The Vista Migration Is Not an Opportunity for Apple

A Gartner analyst maintains that Apple shouldnit consider the Microsoft Vista rollout an opportunity, but rather a diversion from Appleis strengths. The Gartner analysis was presented at the IT-Enquirer on Tuesday.

Because Vista is a distraction for IT professionals who would rather go about their business rather than spend day and night testing and certifying Vista for their organization, Gartner analyst Michael Silver has proposed that this is the wrong time for Apple to push Leopard as an alternative. The reason is that, given that Windows is so dominant in business and given that businesses have made the commitment to engage in the migration, Appleis Leopard message would fall largely on highly stressed and deaf ears.

"The less-risky, but slower growth, strategy for Macintosh is for Apple to continue focusing on its chosen markets (that is, consumers and certain enterprise niches) and let it bleed into mainstream commercial computing virally," Mr. Silver stated. "Enterprise users will increasingly select the compute tools they will employ to perform their work tasks ... and Apple will benefit from this evolution. A bolder frontal attack on the enterprise PC market ... to more rapidly build share involves significantly higher risk,? the analyst concluded.

The slower growth course means that the sales of Apple Macintosh hardware will continue to rise, as it has in the recent past, but not at the rate some might hope for.

This is a significant message. While Apple loyalists believe that Apple should pit its advanced Leopard OS directly against the Vista migration, that viewpoint doesnit take into account the view of investors who see this kind of uphill battle a diversion from Appleis surging strengths in entertainment. Appleis recent name change suggests that Apple agrees.

In summary, Mr. Silver believes that in the near term, Apple should focus on its own strengths, blend the Mac OS X technologies into home entertainment, maintain its high profit margins and market cap, and generally steer clear of directly confronting businesses who are firmly committed to the Vista upgrade process over the next 18 months.