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FY09 Strategic Update

Only Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer could send such an important message out and give it a subject line that boring. But you'll want to read this one. I've highlighted some bits I feel are particularly interesting.

From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 4:30 PM
To: Microsoft–All Employees
Subject: FY09 Strategic Update

With FY08 complete, I want to discuss my priorities for the year ahead and share my thoughts about the key strategic topics that are on everybody’s mind, including Windows, competition with Apple and Google, our software plus services strategy, and Yahoo.

I also have news about an organizational change and a transition in our Senior Leadership Team.

First, I want to thank you for your hard work and the dedication you showed during the past 12 months. FY08 was a milestone year. Our revenue jumped $9.3 billion to more than $60 billion. Operating profit grew 21 percent to $22.5 billion.

These outstanding numbers are the direct result of your commitment to the priorities I outlined last July. A lot has happened since then, but our fundamental strengths, challenges, and strategic goals remain largely the same. Therefore, my priorities are consistent with last year. In FY09 we must continue to:

1. Invest in the right opportunities;

2. Expand our presence with Windows, Office, and developers;

3. Drive end user excitement for our products;

4. Embrace software plus services; and

5. Focus on employee excellence.

By focusing on these five areas, we can continue to grow revenue, increase profit, and expand our market share. These priorities are also critical as we work to address key issues surrounding our business in the coming year:

· Windows: The success of Windows is our number one job. With SP1 and the work we’ve done with PC manufacturers and our software ecosystem, we’ve addressed device and application compatibility issues in Windows Vista. Now it’s time to tell our story. In the weeks ahead, we’ll launch a campaign to address any lingering doubts our customers may have about Windows Vista. And later this year, you’ll see a more comprehensive effort to redefine the meaning and value of Windows for our customers.

We also have to drive developers to create rich applications for Windows. With Internet Explorer and Silverlight, we have great tools for creating applications that run everywhere. But we also need to make sure developers have the .NET skills to write unique Windows applications using Windows Presentation Foundation. To keep today’s Windows applications alive, vibrant, and exciting, we need both—applications that run everywhere and rich client applications.

· Apple: In the competition between PCs and Macs, we outsell Apple 30-to-1. But there is no doubt that Apple is thriving. Why? Because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience. Today, we’re changing the way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises. We’ll do the same with phones—providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences.

· Business and enterprise: Our enterprise and server business has never been stronger—today we are on the verge of becoming the number one enterprise software company. We need to continue to push on all fronts—mail with Exchange, business intelligence with PerformancePoint, virtualization with Hyper-V, and databases with SQL Server. We have to drive our enterprise search capabilities, our unified communications solutions, and our collaboration technologies. And we must continue to compete against Linux in key workloads such as Web servers and high performance computing.

· Software plus services: Some people think software plus services is all about search. But it’s really about changing the way software is written and deployed. The future is about having a platform in the cloud and delivering applications across PCs, phones, TVs, and other devices, at work and in the home. It’s also about driving change in business models through advertising, subscriptions, and online transactions. Software plus services is a huge opportunity for us to deliver new value on the desktop and the server to all of our customers. This year at PDC, you’ll hear more about our cloud platform initiatives and the next versions of our Live and Online technologies.

· Google: We continue to compete with Google on two fronts—in the enterprise, where we lead; and in search, where we trail. In search, our technology has come a long way in a very short time and it’s an area where we’ll continue to invest to be a market leader. Why? Because search is the key to unlocking the enormous market opportunities in advertising, and it is an area that is ripe for innovation. In the coming years, we’ll make progress against Google in search first by upping the ante in R&D through organic innovation and strategic acquisitions. Second, we will out-innovate Google in key areas—we’re already seeing this in our maps and news search. Third, we are going to reinvent the search category through user experience and business model innovation. We’ll introduce new approaches that move beyond a white page with 10 blue links to provide customers with a customized view of their world. This is a long-term battle for our company—and it’s one we’ll continue to fight with persistence and tenacity.

· Yahoo: Related to Google and our search strategy are the discussions we had with Yahoo. I want to emphasize the point I’ve been making all along—Yahoo was a tactic, not a strategy. We want to accelerate our share of search queries and create a bigger pool of advertisers, and Yahoo would have helped us get there faster. But we will get there with or without Yahoo. We have the right people, we’ve made incredible progress in our technology, and we’ll continue to make smart investments that will enable us to build an industry-leading business.

As I mentioned earlier, I have important organizational news. Today we are announcing that the Platforms and Services Division will be split into two businesses: Windows/Windows Live and Online Services. We are also announcing that Kevin Johnson will leave the company. He will work to ensure a smooth transition.

Since 1992, Kevin has been a key contributor to many of this company’s most important achievements. As president of the Platforms and Services Division, Kevin has built an incredibly talented organization and laid the foundation for the future success of Windows and our Online Services Business. Over the last 16 years, through everything from his work as head of the company’s worldwide sales, marketing, and services efforts, to his leadership in transforming our field operations and repositioning the company to focus on opportunities in emerging markets, Kevin has played a vital role in this company’s success. There is no doubt that his passion and dedication will be missed.

Effective immediately, Steven Sinofsky, Jon DeVaan, and Bill Veghte will report directly to me to lead Windows/Windows Live. In the Online Services Business, we will create a new senior leadership position and conduct a search that will span internal and external candidates. In the meantime, Satya Nadella will continue to lead Microsoft’s search, ad platform, and MSN engineering efforts, and Brian McAndrews will continue to lead the Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group. Both Windows/Windows Live and the Online Services Business are led by a strong group of executives on the technical and business side who have the talent and experience to address the challenges we face and drive the next generation of growth and success.

Looking ahead, I see an incredibly bright future for our company. As I said at the June 27th Town Hall for Bill, we are the best in the world at doing software and nobody should be confused about this. It doesn’t mean that we can’t improve, but nobody is better than we are. Nobody works harder than we do. Nobody is more tenacious than we are. We’re investing more broadly and more seriously than anybody else. Our opportunities to change the world have never been greater.

I look forward to working with all of you as we focus on our five priorities in FY09.

Steve

The cloud computing bit is particularly interesting to me: "The future is about having a platform in the cloud and delivering applications across PCs, phones, TVs, and other devices, at work and in the home." Thank you, Steve. I couldn't have said that better myself.

Comments

 

tayme said:

Paul -

I get hundreds of emails per day with subject lines just as boring...what are you looking for, the subject line is a quick description of the **subject** after all!!! Geez, there is no need to be negative in EVERY post you put up, is there?

--tayme

July 25, 2008 8:08 AM
 

cesjr said:

"Today, we’re changing the way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises. We’ll do the same with phones—providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences."

Somebody should be trying to do this.  However, I don't think it will work.  The piecemeal, DIY-oriented, too many cooks approach of windows is NOT employed in any consumer market of significance.

Do you buy a car where the body comes from one company, and then all the drivetrain components from another?

Do you buy a TV where one company makes the software, and another the hardware, and if there's a problem, the hardware maker blames the software maker and you're stuck in the middle.

The windows piecemeal approach was a transitional phase, that became dominant when the technology was frankly still very immature.  As the market moves toward more mature products, consumers won't want the piecemeal, "you figure it out" approach.  They want a complete package, from one vender that takes responsibility for the whole thing

July 25, 2008 8:14 AM
 

cesjr said:

"The future is about having a platform in the cloud and delivering applications across PCs, phones, TVs, and other devices, at work and in the home."

And somehow I think most of the world is NOT INTERESTED in having Microsoft dominate that future.

July 25, 2008 8:16 AM
 

cesjr said:

Another flaw in Balmer's plan to make the piecemeal windows approach as good as the mac-type integrated approach is that - it's simply unachievable with the myriad hardware available for the PC.  With that freedom -- of using whatever hardware you want -- comes a dear price.  It's just way too much work to make it all work well together.  It's infinitely easier for apple, with its extremely limited hardware options.  That's JUST THE WAY IT GOES.  Sorry.

July 25, 2008 8:26 AM
 

gorath said:

"Do you buy a car where the body comes from one company, and then all the drivetrain components from another?"

Actually, this happens all the time. Volkswagens=Seat=Audi etc.

Several performance cars have "lotus designed suspension".

Almost all cars have engines manufactured by another company.

This is not just in the motor industry either. Back in the tech world, we have plextor, et all, selling drives made by Matshita, with control chips made by various third party vendors.

July 25, 2008 8:37 AM
 

tayme said:

@cesjr - "Do you buy a car where the body comes from one company, and then all the drivetrain components from another?"

Actually - the Mac has that as well. Do they manufacture thier own CPUs, HDDs, RAM...nope, they put it all together in a package, jsut like the auto companies. But, I know what you are trying to say.

"It's just way too much work to make it all work well together."

I disagree with that. I have seen many PCs that run Vista beautifully, and not just those owned by geeks, either. If you buy junk, you should expect junk...and there are many good PCs out there to be had.

"That's JUST THE WAY IT GOES.  Sorry."

You are stating this as if it is fact...and it is not. You are too one sided to see that both Apple and MS make good OSes and that there are many PC builders out htere that make good hardware. Apple chose the closed model that they use so they could control the quality of the systems going out their doors. That is fine...it has worked well for them. Microsoft chose to build an OS for a hardware platform that already existed, making it easier for the world to use and afford a PC. That has worked well for them.

You are a fan of Apple and the Macintosh...that is great! They put out good stuff...but it is just not factual that Microsoft does not put out good products that meet the needs of more people and companies. Will that change...maybe someday...but no time soon. Is that because Apple "sucks", absolutely not. That is my opinion.

--tayme

July 25, 2008 8:53 AM
 

tayme said:

"Is that because Apple "sucks", absolutely not. That is my opinion."

Please do not read this as me saying that my opinion is that Apple sucks...it is most definately NO my opinion. What I meant is that my entire post is my opinion.

--tayme

July 25, 2008 8:57 AM
 

j4m3s0n79 said:

No mention of their strides in the world of 360, interesting.

Personally, I think they need to integrate a blu-ray player or they are doomed unless they release the next hardware iteration within 24 months.

July 25, 2008 11:03 AM
 

joe-dokes said:

Paul again thinks he has no bias but look what he failed to highlight this quote,

"Because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience"

Tayme and Gorath,

You are correct GM, Porsche, VW, Toyota, all buy parts from outside suppliers, yet the key distinction is that each of these companies take FULL responsibility for their finished product.  

Apple is responsible for the entire product.  Poor mother board? Blame Apple.  Poor reliability? Blame Apple.  Poor engineering? Blame Apple.  

Can the same be said MS and Dell?  When your PC crashes who do you blame?  If you track the problem down to hardware you blame Dell, if it is an OS problem you blame MS.  Why?  Because ONLY MS has the power to fix problems in their OS.  Dell may be MS's customer, but unlike GM or Toyota who when they run into a problem with a supplier they have the power to dictate the fixes it is MS who dictates.  

Therein lies the problem, the supplier, the monopoly is dictating what it offers the customer.  This is the problem for MS it is not subject to market forces.  LIke the bureaucrats of the Soviet Empire it is largely immune from market forces, this immunity results it being inattentive to the market.  Only a monopoly could go seven years between the release of an update to its OS. (And before you winjihadists chime in and about Win 2003 and Media Server, neither of these were ever their core consumer, or Business desktop OS).

Regards

Joe Dokes

July 25, 2008 11:06 AM
 

cesjr said:

Tayme,

Bottom line, Ballmer admitted that the windows model has led to a lesser experience, and that MS had to do more to achieve the mac-level experience.  

Now, I'm not saying that I know for a fact this is impossible - it would be a good thing for consumers if MS can do it.

But they haven't done it so far.  Ballmer admitted that.  And I just seriously doubt that it's possible, for the reasons I said.

July 25, 2008 12:33 PM
 

cesjr said:

Tayme, I admit I somewhat overstated things earlier.  I'm trying to clarify.  I don't pretend to know for a fact that Ballmer's mission (make the windows model as good as the mac model) is impossible, just I doubt that it can be done.  We'll see

July 25, 2008 12:36 PM
 

BrightrevCarl said:

Two interesting points:

"Today, we’re changing the way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises."

No more crapware.  No more crapware.  No more crapware.  Putting clean Vista installs on all PCs would make a tremendous amount of difference in how Windows works.

"The future is about having a platform in the cloud and delivering applications across PCs, phones, TVs, and other devices, at work and in the home."

They're a long, long way from where they need to be, but this statement shows that they're heading the right direction.  It's all about having access to your data, music, movies, photos, and applications no matter where you are or what type of device you're using.  Let's hope that they get the data interchange eventually needs to be built on standards, not on proprietary technologies owned by Microsoft/Apple/Google.

July 25, 2008 12:38 PM
 

RaaJ said:

Joe-Dokes,

Windows XP SP2 qualifies as a separate OS release, inasmuch as successive iterations of OS X qualify as new OS releases themselves.

But I guess you knew that, but wanted to troll away anyway.

July 25, 2008 1:07 PM
 

hereskilled said:

I just wanted to congratulate those posters before me for broadly neutral comments.  No MS fanboys or Apple fanboys.  That is so unusual for comments on this website that I thought it was worth mentioning.

I hope that Microsoft's "cloud computing" solution ends up being open enough to work across multiple platforms. And also that it's not solely web based apps.  Window Live Mail Desktop is great but the Windows Live Mail web app is annoying.  I still want to store my data in the cloud but primarily interact using local applications.

July 25, 2008 2:13 PM
 

Waethorn said:

"Matshita"

Actually, the full name is Matsushita-Kotobuki Electronics, or MKE for short.  The "Matshita" thing is a short-form name that fits into the drive ID in the firmware.  It's not the real company name.  They are the parent company of Panasonic, Technics, and several other companies.

"Do they manufacture thier own CPUs, HDDs, RAM...nope, they put it all together in a package, jsut like the auto companies. But, I know what you are trying to say."

They actually don't build their own laptops either.  Asus currently has the contract for them, although 2 others of the "big 4" makers (Quanta and Clevo) have made them before.  AFAIK, Compal (the 4th of the "big 4") never has held a manufacturing contract with Apple.

Apple only designs what the system will look like and what features are on the motherboard, and the ODM builds it - as i is with all the other major manufacturers, such as HP, Dell, Gateway, etc.

HP's latest notebook systems are actually a generic Quanta design though, and HP doesn't hold a trademark on the overall look of them.  HP just added the pinstripe elements to the lid and wristrest.  Quanta ships a generic version design of those models to whitebox builders though.

"Apple chose the closed model that they use so they could control the quality of the systems going out their doors. That is fine...it has worked well for them."

All I ever say is:  if Apple really thinks that people would choose their systems over a comparable (and/or cheaper) PC, JUST to run OS X, they should put their money where their mouth is and open it up.  They won't though, and their systems ARE overpriced for what they are (proven time and time again), so locking people into OS X on their own hardware has done well to keep their margins high.

....if they ever did open up OS X to 3rd-party hardware, I'd just be betting against their survival.

"When your PC crashes who do you blame?....if it is an OS problem you blame MS."

To a certain extent, maybe, but you have to remember that OEM software isn't supported by Microsoft.  If it's a Dell-loaded copy, you go to Dell for support.  Only if it's retail, or a volume license agreement which includes support, can you take your issues up with Microsoft directly (or if you use pay-per-incident support).

Retail software costs extra because of 2 things:  license transferability, and the more expensive option - support.

"Only a monopoly could go seven years between the release of an update to its OS."

Except that Microsoft didn't.  Windows "Longhorn" was set to be released in 2003-4 originally.  There were delays, but they also took people off the project to get XP SP2 out the door.  It could've very easily been "Windows XP R2", similar to Windows Server/SBS 2003 R2 (which, like Windows 95 OSRx or Windows 98 SE releases, cost extra), but instead they offered it for free.

"No more crapware.  Putting clean Vista installs on all PCs would make a tremendous amount of difference in how Windows works."

I will agree with that assessment, however, you can debate until your face is blue what is to be considered "crapware".

For instance, for systems that I build, I include the following:

Windows Vista SP1 x64 on all systems (Business, Home Premium, or Ultimate only)

ALL Microsoft Updates for Windows and other installed Microsoft software - including optional updates (such as Silverlight)

Adobe Reader 9 on all systems (up to date)

Adobe Flash 9 on all systems (up to date)

Java 6 on all systems (up to date)

...for consumer systems with Vista Home Premium:

Office Home & Student 2007 25-use trial

Windows Live Suite

...for business systems with Vista Business:

"Office Ready PC" (Office Pro 2007 trial unlockable to Basic, Small Biz, or Pro via OEM purchase)

...for power user systems with Ultimate:

Office Ready PC

Windows Live Suite

ALL systems also get the latest drivers from the chipset manufacturer where ever possible - NVIDIA's site for chipset, video; Intel for chipset, video, wireless; Realtek's for onboard audio codec, etc. - rarely do I go directly to the video card or motherboard manufacturer, because their drivers are often obsolete.  The company that makes the chip is more important.

....and that's it!  Some people would argue that Adobe Reader, or the Office trial is "crapware".  The real world would beg to differ.  The Office trial is the only way to install OEM versions of the software anyway, since OEM copies come without media now.  Adobe PDF is just ubiquitous online now, as much as Flash, and I'd rather install Java for a user than have them have some old out of date version with security holes a-plenty installed on their new machine.  The Windows Live Suite is only installed on consumer machines for a reason that should be obvious.  Windows Live Photo Gallery and Mail offer features that supercede those in the Windows Vista bundled versions, and although most won't agree that WL Toolbar is worth any merit, most of those features will be available in IE8 and Windows 7, so I'm just introducing those features a bit early.

No Google or Yahoo crap.  No links to additional advertising.  No redundant CD or DVD burning software (Vista takes care of that for each respective audience - Business has no DVD burning support, for example, because businesses need to control data flow).  No redundant DVD playback software (again, Vista Home Prem/Ultimate already have this, and businesses don't often need users to be able to play video DVD's).  No additional wired/wireless "network management" utilities.  No unnecessary power management add-ons (unless required by the hardware).  No additional 3rd-party utilities at all.  etc. etc. etc.

I can put up one of my systems with 1GB of RAM with one of my baseline installs against an HP or Acer system with 3GB and easily outperform the competition any day.

July 25, 2008 2:31 PM
 

Lost Drive Blog » re: FY09 Strategic Update said:

Pingback from  Lost Drive Blog » re: FY09 Strategic Update

July 25, 2008 5:10 PM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

@hereskilled

If Mesh is any key toward future Microsoft cloud products (and with it being Ozzie's baby it probably is) then cross-platform and open are likely.

On the do mixed device/cloud, note that Microsoft tends to push Software+Services (S+S) as the goal rather than Software As A Service (SAAS) because they've publicly stated that you get a better experience when you take advantage of all the devices available rather than just a terminal model.

Or, as I've been saying:

If "Web 2.0" was the equivalent of replacing the dumb terminals of "Web 1.0" with smart terminals then Live Mesh is the equivalent of replacing those terminals with a peer to peer network of personal computers.

The parallels to what we saw in the late 1970s is very strong. Back then we went from LSI ADM3a and DEC VT52 terminals to DEC VT100 and VT200 series (and "ANSI Standard" terminals that really were VT102 but were "standard" rather than "proprietary") to the personal computer and the world changed only when we did the distributed computing idea rather than even smart terminals.

July 25, 2008 5:59 PM
 

johnpapola said:

First, I have to say that this is a very good memo from Steve B.  By all accounts he's not only a very intelligent guy with a photographic memory, but a really nice guy as well.  And I think he have very effectively identified Microsoft's key challenges and also the strengths of it's competitors.  So bravo Steve.

But identifying a problem and executing your way to a solution are two very different things.  Just look at the world of politics.  For all the excitement Steve B is trying to build (and it's his job to energize the troops), live search continues to lose share to Google.  Frankly, the search game is Google's to lose, not Microsoft's to win.  I'm not convinced "innovation" is really what search users are looking for.  They're just looking for their results as fast and clean as possible.

It's a *** to be on the wrong side of network effects, isn't it?  As we're seeing here, Paul's "it's easy to grow fast when you're small" theory is totally wrong.  It's actually very VERY hard to grow when you're small in a network-effects driven market occupied by a single dominant player.

As an Apple defender, though, Steve's remarks about Apple's success and what they mean for the Apple-bashing zealots on this site are very interesting.

Steve:

"But there is no doubt that Apple is thriving.  Why? Because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience."

There you have it, folks.  Steve Ballmer himself acknowledging that Apple provides a superior user experience to the Windows PC for the more limited set of customers Apple serves.  He's 100% right.  Of course, Paul bold's everything else like the "outsell 30-to-1" statement of fact, which isn't news to anyone.  Or the "rah rah, we're gonna improve" which is a statement of the obvious.

So that's it.  Steve Ballmer agrees with me that for my needs, and many other users (though a narrow segment of the overall market), Apple's end-to-end experience is superior.

July 25, 2008 6:25 PM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

@john

It's easy to tightly target 2% of the population with a product (and get another 1.5% where it's an OK choice) and do a really good job for that 2%. It's especially easy when you have a tight vertical monopoly as Apple does. That's what Apple does well these days unlike the 1980s when they wanted Macintosh to be a mainstream platform.

The problem is that tight targeting doesn't scale and you have to admit to yourself that you've optimized yourself out of the mainstream.

Ferrari (or Lotus, or Hummer) build very good cars for their niche. Their owners are fanatically loyal. For what they want, nobody competes because their specific needs and desires (including exclusivity) are met almost perfectly.

Ferrari will never be a good choice for the vast, vast majority of buyers.

They know that. And they know that if they tried, the cost of watering down the optimized targeting would cost them their loyal users with little liklihood of becoming a competitor to Toyota.

That's the reality of optimizing to a niche.

(On an unrelated note, while I was reading the memo on my phone yesterday at one of my neighborhood Starbucks, Steve Ballmer came in for an afternoon snack. Wierd coincidence)

July 25, 2008 6:44 PM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

@john

Note that Paul doesn't say "It's easy to grow fast when you're small".

He says it's easier to show big percentage growth when you're small because a small change looks like a big percentage. Big difference.

No matter how hard it would be for OS X to increase market share by 50% from 3.5% to 5.3%, there's no question that it's easier than for Windows to increase market share by 50% from 95% to 143%.

Hard is easier than mathematically impossible.

July 25, 2008 6:50 PM
 

Waethorn said:

"Steve Ballmer himself acknowledging that Apple provides a superior user experience to the Windows PC"

WTF are you SMOKING?  He does absolutely no such thing!

He says that their solutions are compromised by third party offerings, since they choose to allow partners to control certain aspects of any given user scenario.  In the reverse, what he's saying is that Apple's homogenous approach compromises the user experience by restricting choice, while eliminating flexibility and diversity.

July 25, 2008 7:11 PM
 

johnpapola said:

@Mike,

I agree with you on pretty much all fronts.  The only real thing about the mac that's "optimized for a niche" is their our-hardware-only strategy. That's a big thing, and it does inherently limit their potential (some people are just not going to like the line-up).

Still, I would argue that a very large percentage of the consumer market would be perfectly well served by the Mac.   I also believe that the areas where the ecosystem is thin are a function of marketshare (that network effects issue) and not problems on Apple's part directly.

As for this ongoing debate about the numerology of small company growth and/or growth rates... the key is this:  every market is different.  You can't make a global judgement as Paul's statement is.  Now, it may in fact be true in this case, but that would be a result of Windows PC market saturation holding back it's yoy growth numbers.  That's fine.  The PC business is a blue-chip business now.  A commodity even.  So maybe it's impossible for the PC business to grow as fast as Apple.  I'd be willing to concede that.  I'm mainly saying that what Apple's doing isn't "easy".  It's actually quite hard.

ttl

@Waethorn:

"compromises the user experience by restricting choice, while eliminating flexibility and diversity"

Once again, you show how willing you are to ignore black and white text.  Ballmer is saying that Apple's "user experience" is less compromised precisely because of their restricting choice and narrower focus.  You're effort to conflate "experience" and "choice" is dishonest.  

And it doesn't matter whose fault it is that the PC experience isn't as tight as the Mac for the end user that chooses each platform.  They certainly don't appreciate being told "the PC is all about choice" and the being told by customer service "we don't take responsibility for that part of the product".  The PC ecosystem breaks pretty hard when you add on third party peripherals and get lost in hours of support call finger pointing when it doesn't work.

I'm not saying things usually don't work.  I'm just saying that support is inferior when stuff goes wrong... and that's part of the "experience" after you've made the choice.

July 25, 2008 8:17 PM
 

gorath said:

@ Waethorn:

"Matshita"

"Actually, the full name is Matsushita-Kotobuki Electronics [snip]"

I honestly never knew that, and I'd often wondered about the relationship between matshita, and matsushita - now I know!

July 25, 2008 8:52 PM
 

Yawn! said:

@Mike

>It's easy to tightly target 2% of the population with a product (and get another 1.5% where it's an OK choice) and do a really good job for that 2%.

Thus the MS/Balmer paradox.   True about the worldwide marketshare.  But untrue in all markets.   The US, Europe, and others are what scaring MS/Balmer to reach out and "Slap someone".    

The ratio of 30 to 1 (truth be told it is 32 to 1)  looks great but in the US the ratio is  9.25 to .75 (~10 to 1)   and is still trending downward.   It not about worldwide market share but rather key markets.  

Throw in the Google factor and you can see another reason MS/Balmer want to "Slap" these two companies.   Goggle can release a Google OS software system  very quickly and use the cloud as its back bone.   Think of it as putting Android on steroids.    Won't take long for Google to move this OS from the mobile market to the desktops.

Ironic, MS/Balmer want to come out slapping.   I guess its a PC thing  - yesterday it was "coming out fighting".  

Yawn!

(Windows 7, sp1)

July 25, 2008 10:11 PM
 

johnbaxter said:

The phrase (and in the first paragraph at that) "competition with Apple" isn't one we've seen much from Steve's corner of the company.  At least as outsiders.  Interesting.

July 26, 2008 12:49 AM
 

Avro said:

@Mike

Since I am a military man I will give you an example of what you are saying

Mike 'Our fantastic MS troops now control Africa, South American and most of Asia'

Avro 'Well, Apple doesn't have any troops in those areas and has never contested them.  MS profits are wafer thin in those places.  Most of the sales go to governments and consumers seem to go for bootleg software.  On the other hand in where they compete North America, Western Europe and Australasia Apple is doing very well'

I think you go overboard about Apple being a "niche" market.  On our street the Dentist, the Tech Officer, the Minister, some housewives and many students are Mac owners.  Sounds like a pretty big niche to me.  Why on earth would they want a Windows PC?  It is very hard to argue that Windows does anything a Mac or Linux cannot do.  They are all good solutions to computing needs.

July 26, 2008 8:32 AM
 

DRWAM said:

To all. The Medical cloud [again] works with Mac and Windows. I can see alll the patients data, including Lab results, orders. consults [what ever part of the chart is digital] billing...and much more. First thing that pops up is 'Windows Server ****' We have been using it for years from home or locally and Don't even ask for Mac support to IT, because they will get pissed and tell you that they have always supported Macs. MS seems to try to include Macs, but 3rd party vendors are not as good to support them. My biggest problem is that the Active X control that GE wrote fro using the a browser for PACS is that there is no Mac equivalent. BUt iit's GE not MS that wrote it [proprietary]. The funny thing is that you CAN see PACS images on a Mac from a link through our physicians portal, when viewing the report. You browser opens and slowly loads the images. It' looks like a Java based app, but you would think that you still need Active X to view images.

July 26, 2008 8:40 AM
 

Avro said:

Let's not forget that MS is the biggest supplier of Mac software after Apple.

I think that it is great to have Windows on your hard drive and I now recommend that MacUsers look at getting it.  Microsoft should not get too worried about Mac sales as Windows on a Mac means at least as much profit for them as Windows on a Dell or HP.

July 26, 2008 8:53 AM
 

gorath said:

"It is very hard to argue that Windows does anything a Mac or Linux cannot do."

It is against someone who's view of reality is twisted.

Linux is very limited compared to OSX or Windows. simple things, such as playback of copyrighted media, for example, stump Linux.

Also, OpenGL performance is massively crippled (try running compiz-fusion at 1920x1200 for example, it stutters badly)

- which addmitedly is a result of poor, un-optimized drivers, but it is still an issue, and it makes it appear immature.

But as for Windows not doing much that OSX doesn't do, the same is also true the other way round. OSX doesn't do anything that windows can't do. Given that, most people don't want to pay the premium for apple hardware, to run an OS that doesn't offer any advantages, when they can buy a cheaper alternative that does just what they need.

July 26, 2008 10:20 AM
 

Avro said:

It depends how LInux has been set-up.  I have been pretty impressed with the pre-configured ones from Dell.

Each time I buy a computer I compare and often the Mac comes out on top.  A recent study suggested that they were 9% more expensive than comparable Windows machines.  Subtract a 15% discount for higher ed and throw in 3 year Applecare and you have a much better deal.  I got my MacBook for $880 last year and it has been excellent.  The Mac Pro undercuts the opposition.

But as I said they all have their plus and minus points and I would say at this point are very good.

July 26, 2008 10:41 AM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

@Yawn!

The point I was making about over optimization for a tiny niche could be best shown by the example of why test on Windows is so much easier to read than on OS X with the same grade hardware...

A few years ago, a Microsoft researcher name Bill Hill was working on how we read. As part of that work he came up with the ClearType sub-pixel aliasing engine for text. (And before we get into how sub-pixel aliasing had existed before, realize that ClearType did enohgh things never seen before to merit a separate post which we can do - as a separate post)

Microsoft built ClearType into the OS to improve readability.

Apple followed up with their own sub-pixel font rendering for OS X.

The difference - the key point here - is that Microsoft set up ClearType to improve on-screen readability which helps the general public. Apple set up their sub-pixel rendering for sub-pixel font accuracy at the cost of on-screen readability.

Now, Apple's choice is ideal for layout people who care whether two letters are separated by 2 points rather than 1.8 points. (It really comes down to 1/3 pixel differences, hundredths of an inch on a normal display) For the niche that do precise layout work, the choice was ideal. But it was done at a cost to everyone else.

That is optimizing to a niche. The product becomes tuned to a specific small group at the cost of its appeal for everyone else. The Apple display technology is more accurate (by hundredths of an inch) in layout. The Windows display technology gives users much easier to read text.

Which trade would you have made?

Would you have sacrificed the on-screen readability for all your users to keep a tiny group like very high-end desktop publishers happier with you?

If you needed that niche more than you needed the general public, yes.

July 26, 2008 12:42 PM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

@Avro

"Let's not forget that MS is the biggest supplier of Mac software after Apple."

At least it's not like the late '80s (when most people used MS-DOS computers, Mac was #2 and Windows 2.x was a distant #3) and somebody figured out that Microsoft made more money off the average Mac sale than the average PC sale despite PCs being a "Microsoft platform".

At the time, few people used Windows and most Microsoft apps were 2nd or 3rd place on MS-DOS (behind WordPerfect, Multimate, 1-2-3, dBase III, etc.) whereas Word and Excel dominated the Mac market.

July 26, 2008 1:09 PM
 

DRWAM said:

How much revenue does Exchange bring in, and how is it sold? I am really liking it. At work, we just access through IE 6, as we are never at the same office or workstation on any given day. But, budda-bing, I have my calendar and email [address book is corporate] instantly, which I can sync with home. Friggin BU_T-ful!

July 26, 2008 1:19 PM
 

gorath said:

@ AVRO

I know that like-for like hardware comparissons between a Mac and a PC return very similar prices, with occasional advantages to either side, but what I meant was that if people really want just basic functionality, then it's hard to convince them to pay more for a decent machine (mac OR pc), when paying more doesn't seem to give them any advantage - I'm talking about everyday folk who don't "get" computers here.

"why would I pay more for a mac, when it doesn't do anything more than a cheap pc?" if you see what I mean.

July 26, 2008 1:48 PM
 

Tero said:

"Linux is very limited compared to OSX or Windows."

This isn't true, of course. And I'd like to know what the writer means by "Linux." Maybe a "Honda" is also limited in comparison to "Toyota"? Makes sense? No?

I haven't been running Windows for ages, but I have checked it out every once in a while. Each time I do this the user experience loses against my self-tailored, KDE-based setup which itself is anything but modern. Still, I simply cannot work effectively on Windows. It is difficult and it is confusing; and Vista is the most difficult Windows yet. Ever got the network set up on Vista? Me neither. Ever got it to work with your accessibility needs? No, I didn't either. And I can only wonder how people run multiple applications on their Windows desktop without growing mad at the inability of the system to manage multiple open windows and tasks at use or running simultaneously. Something as simple as renaming a file extension or copying subsets of file collections to various places can be maddeningly difficult and time consuming.

Regardless, I wouldn't know how to secure a Windows installation anyway, given that it has to sit connected to the mighty interweb for 24h/365d, and for periods of time when I'm not at home babysitting it. I just wouldn't feel like leaving a Windows system on its own that way. Or maybe I'm just old-fashioned and it is actually quite secure these days... who knows. That doesn't matter when it renders daily computing chores too cumbersome for me.

Luckily, Linux-based systems are quite common these days, and one need no longer use Windows at work or the university or school etc. I've yet to spot a Mac anywhere, though. Not that I would mind trying one or even running one for some real work etc. It is just they are nowhere to be found.

July 26, 2008 2:12 PM
 

Avro said:

@ Tero

I am extremely impressed with Ubuntu and Suse.  Solid as a rock.

Macs, only 10 million sold this year, you are missing something :-)

@ Mike

Apple has to satisfy the Desktop market in the same way that MS needs to keep on eye on Enterprise.  Doesn't mean that they are not useful for more general needs too.

@Gorath

I heard about the guy who got a $200 rebate on his Windows machine because he only used Linux on it.  If I wanted something not fancy and for the basics that is the way I would go to keep the costs down.

July 26, 2008 2:52 PM
 

joe-dokes said:

I just love the hyperbolic comments that suggest the XP SP2 was somehow a free upgrade.  What SP2 was is an immense bug fix.  It fixed the woefully stupid and inadequate security model that was Windows XP.

Ironically NT has a pretty good security model, although it's lack of sudo is and to some extent continues to be an issue in Vista.  The model was effectively broken in XP because users were frequently forced to run as Admin.  Admin in Windows is essentially root.  As a result, any malwar, virus, or trojan that gets in to a Windows Box frequently has the keys to the castle.  

For example, to show how fair I am, when OS X went from 10.0 to 10.1 Apple gave it away, why because 10.1 basically fixed some of the major issues that needed to be addressed.  As a matter of fact, when 10.1 was released PC magazine announced that OS X was now ready to be used as your everyday desktop OS.

For those of you who continue to argue that SP2 was more than a fix for the massive security issues in XP, can you name three features of SP 2 that weren't security related?

Regards

Joe Dokes

July 26, 2008 3:36 PM
 

johnpapola said:

@Mike,

I think your example of font rendering is very well articulated and states the advantages of both sides very well.  I would only add the caveat that preferences in font rendering between OSX and Cleartype are arguably a matter of taste.  Many people on windows that see Safari's font rendering and gasp I would argue are doing so out of familiarity rather than any inherent superiority of either approach.  Both are quite readable.

I'd also rebut the notion you are insinuating that the Mac is not adequately "optimized" for a very large userbase.  The great majority of consumers would be very well served by a Mac and a very diverse group of users are serve by them right now happily.  If Apple did nothing different, but had 50% market share, I guarantee that any holes in the third party ecosystem for various niche users (Like AutoCAD users) would be filled.

July 26, 2008 5:27 PM
 

Tero said:

re Avro:

"I am extremely impressed with Ubuntu and Suse.  Solid as a rock.

Macs, only 10 million sold this year, you are missing something :-)"

SuSE is OK once you remove some unnecessary baggage, like the Beagle "I'm constantly -- I mean constantly -- indexing so you can search more easily" stuff, that in my opinion only adds instability onto otherwise solid foundation. KDE 4.0.x should be avoided, too -- it is the Vista of the open source world. The 4.1 branch that is to be out soon looks better. 3.5 branch was great, but getting old. Some other things ought to be uninstalled or at least reconfigured as well -- can't remember which ones exactly. My own setup is heavily tweaked and runs no unnecessary processes etc. It is as solid as these things come.

Regarding Macs, maybe I will find if someone somewhere sells them so I can have a look at the system. Who knows, I might end up buying one... which can't be said of iPhone 3G which they're bringing out here too, and which I'm not the least bit interested in. It seems but an expensive toy, even though I am  -- like almost all men -- highly toy friendly. Men's need to play is what runs a major portion of the whole consumer tech industry. But a mobile phone needs to also work well as a phone; it should sport toy-like features only such that they do not get in the way of its main purpose. I think iPhone does not respect this delicate balance. The UI is too cumbersome for some very basic tasks. They've traded too much user friendliness in favour of the Wow! factor.

July 26, 2008 5:52 PM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

@john

On font rendering. First off, the rendering on Safari on Windows is even more strange because Apple chose to override Windows default rendering and do an emulation of the Mac rendering. What I'm primarily talking about is the OS level font rendering on both platforms. It isn't a matter of taste, there's solid readability data behind it. It isn't that Apple had different studies, it's that they chose one tradeoff (font accuracy) over another (readability).

As for optimization, that was the whole point. The Mac is optimized for a small group. That others might find those optimizations acceptable is expected. A person for whom a Lotus is their ideal car could be reasonably happy with a Ferrari. It isn't ideal for them but it's close. Hence my saying that if you optimize for 2% you also get another 1.5% where it's close enough.

Again, to go mainstream, you have to optimize for "reasonable for the general population" which will be less than ideal for almost everyone but closer to their ideal than something tightly optimized for a niche.

July 26, 2008 5:54 PM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

@Avro

The key to understanding the number of Microsoft Windows variants is that what is ideal for the Enterprise is not ideal for a personal user nor for a small business user nor for a serious techy. Hence the Business, Enterprise, Ultimate and Home product lines. Windows is sufficiently broad and complex that by turning on and off specific features, some optimizing can be done.

July 26, 2008 5:57 PM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

@Tero

"KDE 4.0.x should be avoided, too -- it is the Vista of the open source world. "

You mean it works better than any previous version of KDE, outperforms and is more popular than it's comptetion, has more features, is more secure and has better technology than anything else on the market but despite all its benefits has a bad reputation which can be overcome by simply telling people that it's "KDE 'Mojave'?"

July 26, 2008 6:00 PM
 

Free Iphone 2 U » Blog Archive » re: FY09 Strategic Update said:

Pingback from  Free Iphone 2 U  » Blog Archive   » re: FY09 Strategic Update

July 26, 2008 6:30 PM
 

DRWAM said:

Tero, my buddy from Florida just called. He ordered an iPhone from ATT and got it yesterday. He is not very tech savvy, in fact, he called for help as he forgot his router password and cannot connect. I was his tech support [ I live in New Jersey]. But he loves it. He said that he tried the HTC and did not like it, but loves the iPhone. The only Apple product that he has ever owned was an iPod. He uses internet phone, but had the installers or a friend for hook up. Either way, he loves his phone and thinks his connection is very fast. He's a lawyer, but I don't hold that against him.

July 26, 2008 6:55 PM
 

gorath said:

@ Joe-dokes

whilst I agree with the notion that SP2 was a patch, i couldn;t resist.

1 true firewire 400 (or was it 800 - I forget) support

2 bluetooth support

3 enhanced WiFi hotspot support.

July 26, 2008 7:22 PM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

Of course, if we used the same level of criteria for "new features" as Apple did for Leopard, not only is XP SP2 not a "patch" it's a major update of the OS.

(It certainly had more features added over SP1 than Leopard did over Tiger and was $129 cheaper)

July 26, 2008 7:28 PM
 

johnpapola said:

"Again, to go mainstream, you have to optimize for "reasonable for the general population" which will be less than ideal for almost everyone but closer to their ideal than something tightly optimized for a niche."

This is where we disagree regarding Apple.  The mac is very well suited to consumers, which isn't a 2% sliver of the market, it's dramatically larger.  The average consumer has many advantages in picking the Mac over a Windows PC.  I don't think that Font rendering is something holding back the Mac.  The mac is held back by three things (which it is increasingly overcoming)

1. Fear.  People don't change easily.

2. Price.  The volume in the market is in the cheapo PCs.

3. Network effects.

The platform is great for most consumers.  In fact, Apple's ignorance of the enterprise probably helps make it better for consumers using the same "optimization" you're talking about.  One size never fits all equally well.

July 26, 2008 8:02 PM
 

Avro said:

@Mike

The Consumers' Association in the UK reports owner satisfaction of laptops at:

Apple        87%

Lenovo     64%

Sony         58%

Dell           55%

HP             53%

Apple seems to serve the 'consumer niche' rather well.  The desktop market is similar with Apple leading the pack at 88%.

July 27, 2008 4:25 AM
 

Tero said:

Re: mikegalos

""KDE 4.0.x should be avoided, too -- it is the Vista of the open source world. "

You mean it works better than any previous version of KDE,"

In theory, at least, yes. Under the hood it is a whole new beast, technologically superior to KDE 3 and a great foundation for building a modern desktop environment. The problem is, and this sounds familiar to Vista followers, that most of the user-visible improvements that build on the new technologies had to be postponed till subsequent releases due to the thing's already having been late and eating up resources by god knows how much, and due to hence problems and bugs mounting. Feature after feature had to be dropped and pushed back for the next release. What was left was a great platform and set of tools for developing for it, but little concrete new stuff (for an average user) round the bones to show off in comparison to the older version. Even some of the most crucial KDE 3.5 apps had not been ported to Qt 4 and KDE 4 when it was released.

"outperforms and is more popular than it's comptetion,"

Might outperform some day. Not more popular than its predecessor. Just like Vista was after a few months after its release. People had little reason to upgrade existing systems. New computers bring people Vistas. That is true with KDE 4 as well.

"has more features, is more secure and has better technology than anything else on the market"

I don't know how secure a certain KDE version is, so I can't compare them on that basis. I don't know how secure a certain KDE version is when compared to, say GNOME. Can't comment on Xfce either. Or OS X. etc. It is merely a desktop environment so comparing it features-wise is challenging. It has great technology under the hood, yes. The question is, how will that be made use of.

"but despite all its benefits has a bad reputation which can be overcome by simply telling people that it's "KDE 'Mojave'?"

Well, kind of. The community is now trying to convert those who think it was a trainwreck by telling them it actually wasn't. It has a bad reputation -- worse than it probably deserves.

July 27, 2008 10:33 AM
 

Tero said:

Re: DRWAN

Well I'm glad for your friend. But iPhone is not for me.

July 27, 2008 10:36 AM
 

DRWAM said:

Tero, here's the funny part. I really don't listen to music, so it seems that I should get another type of phone, since my Treo is around two years old, counting the replacement. However, my wife just handed me my present for our 10 year wedding anniversary. Yep, it's the 16GB black iPhone. So it looks like I own one now. Apparently, my other friend, who also bought one, planned this event. He doesn't even own a Mac, and I am not sure if he has an iPod. I think that he, and my friend from Florida just want it for internet. How much do you want to bet me that I will be setting up Exchange for him too? Well, at least it's smaller than my Treo.

July 27, 2008 11:47 AM
 

subzerohitman721 said:

I really do hope Microsoft pushes hard to meet some of these goals. To some of the Naysayers, I always say, Never say Never. What seems impossible yesterday becomes practical reality tomorrow. Back in 07, everyone thought it was Hillary vs Rudy. Guess where those two are now? Back further AMD was the number one chip maker and Intel was number two. Its flipped. In 1997 Apple was dying, ten years later Apple was in the midst of a full revival.

July 27, 2008 12:29 PM
 

Macbook Update ♦ Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro News said:

July 27, 2008 5:43 PM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

Subzerohitman721

I do wonder how you reconcile these two data points:

Apple Worldwide Market Share - 1997 - 3.2% - "Apple [is] dying"

Apple Worldwide Market Share - 2007 - 2.9% - "Apple [is] in the midst of a full revival

0.3% drop in share in a decade changes them from "dying" to being in a "full revival"?

Since Apple's quite likely to get 3.2% share for 2008 and equal their 1997 share even with their analysts warnings this week does that mean they're "dying" again?

July 27, 2008 9:48 PM
 

Yawn! said:

@Mike,

Your talking out of both sides of your mouth.  

>>t's easy to tightly target 2% of the population with a product (and get another 1.5% where it's an OK choice) and do a really good job for that 2%. It's especially easy when you have a tight vertical monopoly as Apple does.

>>The point I was making about over optimization for a tiny niche could be best shown by the example of why test on Windows is so much easier to read than on OS X with the same grade hardware...

>> do wonder how you reconcile these two data points:

Apple Worldwide Market Share - 1997 - 3.2% - "Apple [is] dying"

Apple Worldwide Market Share - 2007 - 2.9% - "Apple [is] in the midst of a full revival

To answer your last question - it  is very simple.   All one needs to know is what size (units sold) of the market in 1997 vs the market size in 2008.

If you want to duck  and sidetrack feel free to  talk about ClearType,  DEC's VT 52's, VT 100's , VT 102's,  DEC GIGI's,  VAX 11/780 or seeing Balmer not throw a chair in a Starbuck's.  That's cool.  Some of us have been there and done that as well.

Yawn!

(Windows 7, SP1)

July 27, 2008 11:33 PM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

Yawn!

Well, it's nice to know somebody's reading (and memorizing) all my posts.

Of course, I'm not sure what your point is.

Perhaps you can explain it.

The point you did sort-of answer seems somehow to say:

3% of the market is near death in 1997 but 3% of the market is a huge success in 2007.

Is this some kind of "you have the body of a 60 year old" is an insult if you're 30 but a complement if you're 90 kind of thing?

July 28, 2008 2:00 AM
 

RaaJ said:

@ Yawn !

"To answer your last question - it  is very simple.   All one needs to know is what size (units sold) of the market in 1997 vs the market size in 2008."

3% marketshare is 3% marketshare. It is black and white. Apple has more active Macs in the world with its 3% marketshare of today's market, but so does the PC with its near 9x% share.

I am not sure what your point is?

July 28, 2008 9:15 AM
 

Yawn! said:

@RaaJ

>>% marketshare is 3% marketshare. It is black and white.  

The only thing about market share that is black and white is that it  = 100%.

Nothing more and nothing less.

In this case market share only shows how all the combine computer makers are doing all together and against each other from a period of time to a period of time.   Market share is variable and changes from Q to Q in this market.

Mike used an old trick used by old politicians, sleazy stock brokers, and religious zealots  (I am not stating he is any of these).   He was implying that market share determines the health (Financial) of a company.    

One only needs to know the margins and # of units sold vs. expenses to determine the health of a company at any time.   You can find these answer in any companies 10q's and 10k's.

Feel free to look back at the history behind his question and you will find this to be the case.  Here are two quick links:  

www.time.com/.../0,9171,990642,00.html

arstechnica.com/.../8

The only way to measure the health of a company in any given market is to know the # of units sold and the margin per unit.

Yawn!

(Windows 7, SP1)

July 28, 2008 2:59 PM
 

subzerohitman721 said:

mikegalos@msn.com said:

Subzerohitman721

I do wonder how you reconcile these two data points:

Apple Worldwide Market Share - 1997 - 3.2% - "Apple [is] dying"

Apple Worldwide Market Share - 2007 - 2.9% - "Apple [is] in the midst of a full revival

0.3% drop in share in a decade changes them from "dying" to being in a "full revival"?

Since Apple's quite likely to get 3.2% share for 2008 and equal their 1997 share even with their analysts warnings this week does that mean they're "dying" again?

My Comments:

Mike, I can reconcile those data points by this. First, Paul's report on the state of Mac's Worldwide numbers.

community.winsupersite.com/.../mac-worldwide-market-share-hits-3-5-percent-in-q2-2008.aspx

Q2 2008: 3.50 percent

Q1 2008: 3.26 percent

Q4 2007: 3.12 percent

Q3 2007: 3.19 percent

Now either Paul's numbers are wrong or yours. I tend to give Paul more credence in this department.

Second, clearly there is a pop cultural increase in Apple's visibility as a platform. There's no way Apple would be making the profits and reporting them if people weren't buying them. Falsifying profit and earnings reports is a federal offense, that would bring the wrath of the SEC and other government agencies.

I understand the need to challenge for honest discourse. However, I think you are being a little bit unfair here. Clearly there has been a renewed interest in the Apple plat form of computing. Just because it's not as large as Microsoft's, doesn't mean its completely and utterly irrelevant. The approximately 25 million Apple computer users have a right to express themselves and have some pride in their platform. What I rail against is the marketing hyperbole, vitriolic anger of the extreme Mac fans at Windows users, and plain false information. To insist that the platform and the user base is stale, isn't consistent with the facts that I keep reading.

Before I ever was a Windows user, I used Macs on a regular basis. I can see why people buy it. My problem with Macs today is the price point. Other than that I think its a rock solid platform for those who consent to purchasing them. There's a lot of good people who use Macs and they shouldn't be damned for their choice. Last I checked in the United States, we still do have that right in a free market economy?

July 29, 2008 9:23 AM
 

mikegalos@msn.com said:

Subzero

The difference between my numbers and the ones you listed for Paul were that mine were 2007FY. Paul's were half 2007 and half 2008 to talk about the latest quarter.

My point is this:

In the period while Jobs was at NeXT, the incompetent Apple management team managed to drop them from a major industry force with almost 20% share down to a niche product with 3.2% of the market.

In a decade of Steve Jobs' "brilliant and innovative" leadership, he managed to have it drop even more (or, if you pick and choose years, at best, kept it at the same dismal level)

I'm not saying don't buy a Mac. I'm saying don't praise Apple leadership where it isn't deserved.

July 29, 2008 11:42 PM

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