Apple Death Knell #34: Four Tech Execs Agree That Apple Will Soon Be Dead

Weive had this great Death Knell to add to the Apple Death Knell Counter (ADKC) concerning Appleis retail stores for a couple of weeks now. (Hint: Someone said two years ago that Appleis retail stores would be closed in two years). The reason why we have yet to add it is because there has been a rash of brand new Apple Death Knells from the peanut gallery that have to be covered instead.

Today we have another one of those brand new Death Knells, and this one comes to us via none other than Rob Enderle. Mr. Enderle, the first person to make the ADKC three times, canit be blamed directly, however, as he is just the messenger. According to his newest column, the analyst moderated a panel of tech execs at Comdex talking about the future of technology. Mr. Enderle says that panel was made up of "Ted Farrel (chief architect and director of strategy for Oracle), Greg Stein (chairman of the Apache Software Foundation), John Montgomery (director of developer and platform evangelism for Microsoft) and my friend Laura DiDio (a research director at the Yankee Group)."

Mr. Enderle also says that when asked which companies would be around for the long haul, all four agreed that Apple would be on the short bus to deadsville. Thatis no mean feat, getting four tech execs to agree on anything, but according to these four, Apple is on its way out. Accordingly, we present to you Apple Death Knell #34:

I asked the panel to list the companies that would certainly be around in the future -- and those that wouldnit be. The topic of the panel discussion was oriented on software -- .NET actually -- so donit read too much into this. The two companies everyone on the panel agreed would be around for the future were Microsoft and IBM. There was some disagreement about Oracle. Microsoft and Oracle said that Oracle would survive; Apache said it wouldnit.

I also asked which companies would be dead. The panel agreed that it would be Apple, Sun and Novell. The panel also agreed that if it didnit run on the x86 architecture, it was likely gone. What was really interesting was that almost everyone I spoke with after this panel said that this x86 prediction was like predicting that the sun would rise in the morning -- in other words, that it was a given. Most participants felt that the future world of technology would be solidly based on standards and that anyone not using standards would be gone.

You can read the rest of Mr. Enderleis column at

A special thanks to the many Observers who wrote to us about this article.