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I spent a lot of time last week reading the Microsoft employee blogs and apparently there is some reasonably strong feeling among many folks who work there that the wrong "Steve" is running the company. This is, in my view, a "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" type of perception -- since "the other Steve," Jobs, that is, is neither known for being a good software guy nor being anywhere near as employee-focused as Microsoft's executives are. He does, however, have skills that Microsoft could use desperately right now.
What a horrible thought, or group of thoughts. I am a long time PC user, and after years of using PC's, I love OS X.
Why would you want to tack the OS X interface onto an unstable OS like Windows? I would think it would be more effective to tack the Windows interface onto OS X.
Besides, Microsoft already has a visionary like Steve Jobs: Ray (Lotus Notes) Ozzie.
They should put him in charge of the next OS.
I personally hope that Apple releases OS X for the PC, and kills off the Microsoft monster. The holes in Microsoft's OS constitute a very real threat to the national security of every government that uses XP.
“The firm has not been able to grasp the importance of owning standards or licensing its PC products and, as a result, its PC platform currently represents a nearly insignificant portion of the market. Apple’s machines are long on usability but short on interoperability, which is almost the mirror opposite of Microsoft products…”
I have a few issues with your summary of Apple’s “problem”:
1)To suggest that Apple hasn’t learned the importance of owning its own standards is to be blind to the importance of the open source movement and Apple’s, as well as Linux, commitment to that movement which allows for an environment of greater interoperability between all OS’s.
2)If you believe that Apple’s machines are short on interoperability, you probably haven’t used an Apple since OS9. A computer running Mac OSX is consistently easier to add to a Windows network, print to any printer, connect to a VPN network and do just about any other task that requires interoperability than its Windows based counterparts. Furthermore, there isn’t a filetype around for which the Mac cannot open- a great deal of which can be opened with no extra software installed, something not possible in Windows. In fact, with the availability of X11 allowing for Linux apps to run in OSX, just about the only thing that isn’t compatible with OSX is a Windows compiled application.
3)Making a case for proprietary standards and interoperability in the same paragraph makes absolutely no sense. The only way the two can co-exist is when all competition is gone- which is perhaps what you are suggesting. You, like Dvorak before you, seem to want Apple to abandon its OS and run Windows for the sake of their hardware. The thing both you and Dvorak are getting wrong about Apple is that its not the Apple hardware that is so innovative. Its the software. Its the OS. You argue that with the eventuality of Leopard’s release, Apple might be able to win some of MS’s marketshare, but you completely ignore the fact that Apple has released a new OS upgrade every year for the last 5 years of which the most recent, Tiger, is lightyears ahead of WinXP and still a few years ahead of Vista in the features and UI department.
4)Finally, the biggest problem with your assessment of Apple’s problem is this: Does Apple really have a problem? Apple is a company that is self sufficient. They have billions of dollars in the bank. Everytime they release an update to their machines, it takes weeks or even months to be able to get your hands on it. These things are in high demand for the volume with which they are produced. Their marketshare may be low, but it is growing. It may never surpass Windows’ marketshare, but why does it need to? So long as they continue to build computers with innovative features and make a profit in selling those computers, they really don’t have a problem. This has been their business model for 30 years now and today they are more profitable than ever. Really, whats the problem?
Although your proposition is interesting, there are some invalid points:
- Changing to DOS from Unix - This will never happen. The Unix kernel on OS/X is faster, much more efficient, and stable then DOS. DOS, and even the windows kernel, are very inefficient. Secondly, the security in os/x is powerful because of the Unix Kernel. Switching to DOS would totally change the performance of OS/X.
- Interoperability- This is important and available through Virtual PC vs Native. The reason it will never work native is because of the first point.
mrmanish....Windows is not based on DOS. There was a Windows GUI that did run on top of DOS, but Windows 98SE was the last version of that combo. Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP have never been based on DOS.
The design of Windows comes mostly from the mainframe & mini-computer architecture (being developed by Dave Cutler who wrote the VMS operating system). The architecture of Windows is probably most similar to Unix or VMS, and is not comparable to DOS.
The Windows kernel is designed to be agnostic about what sub-system runs on it. There is a Unix (POSIX) subsystem, a Novell Netware subsystem, and of course the more visible Windows API. For backwards compatability, there have also been OS/2 subsystems, as well as Win16 and DOS.
MS and Apple could probably port the Mac OS to run as a subsystem on the Windows kernel. This would not be a trivial task, but it would not be too difficult (again, there are already a number of subsystems, including a Unix one that could be the basis for a Mac port). This would get rid of some of the bottlenecks in the OS that prevent the Mac from being a good high-end server OS. Since subsystems can run side-by side without emmulation, Mac users could take advantage of all the Windows software, without a performance penalty.
It seems true that Apple is not a software co, per se. They only make software good enough to ensure sales of their products even though they are out of the mainstream. I think a number of companies make computers as good as the Mac, but they have to run Windows on them—"there's the rub!"
To think of putting the MicroSoft kernel in a Mac is sheer lunacy. That Mac would be subject to the same malware as the current Windows machines. Unix has been perfected over the decades so that it rarely crashes. I have used a G4 laptop for almost two years (at about 6-8 hours a day), running OS 10.3, and have had only one system wide crash in all that time. Can any Windows user say the same?
Sounds exactly like the traditional Microsoft approach to dealing with a serious competetive problem, buy them 'n bury them.
I happen to believe that one could probably make a very good business case for some expanded degree of cooperation between the two firms, but rather than Rob's suggestions I think that what they should be looking at is a deal whereby Microsoft concedes the home market to Apple and Apple concedes the business and professional (including creative) market to Microsoft. Then the two of them can make some serious efforts at building the interoperability into thier respective OS's to manage the cross-over of information from home to office.
Oh, and Rob, Apple already has a billion dollar 3rd party ecosystem built around the iPod.
I agree with this strategy. The notion of merging will invoke such fury never before seen in the tech industry. The parttnership with Intel was one of necessity following failed relationships with Motorola and IBM for executing on promised roadmaps.
The corporate cultures, which should never be underestimated in impact, and business models are so vastly different I can see nothing but implosion akin to the AOL/Time-Warner merger. Sounds good on paper, lousy in practice. No. Merger is as bad an idea I have heard in quite some time.