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Last post Author Topic: Is the party over for Microsoft?  (Read 8451 times)

zridling

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Is the party over for Microsoft?
« on: July 26, 2009, 11:35:33 AM »
msparty09over.jpg

Although the demise of Microsoft has been written about often, John Dvorak makes the case that the Microsoft's decade of attention deficit disorder has been a mess for consumers and bad news for investors:

  • Years ago in the pre-Internet era, AOL was the talk of the town, so Microsoft had to copy it with MSN. No money was made; no strategic advantage was gained.
    .
  • Netscape was the rage for a while, so Microsoft threw together a browser and got in that business. The browser was given away for free. No money was made; the strategy got the company in trouble with government trustbusters.
    .
  • During the early days of the Internet, new online publications appeared. Microsoft decided to become a publisher too, rolling out a slew of online properties including a computer magazine and a women's magazine. They were all folded.  
    .
  • Computer books became popular; Microsoft began Microsoft Press. After an early splash and success, the company soon lost interest and the division now languishes.
    .
  • Teddy Ruxpin became a hot toy. Microsoft rolled out a couple of robotic plush toys, including the creepy Barney the Dinosaur who sang "I love you and you love me." The company soon lost interest and dropped the whole thing.  
    .
  • AOL-TV appeared, along with other device-centric TV-delivery mechanisms in the 1990s. Microsoft created a Microsoft-TV division as well as a device. It soon lost interest.  
    .
  • Adobe Photoshop became a huge success, so Microsoft hired Alvy Ray Smith to develop photo-editing software. Smith quit when the company lost interest in the idea.
    .
  • Yahoo and Google showed that a search engine could be a money maker, so Microsoft copied that idea; it now has Bing.  
    .
  • Cloud applications are currently trendy, along with notions about software as a service. Microsoft decides to go into that business.
    .
  • The Apple rolled out a MP3 player, the iPod. Microsoft came up with its own MP3 player, the Zune. The company also says it wants to stream music.
    .
  • Now Microsoft wants to open retail stores, all of them next to or near an Apple store.

________________________________________________
Part of this is attributable to the sheer size of corporations these days; they have a finger in diverse industries, not the one they started with. For example, how would one define Google -- as a search engine, a media company, a software developer, or advertising medium? You might also say that Dvorak is playing the "Damn if you do, damned if you don't" game with Microsoft here. Yet, compared to Apple's focus on iPhone/iPod/iTablet, i.e., a gadget company, Microsoft is all over the map.

After the success of Win7, where does Microsoft go -- back to software, or to what should it turn its focus?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 11:50:27 AM by zridling »

MilesAhead

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2009, 11:54:29 AM »
Hmmmmm, maybe MS should find a small company to do nothing but write an operating system?  The trick worked for IBM. Where is Gary Killdall when you need him?  :)

Josh

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009, 12:03:48 PM »
How many more of these "Is this the end of microsoft" articles are we going to see? I swear, a new one pops up every week. I also expect to see another "Is this finally the year linux takes over the desktop market?" thread any day now.

MilesAhead

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2009, 01:38:31 PM »
How many more of these "Is this the end of microsoft" articles are we going to see? I swear, a new one pops up every week. I also expect to see another "Is this finally the year linux takes over the desktop market?" thread any day now.

I think Dvorak has one of those pinwheels with the paper-holder spring clips on his desk.  Just rotate and the topic he wrote about 12 years ago is "new" again. :)

Even if it gets bloated, it's tough for Windows to become obsolete as long as CPU power and cheap storage keeps exploding.  It will take a new age of dear resources to kill it off. Right now a desktop icon for my application is close to the size of total main memory when I got my first Dos 3.1 XT compatible.


40hz

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2009, 01:48:51 PM »
Hmmmmm, maybe MS should find a small company to do nothing but write an operating system?  The trick worked for IBM. Where is Gary Killdall when you need him?  :)

Why bother writing anything? Just grab a copy of FreeBSD, wrap a proprietary front end around it, add a few nifty apps (with plenty of eye candy), apply for patents on everything you can possibly think of, and call it a day.

It worked for Apple. ;D

(BTW: If they did, it wouldn't be the first time. Isn't that how Microsoft "created" PC and MS-DOS. They bought it from Seattle Computer Products.)

How many more of these "Is this the end of microsoft" articles are we going to see? I swear, a new one pops up every week. I also expect to see another "Is this finally the year linux takes over the desktop market?" thread any day now.

I'd have to agree with Josh. The only way Microsoft is going to go away is if you get rid of every attorney in the country. Because once it starts getting obvious people are no longer willing to buy an OS, Microsoft's legal people will do everything possible to outlaw all the alternatives.

Look at the FUD surrounding all the "infringing" technologies that Ballmer keeps talking about. Do you think he's making idle threats regardless of whether or not there's any merit to Microsoft's claims? Look at SCO.

SCO is still fighting a battle to claim infringement on something the courts have already ruled SCO doesn't own! Why the judges haven't shut that case down yet is anybody's guess.

If Microsoft feels the need, they can tie the entire market up in court for years. Once they start feeling the pinch, expect the gloves to come off and the patent lawsuits to commence.

It's only a matter of time. :tellme:

« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 01:52:20 PM by 40hz »

MilesAhead

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2009, 01:56:17 PM »
Yeah, I remember seeing some documentary, maybe on Computer Chronicles, about how IBM went "shopping" for somebody to do Dos.  Gary Killdall was approached but he said the terms of the contract were such that IBM would have him by the throat.  Then someboy from MS, maybe Gates I don't remember for sure, said some stuff about "well you have to have faith that IBM won't exercise those sections of the contract" or words to that effect.  Sounds like MS was the only one who could accept.  Kind of like when the state legislature goes on a "nationwide search" for the most qualified candidate for a task, who just happens to be the niece of the President of the Senate of said state. ;)

Josh

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2009, 02:03:52 PM »
Also, please take my comments for what they are. They are from someone who is sick of the "This is the better OS" comments and articles. Each OS has it's strengths and weaknesses. I absolutely love Windows and can make it do just about anything from command line using powershell or command-line batch scripting. With programs like Take Command 10, I can do just about anything I would ever want to. As a command line junkie, which is why I love Cisco IOS, I find I can do many tasks faster than even a power user who uses GUI's and wizards.

That said, OSX is a great product for someone who just wants a computer they can use at home and have it just work. OSX has yet to hit the level of popularity where security has become a big concern. With popularity comes exposure and with exposure comes the security hits. Saying OSX is more secure is not totally true in the sense of the term.

Linux is great as a server OS and has its place in the desktop market for power users. Linux has yet to reach a level of maturity reserved for everyday home users. The home user doesn't want to open up a console prompt to sudo something or have to recompile a binary for a particular CPU quirk on their particular hardware. That said, it is still a fantastic OS.

Solaris is great in the corporate environment for its server capabilities. It provides great flexibility while maintaining a good support line required by the enterprise for larger customers requiring dedicated support contracts.

In the end, its what you want to do. For most people, Windows is the choice because "everything" runs on windows and it is what they are used to. Is Microsoft going away? Not anytime soon. Will they have stiff competition over the next few years which will force them to become more innovative? Definitely.

40hz

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2009, 02:10:43 PM »
Also, please take my comments for what they are. They are from someone who is sick of the "This is the better OS" comments and articles.

Amen to that. Add me to the roster of people who feel like Josh does. :Thmbsup:


orange386

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2009, 02:41:44 PM »
In the end, its what you want to do. For most people, Windows is the choice because "everything" runs on windows and it is what they are used to. Is Microsoft going away? Not anytime soon. Will they have stiff competition over the next few years which will force them to become more innovative? Definitely.

Same here. I dont think MS is going anywhere for awhile. First reason is that Windows 7 is pretty decent and will keep them at the top for another 5+ years or so. Second reason is the vast majority of people will never switch en masse to another OS (even if its "better") until compatibility with past Windows apps is a non-issue. Whether this is through WINE or virtualization doesnt matter, as long as its not a hassle and runs well.  Its going to have to be as easy as if one were running Windows.

Also, I find Dvorak entertaining, even if he is a hack who trolls people to read his articles. :P

MilesAhead

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2009, 03:57:20 PM »
Quote
Also, I find Dvorak entertaining, even if he is a hack who trolls people to read his articles.

Yeah, it is kind of weird not to feel the need for Byte or PC Magazine, or even shows like Screen Savers anymore.  Now I just google and there's a forum with tips tweaks and registry hacks.  I  used to watch Dvorak on TV and even listen to the radio show, after I stopped reading PC magazine(probably when they stopped publishing TSRs in assembler.. with 386s and multi MB PCs you didn't have to count every byte anymore.)

zridling

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2009, 06:49:04 PM »
Dvorak is indeed a self-confessed troll (watch in 2-3 articles and they'll be pro-MS). But when Josh writes:

Quote
How many more of these "Is this the end of microsoft" articles are we going to see? I swear, a new one pops up every week. I also expect to see another "Is this finally the year linux takes over the desktop market?" thread any day now.

he commits a non sequitor from the content of the linked article. Nowhere is Microsoft's death mentioned nor is Linux. It's everything else; -- that is, a lack of strategic direction -- that Microsoft has been doing that has hurt its bottom line. Dvorak is writing for 'MarketWatch,' which is a business/investment site. Clearly the "party" of [investor] profits from Microsoft has been long gone for a decade.

Josh

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2009, 07:31:14 PM »
Zaine, while it might not be one of those articles by nature of it's original intent, as soon as I read a comment like "What's shocking is that the cash cows, specifically the Windows operating system and the Office suite, have managed to finance all these idiotic efforts for so many years." I lose interest. Any article which resorts to calling something about a company by a term such as idiotic immediately detracts from any possible way for me to respect the author.

Microsoft as a company has spread. Look at google, they have done the same thing. Their business is thriving. Microsoft is attempting to spread into other markets. Microsoft is a company based with many different product divisions each running independently of the other. While some might receive some financing from other departments, they are still separate entities within Microsoft. Microsoft as a company, an organization, an enterprise, has grown leaps and bounds. Have they thrown Windows to the side in recent times? Maybe. But I feel they have learned the hard way with Vista, which I still use and actually thoroughly enjoy, and I think they will be more cognizant of this in the future.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 06:39:57 AM by Josh »

Dormouse

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2009, 03:02:44 PM »
Microsoft as a company has spread. Look at google, they have done the same thing. Their business is thriving. Microsoft is attempting to spread into other markets. Microsoft is a company based with many different product divisions each running independently of the other. While some might receive some financing from other departments, they are still separate entities within Microsoft. Microsoft as a company, an organization, an enterprise, has grown leaps and bounds. Have they thrown Windows to the side in recent times? Maybe. But I feel they have learned the hard way with Vista, which I still use and actually thoroughly enjoy, and I think they will be more cognizant of this in the future.

What MS did very successfully was:
  • to convert an IBM monopoly into a MS monopoly that facilitated world-wide competitive production of hardware and reduction of hardware costs
  • to realise the importance for the mass market of the Xerox/Mac/GEM ideas and produced Windows rather than just OS/2, thus reinforcing their own monopoly
  • to leverage their understanding of Windows and their monoply into the effective monopoly of the Office suite (and thence into the monopoly of the Exchange server)


As with all monopolies, they had massive surplus revenues. Dvorak just notes a number of ways in which this surplus was frittered away.

I don't think that there would be many business analysts who doubt that they are in long-term decline profitability-wise unless they come up with another big income source. I'm uncertain whether they realise it themselves, but it seems likely that they do. The big issue is that both the OS market and the Office Suite market have become commodities. Hardware prices are now at such a low level, that the extra cost of Windows is significant and therefore constrained. The threat of Linux is not that it threatens to take over the market in the near future, but that it limits the prices that MS can charge. MS will still charge the most it thinks it can get away with in its various markets (retail, corporate, OEM, developing world) but its freedom is limited; as the netbook market shows, MS can take the market over when it wants (atm at least) - but only by selling at a price point the market is prepared to bear and, in this case, by changing its XP roadmap. They don't just have competition from other enterprises impacting their monopolies, they also have their legacy versions. There's not a great deal of desire by users to move on from XP or 2003. And their track record in their major areas has not been that good recently: 2 of the last 4 Windows launches have been turkeys (Vista & Me) and a huge % of people don't like Office 2007.

In practice, Google have not been doing the same things at all with their cash. Pretty much all their new projects increase the number of times that people use the net with Google (or make Google use easier) or increase their advertising muscle and some seem to have a bit of a poke at MS's monopolies. Their spending seems focussed and they appear to discontinue a product line fairly quickly when they decide it isn't doing what they want. Microsoft got involved in a great many areas which were never going to offer significant profitability to a  business of their size and which did not obviously make use of any of their particular talents. Apple have stuck to selling Cool and Desirable; Amazon have stuck to selling Internet distribution - but they are both able to substantially increase revenues by doing so. MS no longer has the luxury of sticking to its last and having substantially increasing revenues. They're not going away any time soon, but they do look set for a long period of diminishing if they can't develop something else really big and monopolistic.

MilesAhead

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2009, 06:36:39 PM »
Quote
As with all monopolies, they had massive surplus revenues. Dvorak just notes a number of ways in which this surplus was frittered away.

Reminds me of the old joke about the guy who runs into an old schoolmate who won the Lotto.  The Lotto winner is totally broke.  The pal says "how could you possibly have spent all that money?"  The Lotto winner says "90% of it went to booze, broads and gambling.. the other 10% I just pissed away."  :)

Innuendo

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2009, 10:10:53 AM »
Dvorak is so non-relevant anymore. Maybe 10-15 years ago he was someone worth listening to, but now he's just a struggling computer journalist like all the rest of them trying to put an exciting spin on non-exciting news so he won't get canned in the next round of staff cutbacks.

Some talk of surplus being frittered away, but others might see it as research and development. What about Access? I remember back in the day when dBase had a stranglehold on the database market & nobody said entry into that software market could be profitable. Microsoft released Access v1.0 for $9.95-19.95 and looking at things now it seems they did all right with the product.

What about the Xbox? The world said Microsoft was foolish to try to compete with Sony and their PS2 especially with how much money MS was going to lose on the Xbox console at its release. By the end of its life while it wasn't a runaway success it had become profitable. Now let's look at the next generation. The Xbox 360 is the second best-selling console in the world and no, the number one spot isn't held by Sony.

Sure, my Microsoft Cordless Phone was abandoned and is collecting dust in a closet somewhere, but it worked well & explored some interesting aspects of phone/computer interaction.

Microsoft is huge & monolithic. They've also got money to burn and therefore have many more opportunities for research & development of products outside of their comfort zone. Some are going to work and some aren't. It's the same with any company except in Microsoft's case a huge failure isn't going to throw them into bankruptcy.

40hz

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2009, 11:15:40 AM »
Dvorak is so non-relevant anymore. Maybe 10-15 years ago he was someone worth listening to, but now he's just a struggling computer journalist like all the rest of them trying to put an exciting spin on non-exciting news so he won't get canned in the next round of staff cutbacks.

That's the problem with being a commentator rather than the person who actually does things.

And yeah...JD is getting a little long in the tooth. Techno-ranting is just soooo 80's. ;D

I used to contrast Dvorak's PC Magazine blurb with Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor column in Byte Magazine. John Dvorak had a lot to say about a lot of things. Jerry Pournelle did too - but his comments were always based on technologies he and his son Alex were actually working with.

Then there's the personality differences.

Dvorak was always a somewhat sarcastic wiseass when he wasn't being "outraged" about something. Pournelle was invariably more civil and to the point in his commentaries. Dvorak always seemed to need to prove to everybody just how smart he is. Jerry Pournelle never seemed out to prove anything, despite holding graduate degrees in fields as diverse as: engineering, mathematics, psychology, and political science.

Guess whose column I preferred? 8)

« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 11:18:29 AM by 40hz »

MilesAhead

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2009, 11:28:48 AM »
I used to read the Chaos Manor column also.  I forget who it was, but somebody did almost a Mad Magazine type spoof of the column where the "solution" to each problem using some software or gadget was to get the developer or inventor on the phone to talk him through it.  Like, if he got BSOD he'd get Bill Gates on the phone to find out what's what with it.  Pretty hilarious!!

I remember back then they were calling CD burners WORM drives for Write Once Read Many. I always wished I had the cash, and the type of PC so I could have one of those babies!  Ah the nostalgia!! :)  The spoof was over the top, but it did kind of make you think what a "regular user" who didn't happen to be a columnist had to do to fix the stuff.  :)
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 11:35:46 AM by MilesAhead »

40hz

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2009, 06:39:43 PM »
I forget who it was, but somebody did almost a Mad Magazine type spoof of the column where the "solution" to each problem using some software or gadget was to get the developer or inventor on the phone to talk him through it.  Like, if he got BSOD he'd get Bill Gates on the phone to find out what's what with it.  Pretty hilarious!!

t147198270_6042_3.gif

ROFLMAO! (And not to far from the truth, BTW!)


zridling

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2009, 03:45:24 PM »
John Gruber has better revenue/stock/enthusiast details than Dvorak in his Daring Fireball's post, Microsoft’s Long, Slow Decline. It's long, so here is the gist:

  • 91 percent of $1,000-and-higher retail computer sales now go to Apple.
  • Microsoft’s quarterly financial results, in which revenue fell $1 billion short of projections and declined 17 percent year-over-year.
  • To be clear, Microsoft remains a very profitable company. However, they have never before reported year-over-year declines like this, nor fallen so short of projected earnings. Something is awry.
  • Microsoft’s operating system business is not new, and it has never been particularly cyclical. Windows revenue, prior to this just-completed quarter, has only ever gone in one direction: up.
  • One argument is that the fault lies with the global economy, not Microsoft itself. However, Google is doing just fine, and Apple reported record non-holiday-quarter numbers for its just-ended quarter. Apple operates in the same economy Microsoft does, and Mac sales are up.
  • Microsoft’s core problem is that they have lost the hearts of computer enthusiasts. They’re a software company whose primary platform no longer appeals to people who like computers the most. This is true in many markets with broad appeal, not just computers. Microsoft is looking ever more so like the digital equivalent of General Motors. Car enthusiasts lost interest in GM’s cars long before regular people did; the same is happening with Windows.
  • No one seems to be arguing that Windows 7 is something that will tempt Mac users to switch, or to tempt even recent Mac converts to switch back. It doesn’t even seem to be in the realm of debate. But if Windows 7 is actually any good, why wouldn’t it tempt at least some segment of Mac users to switch? Windows 95, 98, and XP did.
  • The PC Hunter ads, the PC Rookie ads clearly have been winners in the marketplace. Such winners in the marketplace that Apple’s laptop sales went up last quarter, and the rest of the industry’s declined.
  • I’m not arguing that Microsoft will collapse. They’re too big, too established for that to happen. I simply think that their results this quarter were not an aberration, but rather the first fiscal evidence of a long, slow decline that began several years ago.

___________________________
Uh, wasn't this the same case against IBM back in 1984 with regard to Apple? The same Apple who, in the 90s, was gasping on its last legs when Microsoft threw $150mn their direction to stave off bankruptcy. With Apple, you pay twice the price for the privilege of being locked into not only software, but hardware. And with Apple's iPhone app censorship, I don't see the fun in being an Apple consumer. I don't dispute Apple's brute, specific code-to-hardware quality, just that merely bottom line profit does not measure quality user experience for Windows users.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 03:50:31 PM by zridling »

Josh

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2009, 05:07:04 PM »
Quote
  • 91 percent of $1,000-and-higher retail computer sales now go to Apple.

The question here is: What is the percentage of sales of systems over 1000 dollars in the same time frame for microsofts decline in this measurement? Have more or fewer systems in that price range been sold?

Quote
  • Microsoft’s quarterly financial results, in which revenue fell $1 billion short of projections and declined 17 percent year-over-year.

Is this the Operating system division or the whole company?

Quote
  • To be clear, Microsoft remains a very profitable company. However, they have never before reported year-over-year declines like this, nor fallen so short of projected earnings. Something is awry.

While the profits might be less, how much more money was spent on R&D for new arenas microsoft is entering into? Microsoft has a huge R&D department and as such if they are spending more on new areas of development, I wouldn't consider the decline to be all that negative.

Quote
  • Microsoft’s operating system business is not new, and it has never been particularly cyclical. Windows revenue, prior to this just-completed quarter, has only ever gone in one direction: up.

Is this decline attributed to more users switching to MAC or other OSes or is it attributable to an overall economic decline?

Quote
  • One argument is that the fault lies with the global economy, not Microsoft itself. However, Google is doing just fine, and Apple reported record non-holiday-quarter numbers for its just-ended quarter. Apple operates in the same economy Microsoft does, and Mac sales are up.

The same question as I posted above comes into play here. How much has Apple's expenditure situation changed over this same timeframe? What types of projects is Apple, or Google for that matter, currently engaging in R&D for? Google I can see quite a bit for so the argument in this statement might hold true more-so for Google over Apple.

Quote
  • Microsoft’s core problem is that they have lost the hearts of computer enthusiasts. They’re a software company whose primary platform no longer appeals to people who like computers the most. This is true in many markets with broad appeal, not just computers. Microsoft is looking ever more so like the digital equivalent of General Motors. Car enthusiasts lost interest in GM’s cars long before regular people did; the same is happening with Windows.

The computer enthusiasts mentioned here are the ones who typically grew up when computers first began to take off. For that genre, they grew up with Windows as it matured and as such anything else other than Windows is a welcome change. The modern genre of computer user is being exposed to computers at a younger age and as such a much different set of computer software. The younger and newer computer enthusiast genre is being exposed to linux because it is no longer a thing of just the "hacker" or "geek". linux is becoming easier to use. Apple is also in this same boat. Microsoft and the "typical" PC platform took off early because of the ability to operate on a variety of platforms (originally IBM's 80286-80486 platform, but more so the new intel IBM-Compatible platforms). Apple remained proprietary for most of it's early career. It was only recently that they moved from the PowerPC architecture to the x86 and Intel platform with the release of OSX and the switch to Darwin/*nix. With that change, Apple has had ample oppurtunity to expose a whole new genre of users to it's technologies. Thus people are now open for something new or in the case of the newer computer user just another option (in addition to *nix, solaris, osx, windows, etc). I really don't think that it is so much they lost the heart of computer enthusiasts so much as the newer generation is simply being exposed to more than just Windows and is learning more. Does this mean Microsoft will go away anytime soon? Not likely, but it does mean Microsoft has to work harder now to innovate and come up with ideas.

Quote
  • No one seems to be arguing that Windows 7 is something that will tempt Mac users to switch, or to tempt even recent Mac converts to switch back. It doesn’t even seem to be in the realm of debate. But if Windows 7 is actually any good, why wouldn’t it tempt at least some segment of Mac users to switch? Windows 95, 98, and XP did.

Why would Mac users switch from something that works? Is Microsoft trying to make users buy a whole new computer just because a new OS works? Or is it trying to give the existing users what they want. I would not buy a new computer simply because of Windows 7. I would not swap from a system I know and love just for the sake of swapping. Will some switch? Sure. Will a lot of them? Not likely because what they have already works.

MilesAhead

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2009, 07:04:32 PM »
I don't think I have 4 mouse clicks on anything Mac, so I can't comment on what's it's like to use it.  But this stat: 91 percent of $1,000-and-higher retail computer sales now go to Apple. makes me think that you have to spend $1000 to get a Mac that does anything.  For $400 in Best Buy the guy who wants to do email, browse the net, and use a digital camera is in business, with enough storage to store quite a few photos.  It's kind of like saying Ford is in decline because over 90% of customers who purchase an automobile for > $100,000 don't buy Fords.  Like, no kiddin'!!

azgarth

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2009, 10:23:08 AM »
add to that that a lot of the windows and linux boxes >$1000 are probably built to order or self built, which means it wouldn't register on the radar.
after all, if you care enough to spend that amount of money on a computer, chances are you have certain demands and enough savvy to know (or at least think to know) what parts you need for that.

Josh

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2009, 12:15:19 PM »
Exactly! Just because >$1000 machines typically end up being mac doesn't mean there are more of them being sold now than previously. I am fairly certain that was almost always the case because there are very few mac's that sell for <$1000 anyways.

MilesAhead

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2009, 02:57:01 PM »
Plus there are probably a lot of guys like me who have the old CRT monitor that's still going strong.  Once you have speakers and a monitor, then you just buy the Tower/Keyboard/Mouse package. In that case you can get pretty decent horsepower for less than a grand.

Innuendo

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Re: Is the party over for Microsoft?
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2009, 10:55:10 AM »
Plus there are probably a lot of guys like me who have the old CRT monitor that's still going strong.

Guilty as charged. When I saw the writing on the wall that CRTs were no longer going to be manufacturered & it was going to be a long while before LCD screens were going to match the quality of the old monitors I bought an NEC MultiSync FP2141SB. It's got a 22" Diamondtron screen and weighs 77 pounds.

I still haven't seen a LCD monitor that can match its display quality and when I replace my current PC it's going to cost over $1,000 custom-built piece by piece by me.

I can see how the 91%/Macs statistic is true as almost all the big PC spenders are like me who build their own & there are very few percentage-wise that go for the Alienware and Falcon PC type prebuilt machines.

However, I think that 91% statistic isn't because the Macs are so special, but rather that most PC buyers don't have to cross into that price range at all to get a fabulous computer. $8-900 will buy one heck of a computer. Heck, $500 will get you a pretty decent one anymore these days.

However, less than $1,000 on the Mac side in the past would only get you a Mac Mini. This year it's better as Apple reacted to MS's Laptop Hunter ads and released a 13" Macbook at $999 so now you have two choices, but every other Mac in Apple's line-up is well over $1,000.