Originally Posted by wobegon
I think Apple's brush with death has been more of a positive than anything else. It forced everyone involved to recognize what dire straights the company was in. Their rather small market position at the time turned out to be an advantage in disguise because it allowed Jobs to rapidly transition the Mac installed base into something profitable and worthwhile. They know what near certain death feels like. Most companies in their situation would have collapsed, or been spun off into something forgettable.
That's why I can't see a future with Microsoft in it, at least not in a role of any real magnitude. They're failing on so many fronts, but they seem to be insulated from reality. When and if they do come to their senses, it'll likely be too late and who will they have to turn to? Their rival, Apple? The open source community that hates them? The companies they've forged partnerships with, only to abandon them (the companies) by the wayside?
It's not like Microsoft had anything that compelling to begin with, and now they have a personality crisis, which was pretty visible during their show at this year's E3 game conference, in which they tried to make the 360 a system for everyone and no-one by showing great games their system is known for at the start, then dedicating the second half to ripping off ideas from Nintendo and Sony left and right. It's similar to the lack of focus seen in their ads for Office and Windows, which is pretty comical considering they have a monopolistic position on the desktop.
I think if LInux distributors were more interested in providing something really unique, rather than basically cloning the Windows desktop look and feel, we'd see more migration from Windows, which would put pressure on Microsoft from the low-end, profitless PC market where Linux could undercut the expensive Windows OEM licensing tax, and from the profitable high-end media production, consumer and education markets, where Apple's doing very well.
One is that we'll never know what would have happened to Apple if Spindler didn't make that incredibly dumb move for the 1995 holiday season. Apple had a 10% marketshare then, and a big presence in most all hi tech companies. A friend was in charge of desktop purchasing for Boeing back then, They had over 34,000 Macs, and about 1,000 PC's. A fair number of other companies had the same ratio.
After the 1995 holiday blunder, management, guided by IT, began to eliminate Macs from the environment. This happened everywhere.
If Apple hadn't made that blunder, Apple might have maintained a big presence in business, and their marketshare may never have dropped below 10%, and possibly would have climbed higher, which was the intent of what was done, though it was a mistake.
It's taking a long time to just get back to where things were in 1995. We're not there yet.
Two is that it took Rome 500 years to finally collapse. Even if MS continues to blunder, their special position in the marketplace will keep them where they are, abet diminishing, for a long time to come.
Three is that the open software model as exemplified by the various Linux based distro's isn't really a good model. Most customers require backing from some entity that they can go to with their problems. That isn't true for the free Linux based distros.
If people think they have problems with Apple support, they should look to problems in the Windows community. If Windows users think they have problems with support, they should look to the Linux based community, where there is no support at all.
If they want to pay for support, they can look to the various business based Linux providers, but there is no cost advantage, and usually it costs more. They will also be stuck with a distro that is heavily biased towards business, which will be a great disadvantage to most would be users, who aren't interested in that.
Even business isn't looking to move to Linux (I HATE calling the distro's that. Do we call OS X MACH?) Despite CrossOver, very little customer written software works with it. The same thing is true for much of the software that is commercial that big companies depend on for back office use.
Linux is even losing out to MS in the area of server software, which is something that most people aren't aware of.