They Still Don’t Get It

★ Why Windows 8 Is Fundamentally Flawed as a Response to the iPad:

But I think it’s a fundamentally flawed idea for Microsoft to build their next-generation OS and interface on top of the existing Windows. The idea is that you get the new stuff right alongside Windows as we know it. Microsoft is obviously trying to learn from Apple, but they clearly don’t understand why the iPad runs iOS, and not Mac OS X…

The ability to run Mac OS X apps on the iPad, with full access to the file system, peripherals, etc., would make the iPad worse, not better. The iPad succeeds because it has eliminatedcomplexity, not because it has covered up the complexity of the Mac with a touch-based “shell”. iOS’s lack of backward compatibility with any existing software means that all apps for iOS are written specifically for iOS.

(Via Daring Fireball.)

Microsoft has not unlearned the core lessons of Windows to do What’s Next.

Windows Phone 7 Fails To Halt Microsoft’s Mobile Slide

Windows Phone 7 Fails To Halt Microsoft’s Mobile Slide:

Microsoft’s share of U.S. smartphone platforms slipped 1.7%, to 8%, during the three months ended Jan. 31, according to market watcher comScore. Over the same period, Google Android’s share increased 7.7%, to 31.2%, while Apple’s iPhone held steady—increasing .1% to 24.7%.

(Via InformationWeek – All Stories And Blogs.)

Ouch.  No hardware carrier needs two monkeys on their back.  Microsoft’s traditional model has been to charge for their OS and appropriate some value from the OEM.  Google’s turns all that on its head.  In fact, Google is willing to pay through revenue sharing on search.  Microsoft’s rumored “billions” paid to Nokia to implement on Windows Phone is too little, too late.  Microsoft can’t pay everybody to implement on their OS.

Microsoft, Apple and Market Share

This time the story is hardly the one you would expect.

Mac sales growth continues to surge ahead of PCs 3 to 1:

The single biggest jump in sales has come from the business market, which is up by 66.3%. Among large and very large businesses, sales spiked 146% and 202% respectively, which is an excellent sign for Apple. Those large businesses tend to be controlled by large IT departments, which are typically very conservative when it comes to computer system upgrades and replacements. The popularity of iOS devices among executives and the more tech savvy is probably playing a big part in convincing these companies to take another look at Apple on the desktop.”

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

Wow!  Of course, Apple has had a lot of room to grow in terms of the business market, but at this economic time?  That is pretty remarkable.

Apple is right to stay out of the high-end server market if the results keep coming in like this.  They want to sell metal not software so this strategy of strong user centricity is clearly working.  As long as the Mac can play nice in “corporate environments,” i.e. Windows environments, it can compete well.  Microsoft has recognized this by finally, after nearly a decade, opting to bring full Outlook back the Mac version of Office.  With the recent rehabilitation of Excel, Microsoft is still in a position to print money from it’s cash cow (to mix metaphors): Microsoft Office and it’s attendant servers.  Yes, Windows on the client end suffers a bit of market share loss, but Microsoft keep the servers and basic corporate technology on their platform.  And while Microsoft is doing its level best to answer the iOS, the trend right now suggests we should expect to see “Pocket” versions of the Office apps in the not too distant future.

Jaundiced Journalism?

iPhone 4, Windows Vista Share 10 Remarkable Similarities – IT Infrastructure from eWeek:

“At Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference July 11 to 15, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner told attendees he believes Apple’s iPhone 4, with its antenna problems, could be that company’s Windows Vista. Turner was referring, of course, to the issues faced by Microsoft after its Vista operating system failed to deliver an experience that customers had hoped for. Turner’s comments were certainly interesting, and they undoubtedly will make some wonder if he’s right. After all, there are parallels that can be drawn between the two releases. Depending on what Apple does to address the iPhone 4 antenna issue beyond offering a free case, the iPhone 4 could turn out to be just as big of a problem for Apple as Vista was for Microsoft. Let’s examine some of the similarities between Windows Vista and Apple’s iPhone 4.”


(Via eWeek.)

I was a tad incensed at this article because it made a good case if one was selective with the facts.  Structurally, the Vista rollout is very different from the iPhone.  The majority of Vista licenses are sold in bundles.  iPhones are outright retail purchases.  It’s a lot harder to return Vista when it’s included with your PC.  Customers did have an option to downgrade but that was prior to purchase.  Returns are practically impossible when the OS is bundled.  Returning an iPhone is easy.  Just walk into a store and get your money back.

As of right now, Apple is reporting1.7% return rate over this “issue” which is less than 1/3 the 6% return rate of the iPhone 3GS.   People were reporting antenna problems the day the phone went on sale.  So it’s not like customers haven’t had plenty of opportunity to return their phones.  It’s always possible we could see more returns in the future, but as of now people are keeping their phones.  That’s a win for Apple.

To imply that “Anntennagate” is going to turn into a Vista-esque failure for Apple feels like yellow journalism to me and it’s disappointing to see so much of it these last few weeks.

Miller-esque caveat alert: ‘Course that’s just my opinion.  I could be wrong.

Paying for the Name

Microsoft’s latest ad attacks Mac aesthetics, computing power — RoughlyDrafted Magazine:

“The strangest point of this ad is that Giampaolo didn’t get the portability, battery life, and power he was looking for, he just ended up with a cheap-appearing machine that obscured its real technical limitations under a flashy layer of misleading, specification-oriented marketing, the very thing he thought he was avoiding with HP: buying a brand rather than a computer. And that’s exactly what Microsoft wants people to do: buy its brand rather than a computer that does what they want it to do.”

(Via Roughly Drafted.)

Great summary on why Microsoft can’t even sell itself. It has to sell others. I wonder how Dell or Lenovo feel about this ad.

Built It and They Came

Netbooks killing off sickly Windows PC sales” RoughlyDrafted Magazine:

“That has hit Microsoft particularly hard, resulting in an 11% drop in profits over its year ago quarter and plans to cut 5,000 jobs over the next year and a half. On the other hand, Apple posted its best quarterly results ever, with 9% growth in its Mac sales over the previous year.”

(Via RoughlyDrafted Magazine.)

This what happens when you have to focus on making great products in order to survive. Making commodities is a long term user for enhanced profits.