4. @ Mick James, Apple does allow you to return a Mac within two weeks of purchase.

    The first two weeks for a switcher are often times quite frustrating. The brain washing of windows is incipient, they have to rethink which way is up. Some of these folks give up and DO return the machine.

    Most long term switchers have weighed the costs and are ready to change, they are committed by cost of the purchase to make it work. In the process they fall in love with the Mac.

  5. “Apple does allow you to return a Mac within two weeks of purchase.”

    When you reluctantly switch to Mac, you take the money-back guarantee as one of the incentives for trying to switch. However, you’re pushed to explore that Mac and try get used to it in just two weeks. As the time passes, you become more and more aware that the window for returning and getting money back is closing fast, and this may put pressure on you to change your mind.

    A good idea would be to extend that money-back period to 30 or 45 days (if not for everything, at least for Macs). Six weeks should give a person a bit more time to learn the ropes of a Mac, as well as to get a lot of personal stuff on it. By the end of six weeks, they’ll be too invested in it to take it back.

    I’m sure Apple is smarter than I am when it comes to marketing and they have probably thought about this, but I can’t help but think about this reducing the number of cold-feet returns from would-be switchers.

  6. @Uther P.—

    Walt Mossberg bends over backwards to avoid damning the computer that 90% of his audience is using. Despite his fondness for Apple products, he clearly knows which side his bread is buttered on. Can’t blame him for that, I suppose, but it would be great if ever decided to tell the whole, unvarnished truth as he sees it.

  7. Huh?
    “by most accounts the best version of its operating system in years.”

    This can mean one of two things:

    1. Not as bad as Vista but still worse than XP.

    or since Vista is > 1 yr. old:

    2. Even worse than Vista.

  8. “The biggest reason dillusioned Windows users still aren’t switching to Macs is because Windows and PCs are still the Devil they know.” —Mick James

    You may be right, and that’s pathetic. Does Apple really want the business of people who are afraid of their own shadow? Honestly, I don’t think they want that business any more than BMW wants the business of people who don’t know how to drive.

  9. @alansky

    I disagree there. A lot of people uneducated about computers are a great business for them since they don’t have a previous computing past to “un-brainwash” or what have you. Why else would Apple invest so much into schools and having the Apple Store staff in there are ready for one on one?

    They can be taught how easy computing, backups, etc. can be…

  10. The majority of consumers who are still using Windows XP will get a new PC with Windows 7. Does anyone doubt this? So Window 7 will probably be successful for Microsoft, unlike the Vista disaster.

    However, if Apple can get one in five of those consumers to “Get a Mac” instead, that would be an even bigger success for Apple. Even one in ten would be acceptable. Apple’s goal is not to beat Microsoft (at least not in the short term). Apple real competition are the other PC makers, not Microsoft.

    Apple just wants to gain about 1% in market share each year, while maximizing the profit margin per unit. Apple can do that without going after the “price is the most important feature” consumers who buy the special of the week at WalMart or CostCo.

  11. “Apple is expected to hit those computer buyers with advertising aimed at luring them to its Macs”
    I would replace “luring” with “winning”, because to me, luring is a scary guy in a run down van luring children inside for candy. Oh, woah, wait a minute, this sounds like Windows! Come to my van ignorant people, I have lots of candy for you, won’t you have some?? MmmmmMmmm!
    Windows 7 will only irk the remaining users to give up entirely on MS and switch to Mac.

  12. Win 7 for most people is also the Devil they don’t know. One (not the only) reason for the slow adaption of Vista was people would have to learn a new system and did not want to. This could partly explain the quick adoption of Snow Leopard, there was little to learn on how to use it.

    The best was for Apple to sell now is focus on their hardware and iLife. OK now that you have caught up to us in the OS how about that trackpad, power cable etc.

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