Not exactly “new” news but there is a reasonable article by Gary Morgenthaler at Business Week about Apple and Microsoft. Definitely well worth the read. Gary discusses how Apple is developing a multi-pronged strategy to battle Microsoft. In all honesty, the strategy has very clear for a while:
1. Use bottom-up marketing by targeting consumers to increase mind- and market-share.
2. Focus on ease-of-use, which has always been a foundation for Apple.
3. Keep their presence known in the enterprise, but don’t focus on it.
4. Be the cool company.
I think we can all agree the strategy is working. Apple is becoming a bigger player every day, and *gasp* they do seem to be slowly making some headway in the enterprise, albeit extremely slowly (at least in my experience).
There’s a question that comes out of this success however: How does this impact the open platforms like Linux and FreeBSD? Well, a lot actually. Linux maintains a strong but shared leadership position in the data center, but has yet to have even moderate success on the desktop. Certainly you can find stories of large Linux desktop roll-outs here and there, but when viewed in light of the total desktops in use and those being deployed now or even in the future, the number is almost dismissively small.
Just as importantly, if you ask your average consumer or enterprise desktop user about Linux they will either have no idea what you are talking about or ask you why they would put the mail server on their desk.
That’s not the case with Apple. Everyone knows Apple. And most people have a very positive impression of Apple computers, although Apple is often avoided due to cost and compatibility (whether that remains a valid reason or not). But Apple on the enterprise desktop? That’s another ballgame altogether. The “cost” side of the equation goes away for the user and the compatibility issue is slowly fading with virtualization, published applications and terminal services, and web-based access. So what DOES happen if you put an Apple on someone’s desk? They’ll probably play with the computer for hours and tell their friends how snazzy it looks. And then they’ll start working.
Microsoft does indeed have a very serious problem here.