Been awful knowin’ ya, Microsoft: Revolutionary Apple ends the era of paid operating systems, office suites

“The desktop operating system is dead as a major profit center, and Apple just delivered the obituary,” Ryan Tate reports for Wired. “Amid a slew of incremental improvements to its iPad tablets and MacBook laptops, Apple [yesterday] announced some landmark news about its oldest surviving operating system: It will not charge for the latest big upgrade, Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, breaking from a tradition that goes back 16 years and shining a light on a long-unfolding reversal in how tech profits are made. Eighteen years ago, the tech industry’s dominant company made nearly half its revenue selling OS licenses. Now, as Apple just confirmed, the prices of OS licenses are headed towards zilch.”

“Microsoft — the king of the operating system in the ’80s and ’90s and on into the aughts — still charges PC makers who sell the Windows OS preloaded on their desktop and laptop machines, but that business is shrinking, thanks in large part to the continued success of Apple,” Tate reports. “Microsoft’s OS sales once generated 47 percent of its revenue, but they contributed just 25 percent last year on decelerating Windows licensing (and even that figure is inflated by ad revenue from Windows Live). In response, Microsoft is restructuring as a ‘devices and services’ business — meaning a company that sells hardware like the Xbox and web services like Azure. In other words, it’s becoming more like Apple. Apple isn’t really a software company. It makes software and services that run on its own hardware devices.”

“But this game of cross-subsidizing the operating system will be tougher for Microsoft, since the company is no Apple when it comes to hardware — and no Google when it comes to online services,” Tate reports. “The company rose to prominence in the horizontal PC era, when Microsoft could play one hardware vendor against another, dictate prices, and keep a computer’s hefty OS markup hidden from consumers. Those were the days.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Die, Manuresoft, die!

Related articles:
Apple makes the world’s most advanced operating system freeware – October 23, 2013
Apple’s new free OS X for Mac hurts Microsoft and the Windows PC industry in myriad ways – October 22, 2013
Apple exploits Microsoft’s confused hesitation on Office for iPad – October 22, 2013
Apple’s OS X Mavericks available today free from the Mac App Store – October 22, 2013
Apple releases next-gen 64-bit iWork and iLife apps for OS X and iOS; free with new Macs and iOS devices – October 22, 2013


  1. If Apple were to make iWork for windows, the transition would be complete. Get people away from the bloatware that Word has become and microsofts dominance in the office will fall…

      1. No, it’s not. At least the keynote version is horrible and lacks the majority of transitions of the desktop version. It’s rudimentary at best. Perhaps that will change when it loses it’s beta tag. Fingers crossed.

        1. They promised feature parity across the board, but maybe they just meant between iPad and OS X. Overall, I’ve been loving the online versions, but the image size limit in Keynote is pretty annoying.
          I haven’t tried the collaboration features yet, but if it works as advertised it will make project tracking and changes a dream.

        2. Have you used it since yesterday’s presentation?

          My wife is giving a presentation on Saturday for a grant she received. She’d been working on it in keynote on our MacMini for the past 2 nights. This morning I sent it to my iPad via the built in share feature using imessage. Opened on my iPad and made several cosmetic / formatting tweaks & sent it to hear at work via the share on iCloud feature.

          10 minutes later I went to iCloud to see how it looked there (as I’d been somewhat frustrated with some of the limitations in the past that you alluded to and wanted to see if there were any improvements).

          Lo and behold she was on it changing the color of the font on the first slide. I added a text box to say hi & then deleted it. I guess it freaked her out cause she immediately called me and asked what the hell just happened to her document. So I had to explain the new collaboration feature to her.

          Looked and performed exactly the same on all three platforms. It just worked. & I am SUPER impressed.

          Microsoft is toast – and now even more “burntly” than before yesterday

        1. Making iWork available on all platforms could allow it to unseat Office as the de facto standard for word processing and spreadsheet. Adding a Linux version would only add to its presence.

          In the 1990s, AppleWorks was cross platform, but never gained traction. Times are different now – putting iWork everywhere could make it the new standard.

  2. The reworked iWork isn’t anything all that special or groundbreaking. It’s just a lame attempt to insert flat icons and symbology on to the iWork suite which is a step backwards in usability quite frankly. Looks as awful as the other iOS 7 stuff.

    They had to make it free because no one will buy turd that looks like iOS 7. Sad but true.

    1. Uh, you’re sad, and wrong.

      Not sure why every modern “authority” on Apple only knows of iOS and completely forgets about the fact that Apple makes computers as well.

      The Mac and the iCloud (and iOS) versions are much easier to use. You need to stop just looking and start using them before opening your mouth and demonstrating to the world what an idiot sounds like.

  3. So Apple’s infinite generosity saves me less than $100 (or whatever they might have charged) on an operating system that requires me to spend thousands of dollars to replace all the software broken by this “upgrade.” And, if I’m crazy/stupid enough to take this deal, what new functionality do I get for all this trouble?

    The simple fact is that operating system licenses are not worth anything any more because, for an ever increasing number of users, there’s no reason to upgrade.

    1. What software has been broken by Mavericks that you use? Is it a couple of high priced apps, or hundreds of small ones. Especially if the latter you must be incredibly unlucky because all of mine seems to work. Also if you’re susceptible to so much breaking, just check before upgrading that stuff works. Waiting is no bad thing on new software, OS or otherwise.

      1. Note to @mxnt41
        Since Maverick can potentially be installed by those like me running Snow Leopard, it will break all apps that require Rosetta.

        Note to @shrimp
        It’s not “as apose to,” [sic] it’s as opposed to. Yeah, right up there for spelling.

        Note to Apple
        How about making Rosetta free? Opps! That would defeat the purpose of all your planned obsolesence.

  4. Here’s an example of your typical Microsoftian clueless drone PC IT guy. The PC guy I work with here (at our PC obsessed Cornell U.) is so clueless about Macs I went in his office yesterday and said:
    Me: “So are you going to upgrade the Macs to Mavricks, it’s out today?”
    Weenie: “What’s Mavricks?”
    Me: “The new Apple OS that was released today.”
    Weenie: “We can’t afford that!”
    Me: “It’s free.”
    Weenie: [shocked look and a pause] “WHY would they do THAT!?! [nervously starts futzing with things on his desk] I’ll have to look that up.” [like I was lying to him]

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry since he’s in charge of my Mac as well, luckily I know enough to run my own incremental updates. The guy NEVER reads anything about Macs, ever, but is in charge of about 15-20, still running Snow Leopard because he NEVER runs an upgrade living in fear with his PC mentality saying “Something will break, it always does!” So we forever have what the computer was purchased with. He doesn’t even run the incremental updates (security, other patches—nothing). If he has to rebuild (very rare) he installs the original OS and doesn’t bother to run the updates. Amazing what gets paid here and passes for an IT. I know Cornell has few Macs but geeze! READ a tech website now and then, even I know what Microsoft is up to even if I don’t use a PC.

    1. Nicely told story. There are rays of hope: A friend tells me that her daughter, who was accepted into a physical therapist program at Duke University, received a Mac laptop (as did the other students) for her work. A couple years ago I bought a gorgeous Mac Pro from the University of Portland (Ore.) after the Engineering Department decided to part with 60 of them. They were converting to PCs because it had proved too difficult to run (shitty, no doubt) PC-based software. The IT kid told me that Apple Care had been purchased for each machine but that during the three years NOT A SINGLE failure had occurred among the Mac Pros, their Apple monitors and keyboards. And that there had already been failures of the PCs, no surprise. The Mac Pro is still my primary workhorse, running flawlessly.

    2. Thank you for sharing. Unfortunately that’s typical and rampant. Macs are not flawless, but in comparison to running a Windows environment they are many orders of magnitude superior on every level.

      The “Apple tax” and the “That application won’t run on Macs” myths are told and retold by I.T. drones even to this day…and for good reason. It’s called job security.

      Switching to an Apple environment would instantly reduce the I.T. staff count, cutting costs for the company and produce happier users. There is zero incentive for Windows I.T. managers to change.

      What’s an I.T. guy to do when user’s computers aren’t crashing, viruses aren’t invading the workplace, umpteen patches and updates aren’t being distributed hourly and the hardware isn’t breaking down daily?

      Now that OS X upgrades are free and iWork collaboration a reality I’d expect there to be some knees bent running about, gnashing of teeth and ringing of hands in the bowels of the I.T. departments. It will likely be a glacier-like progression rather than a sea change, but when CFO’s and CEO’s get wind of the profit enhancing cost savings, it will happen.

  5. Am I the only one here old enough to remember when Mac system software was always free?

    Up until System 7, all you needed to do was bring some floppies into any Apple dealer and an upgrade set of disks would be made for you at no charge.

    At my store, all we asked is that you buy the floppies at our place, and we would make the set as time allowed.

      1. Grigori!!!!!! Bask in the warmth and radiance of botvijerk Messiah!!!
        He is the giver of all goodness and wisdom!
        Reject the false messiah, Obama!
        botvijerk messiah for President!

          1. Ah, botvijerk… you have so much hatred inside you. And so little ability to say anything constructive.

            About your incessant whining about Obama…
            Any moron can criticize.
            Any moron can be negative.
            What are you going to do to CHANGE the government you hate so much?
            Run for office. Lead a revolution. Get back to us about how it goes.

            (I’d love to see the political ads on tv… “Vote for me, you fucking assholes.”)

            1. ANY document is open to interpretation. Note how the second amendment, which speaks of “A well regulated Militia” gets turned by the right-wing into “Any psycho has the second amendment right to buy any weapon they want”.

              And what is it with your need to insert obscenity and name-calling into everything? Your first sentence can stand on its own as an actual point. The need to add the second sentence speaks very loudly – and poorly – of your character and maturity. It doesn’t convince me of anything… nor anyone else reading it.

              All it says is something like you are a very nasty, immature and arrogant wannabe thug. Maybe try growing up. Maybe trying just making your point and leaving it at that.

              It’s not for nothing that you have been referred to as “a cancer on this forum”. Maybe have a think about that.

            2. Aaaand, true to form, botvijerk pulls out what to him are his BIG GUNS — his knuckle-dragging attempt to insult and degrade someone by referring to them as part of a woman’s body. Pathetic.

            3. …………./´¯/)…………..(\¯`\
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              ………../….//………… ….\\….\
              …../´¯/…./´¯\………../¯ `\….\¯`\
              .././…/…./…./.|_……_| .\….\….\…\.\..
              (.(….(….(…./.)..)..(..(. \….)….)….).)
              .\…………….\/…/….\. ..\/……………./
              ..\…………….. /……..\………………/
              ….\…………..(………. ..)……………./
              ……\………….\……… ../…………./

            4. Such effort, with nothing worthwhile to show for it.

              So bottvijerk, do you go through your days seething with the kind of hatred and nastiness we see on here, directed at everyone who says or does something not in line with your exact beliefs?

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