Friday, April 07, 2006
Apple joins the party.
On Wednesday Apple did what I believe they should have done a long time ago and slowly began to show signs that they're warming up to the Windows platform...or at least their users are warming up to Windows.
Don't get me wrong, OSX is a great OS, but it's not Windows and never will be. HP, Dell and the rest of the legacy windows operated hardware manufacturers have something to worry about...finally you can run Windows on a computer that is well manufactured and well designed.
If Apple completely embraces Windows, I think their computer hardware sales will skyrocket (more so for laptops). Is this a good move for Apple...I'll leave that to the 'deep strategic' thinkers amongst you.
Sounds like Apple are segmenting their business further:
- hardware (really packaging and interface design, since all the internal components are commodity components, the innovation is in the assembly)
> Desktops (iMac, towers, servers)
> iPhone (rumoured to be on the way)
- consumer software
> Mac OS
> .Mac (web services)
- media software
> Garage Band
> Final Cut / iMovie
Am I missing anything?
I wonder which element will survive if times get tougher? The company seems to have gobs of momentum right now, but at the same time the consumer software parts aren't really strong. Could there be no Mac OS in 3 years? Could parts of the business be sold / reconfigured? Apple have never really been a company to make decisions simply for the bottom-line effect.
Though the move to embrace Windows, if it takes off with consumers, could really put more pressure on them to make Apple into components.
I'd be disappointed if Apple simply became a hardware vendor. I think they're trying to leverage their brand in any market they think they can get into...which in the end might dilute the brand altogether turning Apple into another HP or Dell.
The move to Intel was a good one, although I think they should've thrown the dice and gone with AMD.
In the end, I think they realized that OSX is a well developed product and in many ways far superior to Microsoft's offerings. BUT it seems to make no difference. So why not just open it up and expose the windows centric crowd to the uniqueness of Apple desktops and laptops. My personal belief is that as more people start using Apple hardware, they may become more open to trying other Apple products that before seemed restricted to an eccentric user base.
Although people may want the Windows OS on Apple hardware, this is nothing compared to the demand for Apple's OS on Windows hardware.
Bob Cringely makes the same prediction as Austin (above) in his I, CRINGELY - April 7 Column, that Apple ultimately will want "...to sell $99 copies of OS X to 100 million or so Windows owners." ...but as was said earlier its all really about extending their brand horizontally. Keep doing this, and folks will bump into 'Apple' left, right and centre; Its that simple. If you go into an Apple store and play with their little iPod styled tiny remote controller and flip round their 'Front Row' interface... you will see the vision. I think they are not so much segmenting their business, as segmenting the notion of operating systems. Soon it won't really matter. You will have the option of both... and in that scenario Apple will TOTALLY dominate, because they have already won the interface battle... its 'i' - iPod, iTunes, iLife, iPhone etc... game over. Its the familiarity thing. If 'Web/content ' is a car... Apple has already defined the steering wheel.
Wasn't it Microsoft that was heralded as being masterful in its move to be an 'open platform' that was able to migrate Lotus (ugh, Lotus) and WordPerfect (ugh, again) users to its better applications?
Apple's strategic path to be an open, dual booting OS (maybe even concurrently someday, even better) seems to make a Microsoft-like shift possible.
If Jobs and team can pull that off, the real transformation of Apple from a sleepy has-been in the late 90's to market-driving force would be complete.
seems like MAC is already running Vista...