“It has been 25 years since the potential market failure of a Microsoft operating system carried serious consequences outside the corporation’s own campus,” Scott M. Fulton reports for IDG News Service. “MS-DOS and Windows versions have failed to gain traction before and even been publicly lampooned. But in that quarter-century, Microsoft’s dominance of the desktop has kept the platform afloat, even when consumers and businesses stalwartly refused to upgrade. Today, the word ‘dominance’ doesn’t really apply to Windows, and especially not to Microsoft.”
“Windows 8 was a spectacular flop, sunk to a large degree by the start screen. If Windows 10 performs no better, there are two views of the consequences,” Fulton reports. “One is that the Windows platform is now vulnerable to obsolescence… Some analysts have an alternative view: It’s Windows 7, not 8, that has the lion’s share of the operating system’s installed base. If Windows 10 performs no better than Windows 8 in the consumer, small business, and enterprise markets, Windows 7 will simply linger on.”
MacDailyNews Take: We’ll hope for the former, thanks.
“The best thing Windows 10 has going for it right now is the lack of a viable alternative,” Fulton reports. “‘If Microsoft were teleported to another planet tomorrow, it would still take a long time for Windows to disappear,” stated Ross Rubin, principal analyst with Reticle Research, in an e-mail discussion. There are Chromebooks at the low end and Macs at the high end, but [Windows] still has very high share in the meat of the PC market,” Rubin continued. “Android might step in, but Google would have to loosen the reins on it in laptop form factors… For many users, there is no ready alternative.’ Google hasn’t shown the capability yet, he noted, to offer the services Windows users expect; and Apple hasn’t demonstrated any willingness to compete on cost, in what retailers call the ‘value’ segment. ‘So you’ve got this huge swath in the laptop market between, say, $300 and $1,000, where… it’s Windows.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple already owns the high end, lock, stock, and barrel. Macintosh has owned the top end of the PC market for many years. And, now, Apple offers some compelling products for the upper-middle market: Mac mini starting at $499 and, more importantly, the MacBook Air, starting at $899. But: Trucks vs. cars. For most “PC” users, the iPad offers more than enough functionality; they just have to be educated to stop buying cheap, disposable PC laptops that they do not need and get the iPad that would serve them far better. Apple will never descend to the bottom of the barrel; Microsoft and Google can duke it out for that low- no-margin market.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]
Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers – October 23, 2012
Apple Mac owns 90% market share for ‘premium’ PCs costing over $1,000 – February 1, 2010