Philosophical musings

  • Posted: 31 October 2011 11:20 PM

    OK, I am an old man… relatively…  but here is what I think is most interesting about this whole thing.

    I never thought I would see the day when Microsoft would be dethroned. In the Gates era all they had to do was cover whatever anyone else was doing - and they did. Now post-Gates pretty much the only way they could screw up was fail to cover.

    Phones - not relevant. Tablets - yeah, we’ve done that.

    They had the whole thing locked up. There weren’t too many ways to lose but one of the surest was to say, yeah we know the future, we no longer need to cover.

    Think probabilities. What are the odds that IOS/Android puts Windows to rest? Did they need to tske the chance?

         
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    Posted: 01 November 2011 12:35 AM #1

    Microsoft did NOT have the whole thing locked up.  Apple was gaining strength every year and with Steve’s long-range planning, it would’ve taken a counter-Steve on the other side to somehow block his moves.

    Microsoft has ensured its future, but not so much its growth.

    Apple’s done both by being a hardware manufacturer (not Microsoft) that integrates (not anyone) to insane degrees (same deal) with extreme product focus and attention to detail (same deal once again) and has exploited its integration/economies of scale advantage to organically grow itself into, soon, the world’s largest tech company.

    This is a terribly tricky combination, but Apple somehow manages it with relative ease.  Microsoft and Apple always had different goals.  That’s how Microsoft got “outmanuevered.”  Steve’s long view has been vindicated.

    At the end of the day, Apple has won.  And just as Steve said, Microsoft did not have to lose.  There’s more than one way to become a $100B revs tech company.

    [ Edited: 01 November 2011 12:41 AM by Mav ]

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  • Posted: 01 November 2011 01:37 AM #2

    Mav - 01 November 2011 03:35 AM

    Microsoft did NOT have the whole thing locked up.  Apple was gaining strength every year and with Steve’s long-range planning, it would’ve taken a counter-Steve on the other side to somehow block his moves.

    Microsoft has ensured its future, but not so much its growth.

    Apple’s done both by being a hardware manufacturer (not Microsoft) that integrates (not anyone) to insane degrees (same deal) with extreme product focus and attention to detail (same deal once again) and has exploited its integration/economies of scale advantage to organically grow itself into, soon, the world’s largest tech company.

    This is a terribly tricky combination, but Apple somehow manages it with relative ease.  Microsoft and Apple always had different goals.  That’s how Microsoft got “outmanuevered.”  Steve’s long view has been vindicated.

    At the end of the day, Apple has won.  And just as Steve said, Microsoft did not have to lose.  There’s more than one way to become a $100B revs tech company.

    Mav,
    Apple already is the world’s largest tech company by valuation. And for most of the last 2 months Apple has been the largest company in the world.

    Alan

         
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    Posted: 01 November 2011 01:38 AM #3

    I’m not talking market cap.  Revs are the most objective measure of a company’s worth (much tougher to fudge and market-manipulate) and it will take a little while longer for Apple to become the world’s biggest tech company, by revenue.

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    Posted: 01 November 2011 02:09 AM #4

    Microsoft did not fail to see the direction of computing, they failed to execute. They’ve been working on a phone & tablet OS longer than Apple has. Windows Mobile had early success, then faded. Windows Tablet never really got off the ground.

    That said, I wouldn’t count Microsoft completely out of the game just yet. Windows Phone 7.5 is at least different and good enough to attract some buyers. Windows 8 Metro is going to be very late to the tablet scene, but 2nd place is still wide open since Honeycomb was about as successful as Windows Tablet.

    This decade will see Microsoft slowly lose dominance in a fading traditional PC market as Mac OS firmly establishes itself in the high-end section of the market. At the same time they will fight hard to gain double-digit market share in the post-PC market. Sadly for them, this latter market is significantly less profitable for OS vendors.

    Steve was correct in describing Microsoft as ?mostly irrelevant?.

         
  • Posted: 01 November 2011 02:15 AM #5

    Mav - 01 November 2011 04:38 AM

    I’m not talking market cap.  Revs are the most objective measure of a company’s worth (much tougher to fudge and market-manipulate) and it will take a little while longer for Apple to become the world’s biggest tech company, by revenue.

    Yeah, but then there’s the largest tech company by market share, or the largest tech company in the enterprise, etc.

    Market cap suffices for me, because that is how the investment world views Apple against everyone else.  That view is derived from expected future growth in share, revenues, and profits.

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  • Posted: 01 November 2011 02:24 AM #6

    Drew Bear - 01 November 2011 05:09 AM

    Microsoft did not fail to see the direction of computing, they failed to execute. They’ve been working on a phone & tablet OS longer than Apple has. Windows Mobile had early success, then faded. Windows Tablet never really got off the ground.

    That said, I wouldn’t count Microsoft completely out of the game just yet. Windows Phone 7.5 is at least different and good enough to attract some buyers. Windows 8 Metro is going to be very late to the tablet scene, but 2nd place is still wide open since Honeycomb was about as successful as Windows Tablet.

    This decade will see Microsoft slowly lose dominance in a fading traditional PC market as Mac OS firmly establishes itself in the high-end section of the market. At the same time they will fight hard to gain double-digit market share in the post-PC market. Sadly for them, this latter market is significantly less profitable for OS vendors.

    Steve was correct in describing Microsoft as ?mostly irrelevant?.

    Microsoft’s problem is that it has created products that attempt to extend the desktop metaphor to mobile devices. It doesn’t work. While the Windows monopoly has kept the company successful, a monopolist mindset isn’t effective in markets the company does not control.

         
  • Posted: 01 November 2011 05:13 AM #7

    I could write a few pages on what Microsoft did. It depressed me enormously long before Windows. One crazy aspect was that IT departments saw that they needed a tiny fraction of the staff levels to support Macs, and misled their managements into making “staff savings” by standardising on MS Windows and eliminating the Mac support staff. Thus increasing their power and scale in the organisation.

         
  • Posted: 01 November 2011 11:27 AM #8

    Gregg Thurman - 01 November 2011 05:15 AM
    Mav - 01 November 2011 04:38 AM

    I’m not talking market cap.  Revs are the most objective measure of a company’s worth (much tougher to fudge and market-manipulate) and it will take a little while longer for Apple to become the world’s biggest tech company, by revenue.

    Yeah, but then there’s the largest tech company by market share, or the largest tech company in the enterprise, etc.

    Market cap suffices for me, because that is how the investment world views Apple against everyone else.  That view is derived from expected future growth in share, revenues, and profits.

    +1

    Profits are much more important than revenue. The fact that high revenue can exist with negative profits shows the relative irrelevance of revenue compared to profits.

    And, Apple is the most profitable tech company in the world, having now passed Microsoft.

         
  • Posted: 01 November 2011 12:28 PM #9

    The problem for MSFT was that mobile devices needed what Apple was creating, not what MSFT tried to force on them so people didn’t buy MSFT products in the mobile market. Businesses bought the Windows mobile only when there was nothing else. When people started buying iPhones because it gave them what they wanted, they forced their businesses to buy into iOS and now MSFT on mobile devices has been lagging because they didn’t have an answer for over 3 years for the business or the consumer market. Only now with the windows phone does MSFT have what Pogue of the NYT calls a good product but may be relegated to the second tier because most consumers don’t consider MSFT for a mobile platform at this time. I think MSFT may be helped if they can get a good tablet OS out there for some synergy but listening to some of their plans to merge the desktop with the tablet makes me wonder if they truly get it outside of their phone OS. Killing off the Zune may also not help them since it ties into why people buy into the iOS ecosystem, having all their media available under 1 system where it is always or quickly available to them

    The thing that also hindered MSFT, besides their own lethargy in mobile, was the monopoly cases that DOJ had. It forced them to allow competition without trying all they could to kill the competition like they had done in the past.

    Neal

         
  • Posted: 01 November 2011 12:38 PM #10

    nealg - 01 November 2011 03:28 PM

    The thing that also hindered MSFT, besides their own lethargy in mobile, was the monopoly cases that DOJ had. It forced them to allow competition without trying all they could to kill the competition like they had done in the past.

    Neal

    MSFT succeeded because they were successful in denying the consumer choice. What’s ironic about that is, if MSFT hadn’t acted the way they did, competition would have made them better

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    Posted: 01 November 2011 01:29 PM #11

    sleepygeek - 01 November 2011 08:13 AM

    I could write a few pages on what Microsoft did. It depressed me enormously long before Windows. One crazy aspect was that IT departments saw that they needed a tiny fraction of the staff levels to support Macs, and misled their managements into making “staff savings” by standardising on MS Windows and eliminating the Mac support staff. Thus increasing their power and scale in the organisation.

    I used to work for an organization that have more than 10,000 employees.  The boss of the IT loves Macs but ... Microsoft and HP went directly to the top management and convinced them that Windows is the way to go, they offer deep discount to Windows, Office and PC and good support if we sign up for x number of seats.  Apple couldn’t counter the offer.  During implementation, they send a big team to support us and send many IT folks for training.  The organization then standardizes on MSMail which can’t run on Macs, eventually Macs are banned.  Looking back, I think Microsoft have a good enterprise strategy.  Apple with its hippie leadership is anti-establishment.

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    Posted: 01 November 2011 01:49 PM #12

    Mace - 01 November 2011 04:29 PM

      Apple with its hippie leadership is anti-establishment.

    I think that will change with the passing of SJ.  He is right that MS is irrelevant, however they still own 90% of the PC world and taking it down 1% at a time will take another 90 years.  In 10 years the cell phone and mobile platform may reach saturation.  So Apple still needs to come back to its core, the MAC.

    I think under TC we will see renewed effort via the iPad to get into enterprise where MS really owns the world.  In 10 years I think we will see the progress from the efforts that started today.

    There will always be companies and people who will buy what MS offers like there are people who always buy Fords.  The market wants to see Apple grow its business and I think they will deliver more then the market realizes.  Even today I think MS is asleep at the wheel, but when they wake up in 10 years they will notice that they only have about 75% market share and then if they have good leadership they could stop the bleeding.

    in one office that I work the director and his IT person just hate Apple with a passion.  They will put up with the bugs of MS simply because they don’t want Apple in the office.  The director wont get an iPhone for that reason.  But in his house his wife forced him to get an iMac, she owns an iPHone, and they have two iPads for the kids.  Those people are being killed off one by one and the high school kids with the iPhone will become the IT manager in 10 years and decide that Apple will improve their company much more the MS crap.

         
  • Posted: 01 November 2011 02:23 PM #13

    Mace - 01 November 2011 04:29 PM

    Apple with its hippie leadership is anti-establishment.

    Tim Cook a hippie?  Now that’s funny!  :-D

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    Posted: 01 November 2011 02:23 PM #14

    omacvi - 01 November 2011 04:49 PM

    ... I think under TC we will see renewed effort via the iPad to get into enterprise where MS really owns the world.  In 10 years I think we will see the progress from the efforts that started today.

    Organisations are awakening to the advantages of Macs and want to evaluate Macs but they are deterred by Apple’s lack of enterprise sale support.

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    Posted: 01 November 2011 02:38 PM #15

    Mace - 01 November 2011 05:23 PM
    omacvi - 01 November 2011 04:49 PM

    ... I think under TC we will see renewed effort via the iPad to get into enterprise where MS really owns the world.  In 10 years I think we will see the progress from the efforts that started today.

    Organisations are awakening to the advantages of Macs and want to evaluate Macs but they are deterred by Apple’s lack of enterprise sale support.

    Apple is already making great strides into the workplace with iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. It’s likely that Apple do not see the workplace as one being dominated by desktops beyond what an iMac can offer. As far as servers are concerned, it could be that they are willing to concede that space to the likes of IBM, HP, Fujitsu etc for the time being.

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