If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls

Summary:Is the reason why Apple is so popular with the Generation Y and younger consumers today down to short waiting periods between Mac OS X releases, and not just the iPhone?

It is easy when a leading software and hardware company like Apple makes a series of major announcements in one day to be blind sighted.

You rarely see someone of a young age getting overly excited about the next Windows release, unlike an eagerly awaiting, pimple faced student vibrating in line outside the Apple store waiting for the long awaited iPhone.

Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion' brings the same user interface that previous OS X 10 users have been accustomed to, with a few additional features designed to make the working day more productive and convenient; even though Sam Diaz says the late release of summer 2011 was a "Microsoft move".

I still reckon Apple keeps its customers happy by doing what Microsoft doesn't.

Since 2001, Apple have released seven big cats into the wild (Mac OS X codenames) with an average of 18 months or so between each release. Each time, the user experience has been relatively consistent and new features have been added to the existing interface though new hardware has been accommodated.

In the same time period, Microsoft have released many more variants of its operating system of the time, but only really rolled out three major new consumer-focused operating systems - XP, Vista and Windows 7.

Now there are obvious similarities; between XP and Vista compared to Tiger and Leopard in terms of a massive overhaul of user interface and aesthetics; I will accept that. Also, hardware has changed hands a few times such as the shift towards different processors for Apple and 64-bit technology for Microsoft.

It just seems that while Apple changes the drapes by adding a few additional features to its already furnished living room, Microsoft takes more time by knocking down the walls and adding an extension. Take it as either a compliment or a slating to both; even I am undecided on which, if any is better.

But I suspect Apple's elevation to the top of consumer satisfaction seems that end users are more updated with new features, products and hardware than Windows users. It would not surprise me if it turned out that the success of the iPhone has propelled the iPad to its present popularity; tied in together to bring back the Mac.

Call it a controversial statement, but Apple's focused efforts on the younger consumer seem to be paying off as the Generation Y are all about the 'here and now'.

Agree? Disagree?

Topics: Microsoft, Apple

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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