Does Apple Love PCs More Than Microsoft?

Steve Wildstrom / June 13th, 2012

Does Apple, the post-PC company, have more faith in the future of PCs, than Microsoft?

Photo of Mac Book Pro

Mac Book Pro 15 with Retina Display

The idea may seem a stretch, seeing how Apple’s business is now dominated by iPhones and iPads, but it may well be true. Microsoft very much depends on the PC for its future, but it doesn’t seem to be serving its PC users well

Much of the analysis of Apple’s Worldwide  Developer Conference announcements has focused on the impact on Google. Dumping Google Maps from the iPhone and enhancing Siri search definitely pose some challenges for the search giant. But the larger near term impact may well be on Microsoft, as it struggles to hang onto its PC business while gaining traction in the elusive phone and tablet markets. Microsoft was having a hard enough time catching up with where Apple has been, but Apple, of course, is not standing still.

It’s significant that the new features of iOS 6.0 and OS X Mountain Lion, while impressive, are not earth-shaking. In the past five years, Apple has built a comprehensive infrastructure that ties all of its products together. This effort, while still evolving, has achieved considerable maturity, which is why we should expect that changes will be incremental. The lack of new features that knock your socks off may disappoint ardent fans and the markets, but it’s really a sign of how far Apple has come.

Keeping things separate. Microsoft maintains its dominance of the enterprise back office, but is struggling everywhere else against an upstart it though it had vanquished nearly 20 years ago. In the consumer space, it is betting pretty much everything on on Windows 8, I’ve made no secret of my belief that Microsoft’s decision to go with a common software platform for traditional PCs and tablets is a mistake. As Ryan Block of GDGT tweeted, there are a lot of former PC tasks now routinely handled by tablets, but “for the tasks that remain, computers are as important than ever. The user base isn’t contracting so much as the use cases are clarifying.”

Apple raised the stakes at WWDC as it revealed the refined features of Mountain Lion and iOS 6.0. Where Microsoft is merging the desktop with the tablet, Apple is continuing to converge the two. The difference is critical and, I believe, all in Apple’s favor. Apple is adding iOS-like features to OS X when they make sense. So Mountain Lion gets reminders, notifications, and messages. But it retains its distinctive look and feel and an environment that is optimized for the sorts of complicated tasks for which users will continue to rely on traditional PC hardware. In particular, the multi-windowed Mac desktop is retained along with the traditional icons, menus, and pointers. And while Apple has made it possible to manipulate the user interface through touchpad gestures, it shows no inclination to move to touch screens on either iMacs or MacBooks.

Microsoft, by contrast, is forcing Windows 8 users to deal with a Metro UI that seems to be optimized for tablets and touch screens. Metro apps are designed to run full screen, with some very limited screen sharing possible on larger displays. Metro actually looks like a very nice tablet UI, superior in some ways to both iOS and Android. But it find the Consumer Preview painful on a laptop. Even if you spend most of your time working in traditional Desktop apps, which continue to work in multiple windows as always, you are forced to put up with a jarring switch to Metro for some critical tasks. Metro apps feel like they waste an awful lot of space on a 13″ laptop and  are truly ridiculous on a 27″ desktop display. (Microsoft’s developers used to be criticized, only half in jest, for thinking that everyone worked, like them, with dual 30″ monitors. Now they seem to think that everyone works on a 10″ tablet.) I suspect that most serious PC users are going to want to stick with Windows 7 for as long as they can; it will be interesting to see if Microsoft will allow a downgrade option on new consumer systems.

Microsoft has made some progress integrating Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox and Windows 8 will push the process along. But again, Microsoft has not yet caught up to Apple even as the competition takes the next leap ahead. iCloud still has a ways to go and iTunes is a hairball, but you can  wake me when Windows matches the magic of PhotoStream.

Then there’s hardware. Spurred mainly by Intel, Microsoft’s OEM hardware partners are finally beginning to catch up with the notebook revolution set off by the Mac Book Air. But Apple, of course, is not going to sit still. The 15″ Retina Display MacBook Pro (a product that desperately needs a better name) is not likely to be a huge seller. Its starting price of $2,199 is two to three times that of a typical Windows notebook and it tops out at a staggering $3,700. But it sets a new standard an definitely shows the direction laptops will be taking.

In a typical Apple move, it dispenses with an optical drive, long thought to be an essential in a 15″ professional notebook. It is a third of an inch thinner an 1.3 pounds lighter than Hewlett-Packard’s Envy 15. Its most important feature is a 2,880×1,800 pixel display; Windows competitors top out at 1,920×1,080, less than half the pixel density. And make no mistake about it: Apple will be pushing Retina displays throughout the MacBook line. They are expensive, but they justify charging prices that generate fat margins and let Apple capture a vastly disproportionate share of PC profits. And, have been proven with the new iPad, they produce a far superior user experience simply by making everything more legible. In the year or so since Intel introduced the Ultrabook concept, Windows machines are arguably losing ground to the company that supposedly wants to kill the PC.

Microsoft was caught seriously off-guard by the iPad and was right to shift massive resources into tablets when it became clear that the post-PC phenomenon was real. But PCs remain a very important part of the ecosystem, and right now, it’s not clear that Microsoft cares as much about them as Apple does.

Afterthought:  If this report from VR-zone is correct and Microsoft plans to charge manufacturers $85 or so for each copy of the tablet version of Windows, it is going to be almost impossible for these devices to come to market at a competitive price. I hope it is wrong, because if true–and Microsoft has not responded to the report–it will leave Microsoft with an OS optimized for tablets no one will want

 

Steve Wildstrom

Steve Wildstrom is veteran technology reporter, writer, and analyst based in the Washington, D.C. area. He created and wrote BusinessWeek’s Technology & You column for 15 years. Since leaving BusinessWeek in the fall of 2009, he has written his own blog, Wildstrom on Tech and has contributed to corporate blogs, including those of Cisco and AMD and also consults for major technology companies.
  • Rich

    The tiled interface has very good ideas for tablets and phones. But despite that, it seems like Windows has been Microsoft’s cash cow for so long that they’re fundamentally married to it, and have a combination of unwillingness and inability to deal with 2012. Consequently they’re making some badly misguided moves.

    • steve_wildstrom

      I agree, but it’s happening in an odd way. After hanging on to legacy stuff going back to DOS for 20 years, Microsoft is embracing radical change in Windows. In one sense, it’s about time. But they are doing it in a way that doesn’t look like it will serve PC users very well.

      • andrewonedegree

        I disagree on this. Win8 does embrace the traditional desktop. Too many people see Windows 8 as Metro, and its much more than that. Anything and everything I can do on my Windows 7 PC I can do on my Windows 8, that includes 20+ years of legacy apps running.

        • veggiedude

          Too much emphasis is on the GUI, we should have some focus on what’s underneath. It is true Apple is more concerned about advancing how OS X looks like, and integrating that look with iOS. But they can afford to do that. They worked hard under the hood in Snow leopard – to the point that the Mac can theoretically support up to 16 terabytes of RAM. Windows 7 at that time (the 64-bit version) could support 192GB of RAM. Will Microsoft advance Windows 8 to the same level as OS X? That is what I want to know. And when will they stop with the separate versions of 32-bit and 64-bit systems?

          • andrewonedegree

            Its all about choice and support. MS have to support both 32 bit and 64 bit becuase it has a large number of users and businesses on those machines. This must be remembered. Sure its ok for Apple to forget things like that because they dont need to remember them, they dont have customers with old machines and those that they do, they just orphan off after a few years (which is pretty common with Apple on the desktop).
            Think many would say Windows 8 is already more advanced than OS X. Plus Windows is always getting more advanced, so yes Microsoft will advance it, that goes without saying…Also, do you actually mean RAM??? No matter what you mean, its not needed in the home. This is just another numbers thing for Apple to make their OS look good on paper.

  • andrewonedegree

    Im actually using windows 8 on my work PC with 3 monitors, and to be honest, once you get over the lack of start button, you realise that the tiles are the start menu – but one that actually informs you of things going on inside those apps – so its an intelligent start….I have it docked as much as possible on one screen while using the traditional desktop for day to day work stuff on the others. It actually works brilliantly well to be honest – though have to get used to it a little…Dont think Microsoft has forgotten the desktop just because the majority of focus (in terms of marketing and media) has been on the metro UI. The desktop in windows 8 builds on the great OS that is Windows 7 with a few slicker enhancements and security updates. Its a wonderful OS that I can do everything i can do on Windows 7 and more…

    I personally think metro on the pc will be the way to go, but its brand new, and we all need to get used to it a little – after all it seems us masses really dont deal with change that well. Though Apple is doing a good job of getting an infrastructure together that brings these devices together, it doesnt get anywhere near the capabilities that Windows 8 shows in this area, nor does it touch it for user experience. With Windows 8 I have to say its for sure one OS across all my devices, the device that I am using no longer matters. If I was using an app on the desktop and switch to a tablet, then that app is there and remembers exactly where I left it! If you spend time with Windows 8 you do see that the one OS across all devices is the future.

    One of the most frustrating thing for users, be that business users or consumers, is “how do I do this…” in a given app or on a device. The one OS fixes that and with common structure applied to apps etc removes these hassles from apps too.

    IMO Windows 8 is the starter for Microsoft gaining back a bit of traction with the consumer. Windows 9 will be where we see mass adoption of the new way of doing things, both in business and across all our devices.

    • Rich

      How many people whose computers were supplied by their employer have 3 monitors?

      • andrewonedegree

        Very true. My point was though that the metro home screen actually adds value to the desktop experience. Instead of static icons, or my old start menu, i actually see content from those apps. When using multiple monitors its a great dashboard, when using a single monitor, it allows me to quickly see if i need to deal with anything without having to delve into apps and forget what i went there for…

      • steve_wildstrom

        Depends what they do. such setsups are very common in finance, especially for traders. And, of course, software developers.

  • AHamilton

    Have you seen or used SkyDrive? Every picture I take on my WindowsPhone automatically posts to SkyDrive and is avialable not on all my devices – but on ANY device I log into with my Live ID.

    Magical? I don’t care. Effective? HELL YES.

    • AHamilton

      … And that includes any Apple device.

    • steve_wildstrom

      The key difference between PhotoStream and SkyDrive (or any other sync solution) is that the pictures aren’t just available, they are there. That’s the magical part.

      • AHamilton

        Sorry, but that makes no sense. My skydrive pictures are “there” right after I take them. When I open my skydrive folder, they are, there.

        In addition to being “there” on all my devices, they are available from devices that are not mine. So when I am at my parents house and my mom wants a picture of the kids … I can login and they are “there”.

        What the login URL to access photos from PhotoStream. For SkyDrive its skydrive.com

        You can check it out here: a skydrive folder of picture of people who do not know how to park: http://sdrv.ms/OBwXMv

        • steve_wildstrom

          There is no URL as there is no need to go to the web. The weakness of all the iCloud services is that they only work on Apple products–that’s the price you pay for deep integration. I use SugarSync as a general sync solution for that reason.

          • JhnGlt

            That’s just not true. First, pictures on my skydrive appear on my phone without a URL.

            Second, there is an app for every major platform for you to install so you can access your skyDrive data without going to a URL
            https://apps.live.com/skydrive
            here is a link to for your beloved iOS:
            http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skydrive/id477537958?mt=8

            Get your facts straight. I access SkyDrive data, images and other document wihtout a URL DAILY!

  • himura_kenshin

    “The 15″ Retina Display McBook Pro” – Can I get fries with that?

    • steve_wildstrom

      I was trying to think of a witty riposte, but instead I’ll just fix it.

  • You know, it’s really hard for me not to bash you and this article, because I can tell you’re not really seeing what’s going on here when it comes to Windows 8, and, like most every tech author these days, you’re singing praises to Apple because of what they’re telling you, not what they’re doing. Sense you won’t really think before you write, specifically about Windows 8, I’ll do my best to outline what’s going on here.

    First, before I get started, I must point out the most obvious thing in Windows 8, yet what most people seem to completely ignore, the desktop is still there. It’s the same desktop that is found on beloved Windows 7, and better. Every function you could perform on Windows 7 (desktop) you can still do on Windows 8, but at a lesser cost, since Windows 8 is FAR less resource hungry. You can still multitask brilliantly, use snap, peek, gadgets, etc. The only difference is the Start menu is gone. That’s it. Now, you’re thinking “but that’s the biggest omission they could’ve done,” but not quite.

    Now, I will layout for you some reasons why the Start screen is better than the Start menu. First, let’s be honest with ourselves, the Start menu has become far less important since Windows 7, thanks to the Taskbar. The Taskbar offers far more convenience & functionality for the items you use most on your PC than the Start menu ever could, and yes, you can still pin things to your Taskbar in Windows 8; however, I do understand that the Start menu has its purposes.

    One of the main purposes for the Start menu was quick access to system controls, i.e. control panel, explorer, run, etc. You know, things you wouldn’t necessarily want to pin to your Taskbar. Did you know that if you right-click where the Start menu used to be, you can a quick jump list to all of these commonly used programs?

    Another awesome feature of the old Start menu was the ability to simply hit the Start button, then start typing the name of the application, file, etc. that you’re looking for and it would appear in the list for you; did you know that this still works with the new Start menu? Just type!

    It’s no secret that these functions, that still work in Windows 8, were 90% (if not more) of the functions of the Start menu. For the other 10%, that’s where “Pin to Start” comes into play. Personally, there’s nothing more painful that having to go through a list of program names just to find the one I’m looking for, which was the case on the Start menu. Now, that’s no more. You can literally pin anything in the OS to start (yes, even desktop applications), and instead of just being small text that could take a bit to find, it shows up as a big, nice tile, which is very easy to find and click. Heck, I’ve seen Start screens that have been filled up with Desktop tiles. You make your Start screen yours.

    Now, let’s talk about Metro apps. The first thing I want to discuss is your complaint over how the apps are full screen. I’m pretty sure I seen a poll one time (not sure what site) that asked about PC usage, specifically how many windows were open, on screen, at the same time. The resounding majority said they, most of the time, they only have one screen open, working with one program, in full screen.

    My second point about Metro apps is the second word in that phrase, apps. People love apps. Nowadays, especially with the general public, the question about a consumer electronic is “does it have/how are the/how many: apps.” There’s an app craze. People don’t even realize that it’s short for application, they just know that app = cool/fun. That’s where Windows 8 will attract, because it has an app store.

    Let’s now talk about Windows 8 on the upcoming machines. With the coming of Windows 8, there are going to be mainly three different ways to experience the OS: an ARM tablet, an x86 tablet, and a traditional PC form (desktop, laptop, etc.). You’ve already stated that you believe that Windows 8 will be fantastic on a tablet, and I couldn’t agree more. It has features that destroy the competition, and it’s no secret that Metro is an aesthetically attractive interface. So, let’s go ahead and say the ARM tablet will be great with Windows 8. Now, let’s look at the group of consumers who want a tablet that can completely eliminate their need for a separate computer. An iOS or Android tablet certainly isn’t going to do the trick, and that’s where x86 tablets come into play. With an x86 tablet, you get the best of both worlds. It’s an amazing tablet OS with full computer capabilities; there’s really no compromise. So, let’s go ahead and say that x86 tablets will be a hit too.

    Two out of three down; let’s look at traditional PCs.

    Let’s get right down to it, traditional PCs are controlled with mouse/trackpad and keyboard, for the most part. I could go on and on about how I think Windows 8 works very well with this type of control, because I do, as I’ve ran the developer preview, consumer preview, and now release preview since day one. Sure, there’s a learning curve, but wasn’t there also a learning curve from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95? Did people (like you) complain then, too? Of course! But, I’m going to discuss what, again, people seem to ignore – the future. Have you seen some of the amazing form factors of upcoming Windows 8 laptops, like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga? It’s insane! And in a good way. Microsoft has developed an OS that is pioneering, because it’s encouraging hardware manufacturers to create unique form factors that have the potential to be the “next big thing.” Then, I hear the complaint “forcing hardware manufacturers to put touch screens on their PCs will drive up costs substantially.” I’m not denying this claim, but there was a time when the common computer had only 1-4mb of memory, and 8mb of memory cost $400; by the logic of what I hear today, Microsoft should’ve never made an OS that required/ran better on 8mb of memory.

    I hope I’ve made some sense here. You must look at the big picture when talking about things like this. Microsoft is risking and betting big on this OS, and just like before, they’re getting bashed for doing just that. With the huge UI change from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95, and now from Windows 7 to Windows 8, people will be frightened, but in the end, it will be successful, and pave the way for future technology.

    • benbajarin

      That’s a great comment Jarrod, thanks for the well thought out and lengthy response. I agree with much of what you said and I too think Microsoft has made solid improvements. The one thing I would say is that much of what you pointed out appears to be from the perspective of someone who is in the camp of Windows power user. You clearly know quite a bit about the depth’s of Windows as do I since I started my career in IT managing large scale Windows deployments.

      What we find interesting in our research is that the non-tech elite or the non-techies who use computers for very simple tasks appreciate more simplicity and ease of use. Something interestingly every Apple ecosystem report coming out from my analyst colleagues showcases with their consumer research from every day consumers who are switching from Windows to Mac (something that is happening at a much faster pace than I think people know). This is not to say that Microsoft is not doing the same with this major release but that consumers don’t have products on shelves right now to find out.

      But even when come fall or even next year when they see this drastic new way to go about Windows, (even though desktops is there) there is still a learning curve, you acknowledged that. So if they have to go through a learning curve why won’t they still consider switching to a Mac since they will go through a learning curve anyway? Unless they are simply price conscious but the market statistics are not showing that to be the case here or in China surprisingly.

      I agree there are a lot of good things coming from MSFT and I am hopefully optimistic.

      • steve_wildstrom

        I will actually take somewhat the opposite side of Ben.

        First, thank you Jarrod for your thoughtful comment. I think where we really disagree is on the perspective of who will be using Windows 8 on laptops or desktops. I think the great bulk of casual users will migrate to tablets, Windows or otherwise. I think these are most of the folks who work with a single application at a time, in full-screen mode. People who are doing more complex things on the PCs tend to have multiple windows open at once. They may do use a small number of apps most of the time, but they have need for an assortment of specialized programs that they use infrequently. These are the users–and I count myself among them–who I think Apple is taking care of with Mac OS and Microsoft is neglecting in Windows 8.

        I suppose it is possible to configure Windows 8 so completely that I would never have to see a Metro screen again after initial bootup. But its an awful lot of work, and to be honest, I haven;t been willing to try on a beta where I know I will have to blow it away when the real version ships.

    • FalKirk

      “…let’s look at the group of consumers who want a tablet that can completely eliminate their need for a separate computer. An iOS or Android tablet certainly isn’t going to do the trick…”

      Let me stop you right there. I think that for many, many, people – in fact, for the MAJORITY of people – the tablet is all the computer they need.

      Let me put it this way. If we were starting the age of computing over again and everyone got to choose between a tablet, a notebook and a desktop, I believe that the vast majority of users would have chosen a tablet.

      Now do I expect you to believe this? No I do not. It’s computing heresy. My proof lies in the future. In 2011 there were approximately 400 million traditional computers sold and 50 million tablets sold. This year the numbers will probably be 400 million PCs and 100 million tablets. The tide has already turned. By 2015 or 2016 tablets will start to outsell PCs. And while many of those tablets will complement notebooks or desktops, most will stand alone.

      “An iOS or Android tablet certainly isn’t going to do the trick., and that’s where x86 tablets come into play. With an x86 tablet, you get the best of both worlds. It’s an amazing tablet OS with full computer capabilities; there’s really no compromise.”

      First, dual operating systems have been tried many times before and they’ve failed and failed miserably every single time.

      Second, a desktop operating system does not work on a tablet. Microsoft proved it for 10 years. Next year they’ll prove it again.

      The desktop portion of Windows 8 will not prove to be one half of “the best of both worlds”. It will prove to be a dead letter that adds only overhead, additional administration, cost and consumer confusion.

      Third, If you’re right and Windows 8 is the best of both worlds, then one would expect the sales of Windows 8 tablets to far exceed those of Windows RT. I predict the opposite will occur. The Metro only Windows RT will outsell the Windows 8 tablet and it will do so handily.

      By this time next year, we’ll know who was right and who was wrong.

      • “First, dual operating systems have been tried many times before and they’ve failed and failed miserably every single time.” Please, tell me a real OS that has attempted to do what Microsoft is doing.

        “The desktop portion of Windows 8 will not prove to be one half of “the best of both worlds”.” Unless you’re a child who does nothing other than check Facebook all day, then the Desktop is very important. Nothing compares to the multitasking capabilities or the freedom of the Desktop, which equals production.

        • FalKirk

          “Please, tell me a real OS that has attempted to do what Microsoft is doing.”

          Sincere question: What is it you think that Microsoft is doing?

          “Unless you’re a child who does nothing other than check Facebook all day, then the Desktop is very important.”

          You are greatly mistaken. You see the world of computing only through your own eyes but “real” work is whatever “real” people find productive value in. Just because their work is different from yours does not make it any less real. And “real” people are finding “real” value from using tablets.

          Just a couple of examples. The president of the United States, the Queen of England and Britain’s parliament all use tablets. Is this “real” work? It is for them. The United States Air Force and numerous civilian airlines use tablets. Is this for “real” work? It is for them. Companies such as IBM and Oracle have ordered tablets by the tens of thousands. School children and teachers are using tablets. Financial advisors, lawyers doctors and hospitals are using tablets.

          Stop comparing the tablet to the desktop computer. Rather, compare the tablet to the task it is being asked to perform. When you do that, you instantly see that tablets are very useful for work and play – even if it isn’t the work and it isn’t the play that you personally do.

  • FalKirk

    Excellent article. Very insightful.

    The key difference between a desktop (including a notebook) operating system and a tablet operating system is the method of user input.

    Microsoft spent ten long, painful years teaching us that a pixel specific user input (mouse/stylus) did not work on a tablet.

    With the introduction of the iPhone, Apple showed us that the tablet form factor demanded a touch input. Despite that, most of us didn’t “get it” until Apple introduced us to the iPad. Even today, many haven’t grasped this essential truth. Tablets are incompatible with pixel specific inputs. Tablets require touch input and touch input requires an entirely new operating system designed specifically for touch.

    When I see Microsoft trying to put a desktop OS on Windows 8, I know that they are making the same mistake that they’ve made for the past ten years. When I see Microsoft trying to put elements of a touch OS on a desktop, I know that they’re making the same mistake in reverse.

    “Apple is adding iOS-like features to OS X when they make sense. … Microsoft, by contrast, is forcing Windows 8 users to deal with a Metro UI that seems to be optimized for tablets and touch screens.”

    “Where Microsoft is merging the desktop with the tablet, Apple is continuing to converge the two. The difference is critical and, I believe, all in Apple’s favor.”

    Exactly.

    Microsoft believes that the pixel input and touch input are on a continuum. They are trying to merge the desktop with the tablet operating systems. Apple believes that the pixel input and touch input are inherently incompatible. They are trying to converge the two. In other words, Apple wants to make it easy and seamless for you to switch between the two operating systems – but they do not want to make the two systems one.

  • mhikl

    “Microsoft plans to charge manufacturers $85 or so for each copy of the tablet version of Windows, . . .”
    – I suspect Apple’s staggering price cuts to its operating systems is meant to challenge MicroSoft’s pocket book.

    “. . . and iTunes is a hairball . . .”
    – iTunes is a monster app and seems so very unlike Apple. It’s sort of like a house that keeps adding rooms in every conceivable dimension. But what is the alternative? I wonder if Apple couldn’t keep iTunes (or redesign it) but also supply individual apps (but linked to the mothership) as alternatives. That should silence the whiners and give an alternative for the befuddled.

  • kinect_dev

    Microsoft is not struggling in the consumer game and entertainment category. XBox is #1, not just in the US but in the world. They are also not strugging in the Server and Tools category or office productivity category. In fact they aren’t strugging in any categories except mobile and search. And in both of those categories their struggle appears to be yielding positive results.

  • kinect_dev

    Oh, and tablets are PCs. They’re obviously personal and they’re obviously computers. So we are not in a post-PC era, we are in a post-desktop era.

    • steve_wildstrom

      Tjis is a semantic issue. I’ve used the term “traditional PC” or just “PC” for short to describe the familiar notebook or desktop form factor. And I’ve followed Microsoft usage to use Desktop, with a capital D, to describe the traditional, non-Metro mode of Windows 8.

  • I think we now know enough to project Windows 8 performance:
    1. MS will claim that it’s the best-selling OS ever, due to license sales to enterprises that don’t actually use Windows 8 – same as the obviously unpopular Vista.
    2. The Windows app store will be well populated, a la WP7, but developers will find no audience. Consumers will stay away because they will find more, cheaper, better games and more up-to-date apps on ipad/android.
    3. WinRT will be a non-starter, less popular than chromebooks (and it’s really the same strategy so they’re perfectly comparable, only google has a better cloud).
    4. Consumers will be confused by weird hardware, afraid to buy online, confused by Metro apps that are/aren’t touch, are/aren’t on the desktop/Metro, are/aren’t in the cloud. Hot corners, odd settings, no desktop app store. Lots of returns and downgrades to Win7.
    5. Analysts and media will focus on tablet share, which will not be good, even in the enterprise.
    6. Macs will further increase their rate of adoption.
    7. Valve will release a Linux version and start laying the groundwork for the future of PC gaming, ending MS’s last bastion of consumer appeal (outside xbox).

    Intel needs Windows 8, too, to keep some demand for high end non-Apple PCs (they have more leverage with non-Apple companies, or they wouldn’t need to subsidize ultrabooks). Intel will end up subsidizing tablets, too.

    Look, we know what is going to happen, and we have lots of corroborating evidence, Multiple analysts are warning, Dell and HP are warning. They’re as close to this situation as it’s possible to be. Be smart, and know that Wintel is fading fast this year. That’s how tipping points work. Wintel machines are penny-wise and pound-foolish. I’ve never had a problem with my chromebook and my family that I steered to Macs (I have a dell, but I’m a programmer and admin so I can handle it) have never regretted the choice. The value proposition on PCs have completely changed, even for gaming.

  • Rudolf Charel

    Irrespective of the merits of Windows 8, Apple has put a bomb under the Microsoft way of making profits. Apple sells their new operating system at $ 19 and are regressing to free new operating systems in future. Microsoft sells software to make profits.

    As the price they charge needs to drop so will their profits. They have been manoeuvred into a no win position by the company they presumed they had beaten years ago.

  • kinney

    i am waiting for my first ever new macbook pro ! dislike windows.

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