Apple Death Knell #60: Microsoft Will Beat Apple (& Google)

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Apple Death Knell #60There was a two or three year period where it seemed like people who would talk smack about Apple were few and far between. That age is over, however, and the Apple-haters today are seemingly as loud and plentiful as they were a decade and more ago. With that there is bound to be an uptick in Apple Death Knells.


Oh, sure, it makes for some fun, but jeepers...

Anyway, today I bring you Apple Death Knell #60, from one Charles Sizemore, writing for Forbes. For that esteemed publication, Mr. Sizemore wrote that, "In a War of Attrition, Microsoft Will Beat Apple."

And lest you think this was a hit-whoring editor putting a nasty spin on an otherwise unfeisty editorial, think again. While Mr. Sizemore may have been light on reasoning or facts, he was definitely feisty. To wit:

Apple launched the first offensive in the smartphone and tablet wars, but in a long-term war of attrition it is doomed to lose for the same reasons that it lost the original PC war. Apple has always maintained a closed ecosystem and insists on making its own hardware and software. Steve Jobs’ pigheadedness is the reason why it was the Wintel platform and not the Mac that came to dominate the desktop and laptop markets.

It’s all happening again. Apple again jumped out to a huge lead, but it will lose the war in the end.

Apple will lose the war in the end! And to Microsoft, no less! Oh, quake ye, in the footwear of your personal preference, because the almighty Microsoft is at last on the offensive! And lo, the Big Redmond is led by no less a giant than Steve "I-don't-think-anyone-has-done-a-[tablet]-that-I-see-customers-wanting" Ballmer!

And what is Mr. Sizemore's reasoning?

SILENCE! Ask no questions! It is writ on stone! Microsoft shall win, and thus will it be!

No, seriously, he didn't offer any reasoning. He merely said that Mr. Softy is going to win because Mr. Softy always wins. We've seen this kind of specious reasoning before, but Mr. Sizemore ups the ante by also pronouncing that Microsoft is going to beat Google's Android, too.

And what about Google? I like Google and I personally use an Android phone. But I believe that in a long war it is Microsoft that will win.

Come on, man, now you're making me feel bad for picking on you, because that's some stupid $%#@.

On this front he does offer some reasons. He questions Google's commitment to Android—and to be fair, that is a legit concern—and touted Microsoft's know-how when it comes to corporate IT departments.

"Corporate IT departments are comfortable with Microsoft products to a degree that they will never be with Google or Apple," he said, shortly before 2005 knocked on his door and demanded its reality back.

Microsoft might make some inroads into smartphones with Windows Phone 8 and its successors, and it might sell a few Surfacii, but I personally think Microsoft has approached mobile with its head up its desktop past, especially when it comes to tablets.

There is one thing that Microsoft will not do, however, and that is "beat" both Google and Apple.

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If Microsoft wins in such a BIG fashion it will be because of general public ignorance coupled with Microsoft’s dominance with Windows on the Desktop topped with its usual anti-competitive nature.


Thus saith the Sizemore.

So shall it be written.

So shall it be done.


[quote Apple has always maintained a closed ecosystem

Isn’t Win8/RT/Surface tied to a closed MS app store?

It’s all happening again. Apple again jumped out to a huge lead, but it will lose the war in the end.

Apple was a strong player but I don’t believe Apple ever sold more Macs or even AppleII systems than there were DOS systems. Wasn’t DOS the foundation of the Windows Empire?

Corporate IT departments are comfortable with Microsoft products to a degree that they will never be with Google or Apple,” he said, shortly before 2005 knocked on his door and demanded its reality back.

Well said. I know of a lot of ‘Corporate IT’ types that are very comfortable with Android. Indeed I know of several died in the wool One-Windows-To-Rule-Them-All geeks that prefer Android to anything else. Didn’t DOD and a bunch of other agencies dump RIM for Android and go to iOS and Android? There are Windows Phones out there. These ‘Corporate IT’ types are choosing iOS and Android. Add to that BYOD offices that are becoming dominant in a lot of places. MS has to win over the consumer market first and then IT will follow. It’s the reverse of 1995 or whenever year he’s stuck in.

I think we should chip in and get him the latest Nirvana CD and a VHS of Friends.


Um, you also provide exactly no reasons for your assertion that Sizemore is wrong.

So what we’ve got is an “Apple-hater” without reasons blowharding at an Apple fanboy blowharding back. Typical.

Reasons or not, the point about Apple’s closed ecosystem is a good point. It undid Apple once and could happen again. People think these huge companies are indomitable. But Microsoft was once at the top of the heap only a decade ago and they’ve been surpassed by Apple and Google. So it can happen to Apple too, whether it’s Microsoft or Google or someone else who beats them. Look at Sony, they used to be perceived as the greatest most innovative consumer electronics company. They mighty can and do fall.

One problem for Apple, is the big content companies (music, publishing, TV, movies—to say nothing of the cable industry) don’t like being forced into Apple’s closed ecosystem with all it’s limitations and the pound of flesh Apple exracts from the value of their products, through the iTunes store. These people would love to have a more open system dominate in which they can can deliver and sell their products from their own platform on their own terms (except the cable industry, which would just like to maintain the power of its own closed system).

Apple thinks it can bully everyone around. But sooner or later it’s going to bite off more than it can chew (the iOS 6 maps debacle is a good example of how Apple’s stumbling and failing is easier than people imagine).


gg, let me get this straight, you want Bryan to counter-argue a non-argument?  What?


YES!!! The Apple Death Knell is back. So many dumb analysts, silly guest commenters; let the fun begin again.
“the pound of flesh Apple exracts from the value of their products”
Ya, like the other’s do the work for free? Ever seen how bad Ama$on screws publishers and the talent? And closed systems, seems Google is realising its mistake, having lost any value or gain from Android. And back to Amazon, seems closed is the dance their tune is sung to, or should I say too? But don’t go making that company mad or you lose every book, song and video you download at the snap of an Amazon finger. And Microsoft, the Dark Angel of closed, when it comes to the shenanigans it has played on scores of honourable software producers it has burned over its tenure of computer lands, there is no moral lessons to be learned from there.
But hey, the good times are just starting. Apple sold something like 12% of the computers over the past quarter; computer sales are down 8% and taking Apple out of the count, PC sales are then down 12% and this ain’t any one quarter return. It’s the trend to death of a communications commodity. Think shortwave radios and flag sales in communications. And Android tablets are doing so well what with all those wonderful apps that scale so well from phone to tablet. Killer seller to the aware consumer it appears. Not!
Apple’s iPad is the new game in town and the slate that Microsoft makes is stone in deep waters, a prediction that is as easy to make as any Apple Death Knell but way more likely to see happen sooner than never. Apple rules and the world is better because of it.
I would like you all to know that this has been a very difficult comment to write. Many know that being fair and honest is not my usual strain.


If Apple is so closed, why are fortune 500 IT guys writing custom software for iPads and iPhones?


I really miss the time we Apple users were a niche. Best computer using time of my life. smile
I’m probably the only one though. :D



well, quite simple, nearly everything written in Forbes is wrong, stupid and biased, same as with information week, gizmodo, business insider and a few other.
When Microsoft was a the top, the amount of doomsday predictions and non-sense bashing was on Microsoft was unbelievable. Now that Apple is, Apple is the target.
Google is untouchable because you know what? they use open source, they don’t charge for their products, they must be good.
The reality is that while Apple lost Steve Jobs, he did left behind a worthy group of executives, Phil Schiller, Tim Cook, Jon Ive and more (I won’t mention Scott Forstall).
As the author of this article says, Steve Ballmer does not have a clue, really, they blame Forstall and Apple for maps, just one app and Cook apologized, what about Vista?, what about the hundreds of technologies that MS has thrown around with Ballmer and then ditched at the first hint of criticism? Ballmer might have billions but that’s thanks to Bill Gates, he is an idiot.
And Google? I love what Larry Page and Sergei Brin did, their mistake has a name: Eric Schmidt, if there is a biggest idiot than Ballmer is Schmidt, he brought Google into this mess that is Android and Page does not know how to get out, that’s the reality, one thing is spot on, Google is not making money from Android and is making less in search because of Android, great business decisions Eric.
One thing that the Forbers author forgot to say is that with Windows, Microsoft did not alienate its partners by competing with them (e.g. surface), nor did the partners have a legitimate alternative.


Ricardo said: “When Microsoft was a the top, the amount of doomsday predictions and non-sense bashing was on Microsoft was unbelievable. Now that Apple is, Apple is the target.”

Good points made all round, Ricardo. So much to ponder.

Paul Goodwin

Apple originally losing out to Microsoft wasn’t due to a closed ecosystem, and “Job’s pigheadedness”. It lost out because in 1985, the then Board of Directors of Apple made bad decisions and Steve Jobs left the company. In the next 10 years, there was some good designs but by the mid 90s the company was floundering. In that vacuum, Windows took over. MS nearly gave it away with every computer until they owned the market.

If Apple loses again, it’ll be because they lose their focus and fail to continue to produce great products. I personally believe they are smart enough to have learned from the past mistakes, and won’t let it happen again.

I wonder what Ballmer is good at? And Sizemore? His basic premise about why Microsoft beat Apple is completely wrong. But who needs facts when writing those kind of stories.

AAPL @ $1000/share by 12/31/15 ?


Ironically Microsoft’s ‘Closed Shop’ strategy is what has committed it to a slow death (not unlike Kodak). Microsoft ruled the Desktop with Windows variants for years, then the Internet arrived (and Gates had to edit his just published book ‘Road Ahead’ to include it, snigger) then Microsoft tried everything it could to own the internet (.net, again snigger) and since then just keeps trashing out windows and office versions every two years in different Pajamas.
Windows 8 now looks like XL with coloured grids and the squares (Multiplan?)


I guess since it’s a Apple lovers website, there is no bias here.

Sorry, but calling MS anti-competitive these days is like calling Sarah Palin smart.  Apple has become what MS was in the 90’s: anti-competitive.  Lawsuits, anyone?


just link bait. Thats it.
Come up with a controversial headline and reel them in. No substance.


Mr. Sizemore’s reasoning is that becuase you can only buy 1 kind of IPhone, consumers probably will find more appeal in a droid or a windows phone, that you can have different versoins of, if you want a physical keyboard on a windows phone or an android thats cool, but on a IPhone NO. its the same thing with mac, the lowest cost for a mac is around $1000 and macs can’t use alot of the software that windows computers use. not to mention you can’t custimise, I built my own PC and that gave me alot of options, but with a mac you only have like 5 or 6 options, so I agree that windows will win against apple, although agaisnt google I am not sure…


Biggoron: How many iphones would you want to buy if you could buy more? One is plenty. Android is becoming a virus ridden, quirky mess with users never upgrading which just spells stagnation for developers building for Android. Million different specs/screens etc. add to the nightmare of developing for Android. No standardization.

Also, why do people think there can only be one winner? If Apple never got any bigger in the market, they are a dream company building fantastic gear. Period. They don’t have to sell the most phones. Look at Nokia, look at Rim, they all sold the most phones at one time, didn’t do much for them. Why chase that goal? Just build a great phone, and strive to continually improve.

I don’t want the cheapest computer… I want the best computer, thats why I buy apple. I have a life, I don’t want to screw around buying shit parts to build on it, add to it and so on. Waste of my time when I could be creating on it, not creating it.

Lastly: Steve Jobs announced windows had won years ago. Not big news.



For shame, man! How darest thou belittle the Sizemore! Yet again! The Century is still young, what? To behold this prophecy, thou must free thy mind of all contrary thought (and facts, reason and intellect), and only then, with vacant gaze, thou wouldst behold what the Sizemore beheld upon the mount; all devices and industries entire revolving round a Windows world, and their foes vanquished and done to dust!

In fairness, Mr Sizemore does hold one sizeable (no pun intend) get-out-of-jail-free card, namely the change in leadership at MS. He could legitimately argue that had Mr Ballmer remained at the helm, or at least had his vision been faithfully carried out beyond his tenure, then the smartphone/tablet war would rage on, with MS’s inevitable triumph. Then would the death knell peal with thunder and earthquake! And the Apple heavens would be rent! And… you get the point.

Such an assertion would not be substantiated by fact, data or any observable trend, mind you; but he could nonetheless make the assertion as an article of faith, and take solace in the knowledge that no one could actually prove him wrong; apart from the fact the MS and Mr Nadella have effectively conceded as much - the heathen. And his minions of little faith.

In the meantime, methinks this be one pundit cum prophet in serious need of a day job.

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