Apple Poised to Threaten Microsoft Sales

Dennis Faas's picture

As the official June 30, 2008 deadline for Windows XP sales for PC makers and retailers looms on the horizon, Business Week is reporting that a recent upgrade to the Mac operating system (OS) is moving Apple closer to challenging Microsoft for overall computing dominance, even in the corporate market.

A new feature from Apple called 'Spaces' makes it easy to instantly switch between a Macintosh OS and a Microsoft Windows OS with two fingers. Easy toggling of OS' coupled with Apple's release of a tool kit for programmers to write applications for the iPhone will be followed by the June launch of iPhone 2.0, a software upgrade geared toward business users.

In the near future, Windows users will be free to switch to Apple computers and mobile devices, drawn by a widening array of Mac software, without giving up critical Windows-based applications right away. Easy virtualization of two radically different OS' on a single desktop will tempt business users.

The Windows Vista kernel consists of 1 billion bytes (a gigabyte) or more of software code and bloat. The "Mach" kernel of the Mac OS X requires less than 1 million bytes (a megabyte) of data in its smallest configuration, expanding modestly with the sophistication of the application.

Excess bloating of the Windows Vista kernel has increased costs and poor performance on average computers, and has also led Microsoft to fragment its OS product line: One OS for the server, desktop, and laptop; one for cell phones and Zune music players; and a separate OS for its Xbox gaming console. Through sheer complexity, bloating makes every subsequent "enhancement" of Windows buggier than the last.

Windows Vista continues to be plagued by hardware and software compatibility issues, a User Account Control (UAC) intentionally designed by Microsoft to be annoying, mass avoidance of Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Vista by enterprises, more users planning to wait for the next version of Windows and over 111,000 signatures so far on the Save Windows XP Petition shows that consumers and business users are thinking more and more about moving to Apple.

The battle ahead seems clear: it's Apple's seamlessly integrated software strategy, minimally sized and maximally efficient, competing against Microsoft's strategy of multiple, incompatible, bloated, and fragmented OS'. It's Apple's growing customer acceptance vs. Microsoft's rising customer pain, failing to modernize its OS in a timely manner has left Microsoft wide open for an all-out assault from Apple.

Microsoft might want to stand back and take a closer look while they still dominate the computer market. I've noted a few times in the past myself that my next computer will be a Mac if Windows XP is no longer available. Apparently, more people are taking the same stance.

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