“Vista fell flat because it didn’t work with many existing programs and hardware. Microsoft fixed many of Vista’s flaws but didn’t spread the word, instead allowing Apple to attack with ads that pit a dorky office stiff (PC) against a casual creative type (Mac) and paint Vista PCs as unjustifiably complex,” Jessica Mintz “reports” for The Associated Press.
Mintz continues, “It took a while, but Microsoft finally fired back. It hired Crispin Porter + Bogusky, a hip advertising firm, and set aside $300 million to portray Windows as warm and human. The ‘I’m a PC’ campaign that emerged isn’t universally well-liked, but the ads have arguably transformed the face of Windows from a pasty nerd to an adorable little girl named Kylie who e-mails pictures of her pet fish to her family without help from a grown-up.”
MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft’s efforts worked so well, that Apple sold a record number of Macs – over 3 million units – last quarter, handily outgrowing the PC industry as a whole yet again, and in a crap economy, to boot. And they weren’t low- or no-margin $399 netbooks, either. Obviously, telling people that a Windows PC is a poor man’s Mac didn’t work quite as well as Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Microsoft, or, seemingly, Jessica had hoped.
Mintz continues, “Windows 7 also is arriving in the early days of a golden age for PC design. For years, Apple has been making computers for people willing to pay a premium for design: sleek, metal-encased laptops with brilliant screens; swanlike iMacs that stash the workings of the computer behind an enormous flat monitor, perched atop a minimalist base; the MacBook Air notebook, thin enough to fit in a manila envelope. Meanwhile, the most notable shifts in PCs have been from beige plastic to black, or from chunky square notebooks to ones with slightly rounded edges.”
MacDailyNews Take: It’s the software, stupid. That’s why people buy Macs. Apple’s gorgeous hardware is just an extra bonus.
Mintz continues, “Now, PC makers are starting to experiment with size, shape and color at all price levels. Netbooks, the tiny, inexpensive, low-powered laptops that have been the PC industry’s saving grace through the recession, are no longer just shrunken corporate PCs. To entice people to slip them into a purse and carry them everywhere, netbooks are made in a rainbow of colors and array of textures.”
MacDailyNews Take: Anyone who tells you that netbooks are the “PC industry’s saving grace” is an idiot. Unit sales are meaningless without healthy margins, Jessica.
Mintz continues, “Windows 7 feeds into this design craze in part by adding deeper support for touch-screen controls, leading such PC makers as Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. to add ‘multitouch’ screens that respond to finger gestures.”
Mintz continues, “Part of Apple’s success stems from having control over both hardware and software. By better aligning those components, Microsoft and computer makers could get some of the same benefits, and cooler PCs could squash Apple’s gains. Apple now has 11 percent of the U.S. personal-computer market, up from 5 percent when Vista debuted, according to analysts at IDC.”
“Apple announced new iMacs this week but brushed off the suggestion that the timing was intended to steal some of Microsoft’s thunder,” Mintz “reports.” “‘Windows 7, from our point of view, is just another opportunity to remind everyone to switch to a Mac,’ said Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook. ‘People are sick of all the headaches that go along with Windows.'”
“Microsoft has more to contend with than computers running other operating systems,” Mintz “reports.” “People have begun to use such gadgets as the iPhone as tiny mobile computers.”
Mintz “reports,” “But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer scorns the idea that smart phones could unseat PCs as the technology of choice for on-the-go consumers. ‘Let’s face it, the Internet was designed for the PC. The Internet is not designed for the iPhone,’ Ballmer said. ‘That’s why they’ve got 75,000 applications — they’re all trying to make the Internet look decent on the iPhone.'”
MacDailyNews Take: Ballmer T. Clown strikes again. May he remain Microsoft’s CEO for as long as it takes! And, it’s officially over 85,000, you bald ape.
Full article – Think Before You Click™ – here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for the heads up.]