Windows 7 As A Red Herring

  • Posted: 08 July 2009 02:21 AM

    I’m bracing for the media blitz and the self-congratulatory statement of Windows partisans as they purchase shrink-wrapped copies of Windows 7, claiming they have survived the Vista era and are ready to embrace MSFT’s latest operating system offering.

    One of the reasons Vista failed so miserably is because it was developed around the outdated PC as media center paradigm. Windows 7 may not be much better in terms of keeping pace with the dynamic needs of users.

    In the stretch of years since XP debuted until the time Windows 7 hits the market, Apple has taken OS X from its first commercial release to a well-honed, multiple digital device platform. During those same years Apple switched to Intel processors and created a digital device craze with the iPod. The iPhone is only two years old and is already in its 3rd iteration.

    Windows Mobile is moribund and smart phone makers racing to compete are developing their own mobile operating systems, leaving Windows Mobile devices to fill out the bottom of the smart phone product lines. Palm is moving swiftly to develop its webOS and the iPhone OS 3.0 was just released.

    The fastest growing segment of the PC industry in netbooks. Netbooks are designed to be cheap and provide little more than a mobile Web portal for users. The netbook market is not one upon which to build the foundation for the resurgence of an OS in the consumer market. Enterprises will adopt Windows 7 for no other reason than to finally escape an OS (XP) that was released eight years ago.

    IMHO Windows 7 is a red herring. It will divert attention (at least briefly) from the advances in Snow Leopard and feed the news media’s need for hype. But look a bit deeper.

    Apple is shipping OS X-based devices (Macs, iPhones, iPod touch) by the tens of millions. The market has moved away from the PC as the center of user’s digital life and there’s nothing about Windows 7 that appreciably incorporates this migration into its solutions better than Windows XP.  A decent Apple tablet will move the market even further away.

    IIRC, in last July’s conference call with analysts Tim Cook mentioned the release of a product that would have lower margins to start but essentially push Apple years ahead of the competition. I don’t think he was referring to Macs or the iPhone. I suspect a tablet is well on its way. I’m not one for starting or embellishing rumors. But I suspect Windows 7 will be the last media smoke screen before the PC market is disrupted by Apple with a device that will rival netbooks on price but deliver a much more satisfying experience as a Web portal, news and book reader and recreational gaming device.

         
  • Posted: 08 July 2009 08:03 AM #1

    DawnTreader - 08 July 2009 05:21 AM

    IMHO Windows 7 is a red herring. It will divert attention (at least briefly) from the advances in Snow Leopard and feed the news media’s need for hype.

    You can see the Microsoft marketing team working Snow Leopard already. “It’s only a cosmetic upgrade”, they are starting to chant. But they are missing the big picture. Rewriting the OS from the ground up is almost a big a step as moving from 9 to X. Microsoft are collectively under the impression that this is all smoke and mirrors not realizing that Apple have embraced 64 bit computing in a way they could never do.

    Well actually they are trying by offering an XP emulator to run legacy software with their upper versions of their OS (how stupid does THAT sound? - I mean Apple only offer 2 - one for the server one for the desktop). So if you have legacy PC apps you now have two choices you can run them under emulation on a bloated, cash cow of an OS that is Windows 7 or you can run them under emulation on a true 64 bit Apple OS.

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  • Posted: 08 July 2009 10:40 PM #2

    Well stated, DT.  Good post.

    I agree with ratty also.  All of my chess software is Windows-only.  Chess software is usually resource intensive and much of it is written in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Germany.  There is so much inertia now that it will likely be Windows-only for a long time to come.  But I have not powered up my HP now since last November.  I run Bootcamp on a four year old iMac and in eight months have had zero problems.  I now eagerly await Snow Leopard, and I am expecting much more than $20 worth of performance improvement.

    It is a failing of we humans that we see ourselves in others.  Thus it does not surprise me that MS would characterized Snow Leopard as a minor, cosmetic update.  Looking back on it, since Windows 95 that is wall we have seen from Redmond.  And I cannot recall a new version of Windows which improved the performance on my existing hardware.  Quite the contrary.  With each upgrade I had to purchase new hardware just to tread water.

         
  • Posted: 09 July 2009 12:19 AM #3

    We’ve heard the mention of “early product phase/lower margin” over a couple of conference calls and the fact they keep full year margin guidance at hard to explain levels has me also feeling something new is just over the horizon. We’ve also heard the recurring “we’ve got some interesting ideas here” referring to the netbook market that leaves me feeling the only mystery is when and how insanely great this product will be.

    From the moment I got my iPhone, I’ve always wished for something a little bigger to help my aging eyesight and to save some of the time I spend tapping to expand the text to visible sizes. I spend a lot of time with my 3G, and imagine I’d spend a great amount of time with a new MacPad. Question - since it would have 3G access built in for anywhere internet access, would it also be able to make phone calls? If so, would I no longer need my iPhone? Would the choice basically be portable form factor vs power/battery life/screen readability?

         
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    Posted: 09 July 2009 12:25 AM #4

    <hangs head in shame>

    Last night I approved budgeting money for windows seven at the director meeting.

    Don’t tell nobody on AFB, okay?

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  • Posted: 09 July 2009 01:10 AM #5

    cranium - 09 July 2009 03:19 AM

    From the moment I got my iPhone, I’ve always wished for something a little bigger to help my aging eyesight and to save some of the time I spend tapping to expand the text to visible sizes. I spend a lot of time with my 3G, and imagine I’d spend a great amount of time with a new MacPad. Question - since it would have 3G access built in for anywhere internet access, would it also be able to make phone calls? If so, would I no longer need my iPhone? Would the choice basically be portable form factor vs power/battery life/screen readability?

    I suspect the device will have built-in WiFi but not 3G cell service capability. There’s no reason (and it’s counter-intuitive) for Apple to increase the size of a cell phone beyond the dimensions of the iPhone.

    However, looking at Apple’s product naming strategy, should Apple release a product bigger than an iPhone with cell service capability, it could only be called one thing (you guessed it!) the Apple PhoneBook.  :wink:  LOL

         
  • Posted: 09 July 2009 01:20 AM #6

    artman1033 - 09 July 2009 03:52 AM

    They have no macs.

    (yet)

    No doubt Windows 7 will be a statistical unit sales success especially when PCs sold with a free upgrade offer are counted as Windows 7 units.

    But that’s beside the point. MSFT has already cut pricing on the product and the Windows is losing relevance.

    It comes down to this: The digital device at or near your work desk five years from now may be radically different than the one you use today and MSFT will have a much smaller piece of the enterprise pie. Wars are won or lost before the final big battles are even fought.

         
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    Posted: 09 July 2009 01:22 AM #7

    DawnTreader - 09 July 2009 04:10 AM
    cranium - 09 July 2009 03:19 AM

    From the moment I got my iPhone, I’ve always wished for something a little bigger to help my aging eyesight and to save some of the time I spend tapping to expand the text to visible sizes. I spend a lot of time with my 3G, and imagine I’d spend a great amount of time with a new MacPad. Question - since it would have 3G access built in for anywhere internet access, would it also be able to make phone calls? If so, would I no longer need my iPhone? Would the choice basically be portable form factor vs power/battery life/screen readability?

    I suspect the device will have built-in WiFi but not 3G cell service capability. There’s no reason (and it’s counter-intuitive) for Apple to increase the size of a cell phone beyond the dimensions of the iPhone.

    However, looking at Apple’s product naming strategy, should Apple release a product bigger than an iPhone with cell service capability, it could only be called one thing (you guessed it!) the Apple PhoneBook.  :wink:  LOL

    Phonebook is better than a Microsoft BATLOL

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    Posted: 09 July 2009 04:46 AM #8

    rattyuk - 08 July 2009 11:03 AM

    You can see the Microsoft marketing team working Snow Leopard already. “It’s only a cosmetic upgrade”, they are starting to chant.

    And, as usual, they would be missing the point. A cosmetic upgrade is exactly what OS X Snow Leopard is not. In fact, the GUI elements barely change at all. The key changes of this upgrade are mechanical, the vast majority of it lying under the hood. My only concern is that this lack of visual and cosmetic evolution may serve as a basis for more criticism from Microsoft or the Microsoft-leaning media: “Snow Leopard is nothing but a minor update. See for yourself: it even looks exactly the same as Leopard!”.

    Time will tell.

         
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    Posted: 09 July 2009 11:27 AM #9

    MaxW - 09 July 2009 07:46 AM
    rattyuk - 08 July 2009 11:03 AM

    You can see the Microsoft marketing team working Snow Leopard already. “It’s only a cosmetic upgrade”, they are starting to chant.

    And, as usual, they would be missing the point. A cosmetic upgrade is exactly what OS X Snow Leopard is not. In fact, the GUI elements barely change at all. The key changes of this upgrade are mechanical, the vast majority of it lying under the hood. My only concern is that this lack of visual and cosmetic evolution may serve as a basis for more criticism from Microsoft or the Microsoft-leaning media: “Snow Leopard is nothing but a minor update. See for yourself: it even looks exactly the same as Leopard!”.

    Time will tell.

    AFBers know snow leopard is not a cosmetic upgrade.  However, public is poisoned to think that each upgrade has to have new features and need a new hardware to benefit from those new features.  WinTel industry has exploited this for years, selling bloated OS and unnecessary hardware.  Is interesting whether Apple can wake public up about this issue.  Con of waking public up is the replacement cycle of hardware would be increased, ultimately lead to a smaller market.  That is also what I like about Apple.  Don’t sell bloated OS and unnecessary hardware like PC industry.  Don’t introduce ‘new’ phones too frequently (3-6 months) to increase sales.

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  • Posted: 10 July 2009 05:10 PM #10

    DawnTreader - 09 July 2009 04:10 AM
    cranium - 09 July 2009 03:19 AM

    From the moment I got my iPhone, I’ve always wished for something a little bigger to help my aging eyesight and to save some of the time I spend tapping to expand the text to visible sizes. I spend a lot of time with my 3G, and imagine I’d spend a great amount of time with a new MacPad. Question - since it would have 3G access built in for anywhere internet access, would it also be able to make phone calls? If so, would I no longer need my iPhone? Would the choice basically be portable form factor vs power/battery life/screen readability?

    I suspect the device will have built-in WiFi but not 3G cell service capability. There’s no reason (and it’s counter-intuitive) for Apple to increase the size of a cell phone beyond the dimensions of the iPhone.

    However, looking at Apple’s product naming strategy, should Apple release a product bigger than an iPhone with cell service capability, it could only be called one thing (you guessed it!) the Apple PhoneBook.  :wink:  LOL

    I guess I see the potential confusion because many netbooks do come with the option of 3G access for data and therefore anywhere/anytime internet access even when there is no wifi available.

    If Apple’s entry into this market looks to some like a big iPhone and uses the 3G network for data, it might occur to the buyer that there should be a connector for the iPhone mic/buds that would give the opportunity to make calls via the cell network too. The potential issue here is that this could of course bring out the cannibals who no longer need an iPhone. Of course, Apple is better off to eat their own than let someone else do it.

    “The PhoneBook”....now there’s a disruptive technology wrapped up a name!

    I think Apple could be sticking with T over this time period for help launching the MacPad/iPad with subsidies in exchange for 3G data contracts to put the price at least somewhat closer to other netbooks. Interesting, if you already had an iPhone, you could then tether your MacPad to your iPhone for your 3G data. That would be a very visually interesting pairing. Maybe they could be sold as a special deal together and that offering provides the excuse of why you can’t make a cell call from the MacPad?

         
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    Posted: 11 July 2009 12:53 PM #11

    DawnTreader - 08 July 2009 05:21 AM

    IIRC, in last July’s conference call with analysts Tim Cook mentioned the release of a product that would have lower margins to start but essentially push Apple years ahead of the competition. I don’t think he was referring to Macs or the iPhone. I suspect a tablet is well on its way. ... a device that will rival netbooks on price but deliver a much more satisfying experience as a Web portal, news and book reader and recreational gaming device.

    I see a key enabler in this equation being the yet-unreleased cloud apps addition to Mobile Me / iLife ‘10. With the new data center, tight integration, and ubiquitous integrated cloud, Apple will button up the market before it is even announced.  Talk about a game changer. Their fat margins up to this point have enabled all this prep work. And nobody sees it coming.

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