XP to go the way of the DODO BIRD...

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Eric_L, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Or will it be Vista?

    Microsoft extends XP life to parry Linux threat

    Microsoft plans to cease selling XP via retail in June - obviously in an effort to drive Vista sales. The above article shows a chink in their armor as they realize that Vista is not as marketable as they may have thought...

    What I find interesting is that they are retiring a widely accepted and effective platform for a less effective or accepted platform. In a year Vista has barely grabbed any market share while competitors are growing at exponential rates;

    Apple 2.0: Mac Market Share Now 6.38%

    There was a time when Mac only had 3%, now it is more than double, and growing fast. All platforms dwarf Vista users. Disaffected Windows users are already starting to migrate to other platforms; the termination of XP is quite likely to push over substantially more.

    If MS phases out XP, I suspect that not only will more and more retail customers consider Mac or Linux products, but more and more business enterprise users will also. I could see the Vista Share maxing out at 50%... meaning a potential 1000% increase for Apple and Linux use. 1000% is a bigass number...

    There will always be people who will buy whatever OS they get at Circuit City, but I also see vendors getting impatient with Vista products stagnating on their shelves and/or losing sales to competitors with other OSs. Soon big boxes may also demand other OS products - to put on their shelves.

    Apple would be prudent to start a retail channel with big box retailers now. There just aren't enough Apple stores out there. They have a great 'in' already with AT&T... imagine if you could buy an iPhone and iMac at the same time? Why this hasn't happened yet beats me...

    Meawhile Microsoft finds themselves in the unusual position of playing defense... To remain competitive they need to get their partners to fix the driver problems, release patches to allow better backwards compatibility, streamline their confusing multi-platform offers and slash the prices for their Vista product. This is particularly important for their enterprise clients who use XP and are concerned (rightly) that their essential programs will not be compatible with Vista... If those clients are forced to change not only to Vista, but also upgrade all of their software to work on it... they will be not a happy customer base - and the possibility that they decide to abandon the windows platform completely rather than proceed with that onerous task is quite high...

    On top of all that we are likely to see a broader diversity of OS systems online. This does not bode well for the developers of virus and spyware a they will be considerably less certain what platforms will be targeted by their code...

    I think the computer industry is about to get interesting again...
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    And it's so unlike Microsoft to force consumers to buy what they want them to buy.
     
  3. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    I've known about this for a while but I've wondered if it applies to XPx64 (which is my main OS)? They share the XP name, but they really aren't the same thing. XPx64 is much newer and was based on Server '03, like Vista, so I'd be surprised if they stopped supporting it so soon.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Vista will reach saturation eventually. Consumers will buy it by default with new computers in the coming year. Businesses will eventually switch over, for the increased security if nothing else, I'd expect.

    As for Apple's 3% -- is that US market, US consumers? I have a hard time seeing Apple making significant inroads into corporate use in the near term, which has the secondary effect of limiting home use (people buy what they know. people buy what lets them do work from home).

    (Actually, OS X Excel's loss of VBA is serious hindrance to using a Mac in a corporate setting.)

    I just don't see Apple making substantial market share increases for computers.

    But, my perspective is skewed by working in a world where necessary apps are Windows only, and security concerns mean there's no company wifi and limited use of mobile devices.
     
  5. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    I think you underestimate the cost of enterprise software. Once bitten-twice shy. I suspect many companies will reconsider the platform their software is developed on if they are forced to redevelop it because of external factors.

    Also - Apple is over 6%. That's double in a few years. Game systems have pretty much replaced the pc as a game platform, so the consumer is no longer as interested in the PC for games they want home entertainment - which apple excels at. they want video editing - apple. Nearly all apps other than games apple is dominant. The PC users are pissed about the Vista change, and starting to realize there are better options. I predict Apple's consumer share no less than doubles in the next year and we will see Apple start to show in business systems - not much, but show. Large business will be more likely switch to Linux, but a few small business' will beging to adopt Apple - and it will grow from there.
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Shame about XP. Vista was the best thing ever to happen
    to Mac.
     
  7. KurtEP

    KurtEP Supporting Actor

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    Apple really has a huge opportunity here. I'm a student (at least for a few more weeks), and I'd estimate that in my class, Apple has around a 20% market share versus the PC. If they can hang onto those people as they move into the workforce and grab onto some of the anti Vista people, they might be able to make some significant inroads into the market.

    This has been a really terrible product launch for Microsoft. I'm not sure whether they felt forced to bring Vista out too early for some reason (I couldn't imagine why) or if they are simply just that incompetent, but Vista really doesn't seem like a fully developed product. I have a Vista laptop and have constant problems with it. Meanwhile, an older XP laptop that I passed on to my father still chugs away with no problems, and actually works a bit faster, despite being a few years older. Very annoying.
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    What apps are these? Windows still dominates in the Office arena (MS Office). And with the 64-bit conversion, Apple may lag behind Windows for Adobe Photoshop with CS4 and perhaps even CS5.

    I'm completely satisfied with my switch to Apple for home. But I lack the imagination to see a major switchover at large corporations any time soon.

    As for the home user: price is still a major sticking point. It's not that Apple is overpriced, but it simply doesn't offer budget options for the very large market of normal folks who won't spend more than $1000 for a PC.
     
  9. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer
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    I would say that the comments you have posted in regards to the corporate environment are spot on.

    I love my Apple products but they are not going to make any kind of major inroads in the corporate arena anytime soon. They will continue to be what they are, a niche.

    They simply do not have the right mix of products for mass acceptance in the large corporate environment. That's just the reality of the situation.

    I do think they will continue to make inroads in the home/consumer market.

    As for Vista, I haven't had a single problem running Vista so I'm always surprised by all the stories about how bad it is performing. I guess that might be because I would be considered a power user who knows what he is doing but some of my friends who are simply users and they also not having any problems running it on their computers. Of course I realize that other’s experiences my differ from my own I just thought in order to be fair and balanced that a positive experience with Vista should also be reported.

    By the way, I found the first link in this thread interesting. Eric’s assertion that it shows a chink in Microsoft’s plans is incorrect. The article as to do with the ULCPC (ultra-low-cost personal computer) market which as the article points out are generally governments and schools in emerging markets like India and Asia. These computers tend to be, by our standards, underpowered and not acceptable for mature markets like the US, Europe and others. Vista was never intended to be used on such computers so Microsoft has decided to continue to make XP available for this market in an attempt to gain additional sales. Why wouldn’t they want to go after this segment? They already have the product and it cost literally nothing to continue to offer it for this market segment. That is in reality a sound and prudent business practice that most international corporations follow. Your premium products for markets that can afford them and your older products for markets that can’t afford the newer ones.
     
  10. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    As Patrick points out - Vista PCs are not, and cannot be, bottom-line systems. Vista just does not run well on sub-premium systems, bringing them into cost-point comparison to Apple. Trouble for MS though, is that PCs run better with XP than they do with Vista - there is just no compelling reason to change.

    Regarding enterprise software; I was pretty specific to say it will be small enterprise who adopts Apple first. Corporate America has never been very good at making decisions or change - They catch up better than they lead.

    Regarding apps; AFIK Office runs on a Mac as well as on a PC. It is not really a good barometer, then, of PC superiority.

    Word vs iWork is in Apples favor -same for Keynote vs Powerpoint. Spreadsheets? Mac, I think.... Office by itself is just an adequate piece of software which can run on either platform. I don't think the fact that it is a MS product gains any headway for PCs.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    iWork is not an Office replacement. Not yet. Numbers is simply inadequate for business use. I'm not sure if Pages is an adequate replacement for Word, either. (Keynote is superb.)

    As for small businesses leading the way: maybe? I don't know. I also wonder which way technology flows: small businesses up to the large ones, or the other way 'round?


    But from a different perspective: I don't want Apple to claim a large marketshare, rivaling Microsofts. I believe that were the roles reverse, Apple for MS, Apple would be a worse tyrant than MS is. A successful, but relatively smaller Apple I think is good for all involved [​IMG]
     
  12. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Vista runs like crap on a budget system... a $460 vista PC is not a recipe for a happy customer - it is a recipe for an XP reversion...

    Not sure how much your biz uses office. I work in a numbers business and we barely use each. The easier it is to use the more it likely would get used...

    I suspect it will be small business leading the way because of utilities like bootcamp, fusion, etc. If these small business' must have a Windows utility to communicate with a big-blue company they can, and they can still have their user-friendly day-to-day operations on a Mac. Not to mention the seamless integration of the iPhone - which will gain even more momentum with the SDK...
    What apple needs is a music-free SDK download site and a good CRM tool. Nearly all of my vendor software these days is web-based.
     
  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The finances of a big company dictate buying the the most meager computer possible. There's no way they will buy a Mac, then also pay for Parallels and a Windows license. The heads of accounting and IT would explode at the notion.

    But a small company can do that sort of thing.
     
  14. KurtEP

    KurtEP Supporting Actor

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    Back when I used to crunch numbers, I pretty much used Excel exclusively (after Lotus fizzled). It always struck me that it was able to do a LOT of things that were unnecessary or sometimes even counterproductive. I always felt that people spent far too much unproductive time making reports look impressive just because they could. Not saying that they can't be professional looking, but there's a limit to how professional something needs to look. Also, from my experience with using macros written by numerous sources (usually within lending institutions), the world would be a better place without them. They rarely worked the way they should and limited the flexibility of the spreadsheets they were used in.

    Of course, your mileage may vary, but I used to spend a lot of time working around poorly crafted spreadsheets presented to me by clients. Unfortunately, MS seems to love adding complexity to stuff. It strikes me that this is probably what is bedeviling Vista as well.
     
  15. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    DaveF's 3rd Law of Computing: all productivity gains from computers are offset by our ability to fiddle with fonts.

    Back to the original notion: Apple gaining marketshare, even dominance, over MS. I think two things are required that Apple doesn't have:

    1) Low-priced, expandable desktop computer: the mythical mini-tower. Without this, you're limited to the market that's willing to buy expensive computers, and that's not the huge corporate buying world.

    2) MS Office killer. iWork is decent, but it can't replace Office yet.

    There may be an issue with large-scale email, from what I've read, but that's not what I understand. But without those two changes, the Mac will forever be constrained to the more upscale consumer market and smaller businesses.
     
  17. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    An InfoWorld article from today on just the subject of Macs in business.

    My view is that the iPhone SDK will be a game changer for getting Macs into business, at least any business at all concerned with mobile apps.

    Dave, you make some very good points. I completely agree about the "Minitower" -- Apple has to release a dual monitor capable headless machine to be viable in business. MS Office -- not so much. Between the OS X Office edition, iWork, Parallels/VmWare + Spaces, NeoOffice -- this area is pretty thoroughly covered for all but the all out Office power users -- I don't think they are that huge a percentage.

    Also keep in mind that Macs are very popular among computer programmers who work in every type of enterprise, and they are starting to bring in Macs, and likely have more influence with IT departments than many other user categories.

    We'll see. Vista adoption? Not a single Vista PC in my (fairly large) office, no visible plans for even testing Vista much less migrating to it. Doesn't mean we'll suddenly start buying Macs, but I suspect some businesses will. When IBM starts going Mac you know there are some unhappy campers in Redmond.
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Last year I asked, and was told the Vista transition is being planned. But since it's a multi-million dollar upgrade (some 3000 computers), plus the real challenges of such a major upgrade, it won't happen until 2009, at the earliers.

    And we only moved to XP from NT5 about 3 years ago.

    I'm not persuaded that Vista, out for just one year, is moving that slowly through businesses.
     
  19. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    If what Dave says is true, that's the deal breaker right there. I've spent the past 2 years creating macros for people in my department. Daily projects that used to take people 2 1/2 hours to do, they can now complete in less than 2 minutes. Making spreadsheets "look pretty" with their exotic fonts, fancy outlining, and colorful shading is now done in seconds. If Apple doesn't have something that can work with all the macros we use, we will never switch. It wouldn't make sense because it would stifle our productivity during the switch.

    edit: I should point out, my dept has 11 people, and my company only has 550 employees, so we are by no means a "large" company. Speaking directly with people in our IT dept, I do know we have no plans of replacing XP or replacing Office 2003 in the near future.
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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