If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls

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?

TOPICS: Microsoft, Apple

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

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Apple?s focused efforts on the younger MORE AFFLUENT ...

    ... consumer seem to be paying off.

    Perhaps so, but you cannot talk about how short of money these 'poor' students are and then justify these same students paying premium prices for underpowered Apple products.

    Apple is interested in selling high-margin products to consumers with access to lots of diposable income. They are less interested in selling cost-effective products to those students who are not so affluent but who have the same need to do productive work.

    Apple is about marketing - not about good price/performance.
    M Wagner
    • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls


      You got that right. When I point out that I think Apple products are overpriced I'm usually scolded for it. I could buy one if I wanted to, but I like to manage my money and get the best deal which would be performance for the price. I don't see Apple offering that. If they were cheaper then I would look into it. Except the iPad, no desire for that thing.
      Loverock Davidson
      • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls

        @Loverock Davidson

        In short - what persuaded the people I am working for is that they asked how old the Mac Laptop I was using was - when I told them it was at least 6 years old they realised they had been wasting money on PC laptops that were cheaper but lasted only 2 years.

        So for more expensive, it depends on not only cost but value, and the cost of replacement.

        The performance of Macs is way, way ahead of PCs!!!

        $600 every 2 years against $1400 every 6 years - now which is actually cheaper?

        Not to mention that the PCs were slower than 10 year old Macs. Cleaning up made them faster, yes but still not as fast nor as productive as a 10 year old Mac.

        So if you cannot think past the day you purchase, then you go ahead and spend more money but slowly. It is up to you.

        Just stop this spin campaign. Why do you do this?
      • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls

        @Loverock Davidson This from an I-pad, not a reader... please count all the OS's MS has had and dropped,ten years with OSX and still going.
      • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls


        In that case I still have my old laptop which I bought in 2005 for about $600 and didn't replace it until this year. So that was 5 years worth I got out of it. I plan on keeping my new laptop for another 5 years. So lets go back to price/performance. I pay $600 now and get a laptop to use for the next 5 years, or I pay $1400 for 6 years. I think I'm going to go with the $600 laptop because the performance of it works for that price. I like to think economically.
        Loverock Davidson
      • "...In that case I still have my old laptop..."

        @Loverock Davidson : Which for me is a 10-year-old G3 iBook which still performs as well as it did when new--even to giving me more than 3 hours of charge on the original battery. I think $130/year is a pretty good price to pay for a single reliable product.
      • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls


        "The performance of Macs is way, way ahead of PCs!!!"

        This is demonstrably not true, both in absolute terms (equally priced machines) and in terms of performance/per dollar.

        If you look at the repair rates for 2-3 year old machines, Apple laptops are not at the top of the heap, though they fare well. Regardless of manufacturer, though, all have a ~15%+ issue rate in the first 2-3 years. That's not anecdotal.
      • richardw66. 2 years for a 600.00 laptop? That's just plain indigenuous.

        My 2001 Toshiba that was <1000.00 is still running XP like the day I bought it, 9 years later. I've already had my 17" desktop replacement laptop for 2 years and it's like brand new.
        Please refrain from making false remarks.

        And you didn't mention the 1000.00 laptop, which equals the 1400.00 mac in all ways and then some (always more RAM, disc and video for the money) which both last as long as their usefulness in the world of IT allows....why the extra 400.00 for a locked down OS that is not suited for 95% of business users?
        Even those companies buying Macs are typically loading Windows, so did you add the retail cost of windows in there?

        It's always cheaper to go with a Windows machine, get Windows at a discount from the OEM and a machine that is more powerful than the Mac....no extra purchase necessary.
        You never hear of a PC user desiring to put OS X on their PC, at least not in anything but very small numbers and of course with the locked down approach of Apple you can't anyway.
      • Lower COO, Higher ROI

        I always thought the longevity of the Macs (kept in use longer, maintain high resale value) was a function of the market, but when I cleaned out our offices, I found of 20 Macs, only two that were "dead" (and one was a laptop in which the LiIon Batteries no longer held a charge), and of our 6 PCs, three dead Dells, a dead eMachines desktop, and an eMachines laptop that also had a battery problem and only worked when plugged in.

        What's even more strange, is that the PCs were only used to run network diagnostics, but were subject in some cases to 2 or 3 hard drive failures in the course of their deployment. Perhaps MS's Virtual Memory algorithms thrash the disks?

        At any rate, even at $1500-$2000 a pop, after 5+ years the Macs provided more use, more value, and I can still sell them for a bit of cash, whereas the PCs I have to pay to have disposed.
      • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls

        @Loverock Davidson & mwagner@<br><br>Your arguments for not buying Apple products is seriously flawed. To put it another way, you're saying you wouldn't buy a Porsche because you can get a Hyundai for less money. People don't buy Apple computers (and pay a higher price) simply because they want a personal computer and have extra cash laying around. People buy Apple products because of the overall package/value you get from Apple.<br><br>First and foremost there is Design. Apple computers are superior when it comes to design. Apple products are gorgeous, they feel solid and great in your hands. You don't get that feeling from $600-$1000 plastic bodied PCs from Dell, HP, Acer etc...<br><br>Next you get OS X, it is 64 bit natively, you don't have to select 32 or 64 bit, and you don't have to search the internet for hours looking for 64 bit drivers to get your printer to work (as an example). OS X is clean, simple, efficient and fast. Windows Vista and Windows 7 are so cluttered and incredibly bloated.<br><br>Resale value: Macs have a much higher resale value than PCs. A 2-3 year old 15" MacBook Pro can be sold for $1000 or more, a $600 PC is essentially worthless (maybe you can get $100-$150).<br><br>Your argument that you can purchase a PC of equal processing power and storage etc for less is money just verifies that you've missed the point.
      • 64-bit vs. 32-bit


        Yes, you do have to choose between 64-bit and 32-bit with OS X, (hold the "6" and "4" keys during boot; permanent setting requires editing a text config) and of course your hardware has to support it in the first place. They've been claiming 64-bit-ness nearly every release. The fact remains that Windows is way ahead in true 64-bit operation and ecosystem support.
      • masari.jones.....another note on the "64 bit" Mac.

        @masari.jones, Apple did not have a full 64 bit OS until Snow Leopard.
        Even leopard had 32 bit kernel. So any and all system calls had to be converted to 32 bit and then back again.
        and if you didn't have 64 bit drivers for your hardware, the performance was pitiful so the idea that it did "both" was pretty much marketing only.

        Meanwhile, MS has offered full and true 64 bit for several years and are far ahead of Apple in this area.
        If you are not aware of this, then you probably shouldn't be talking about it.
      • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls

        @Loverock Davidson Over priced is based on perceived value of the person saying it is or isn't. Just because you think it's overpriced and not worth it doesn't mean the next guy in line doesn't see value. The haters and fanboys never seem to be able to grasp that their view is not the same as everyone else's regardless of how many posts they put it in. Obviously with sales on the rise and the majority of college freshman running Macs that a lot of people see the value, that is undeniable. Their satisfaction rates are also undeniable and add to the value. I have not had a Mac in pushing 15 years but that doesn't mean doesn't mean I am too clueless to see their value for some and not dismiss them as overpriced for everything.
    • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls

      Yeah, right, right; we hear you. The usual mantra: buy cheap Windows crap and replace it as needed, rather than buy an Apple product that keeps on giving. I bought my desktop Mac back in 1999 and it still functions well for my business purposes; how much more cost-effective can you get?
      • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls

        @orangemike If you are using 11 year old hardware and software, you it is costing you a lot in lost productivity and security!
      • "...it is costing you a lot in lost productivity and security!"

        @rmark: Are you sure about that? Eleven years of no security problems; eleven years of solid reliability; eleven years of consistent productivity.

        Where's the expense?

        No having to spend tens of dollars per year for questionable anti-virus protection (frequently directly attacked over the last ten years).
        No having to spend hundreds of dollars every couple of years to replace worn-out power supplies or obsolete video cards.
        No having to spend hundreds of dollars every visit for OS maintenance and cleanup to restore operational speed (or pay somebody tens of thousands of dollars per year to have an in-house tech).

        Honestly, the only advantage Windows has today is the fact that it's deeply imbedded in the enterprise. On a side-by-side comparison today, Apple's concepts are more efficient and more reliable--only the changeover is prohibitive. On the other hand, with Macs now invading in their ones and twos, that changeover is much more gradual, reducing the up-front cost while extending the ROI.
      • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls

        @orangemike: Yeah, and I know plenty of businesses and people still using XP and are quite happy, satisfied, productive, and safe (My university is one of them - nicely tucked behind a big, old, humoungous firewall). Great. Happy for you. Congratulations. I will take my one year old laptop running up-to-date office suites (more than one, thank you), hard drives large enough to hold it all, and the security of the most up-to-date security management you can buy, thank you. I do more than compute at my desk in my den. I don't have the luxury of running decades old equipment with underpowered and unsupported software.
      • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls

        "Mac back in 1999 and it still functions well for my business purposes;"
        Are you in the antique business?
    • RE: If Apple changes the drapes, Microsoft knocks down the walls


      Yep it's all abvout marketig and packaging as you can fool some of the people all of the time and even the ones you fool some of the time, make at least one purchase.

      Microsoft is a software company - it makes it's own software. Apple simply rebadges someone else's work. Four iterations of the iPhone and they still have the crowded desktop with icons UI and siloed apps. Microsoft researches, designs, tests and listens. Apple just comes up with a look and then decides how to market it. It's the one button mouse approach, time and time again.

      As for being excited on product, I've been waiting 3 years for WP7, ordered 4 on the first day and the warehouses are currently sold out, so I'll need to wait another week - I'll start vibrating now ;-)
      • talk about marketing...

        You have been taken hook line and sinker.

        Maybe you should wait to actually use the device before crowing about how great it is. You go ahead and call people that like the iphone fools but you haven't even tried the WP7 yourself yet.
        And as far as Microsoft goes.. They don't know [b]what[/b] they are doing. It wasn't too long ago that Ballmer was laughing at the iphone because they were so sure that their model would be so much more successful.
        Same with the Zune, Kin etc...
        The reality is.. MS is just throwing darts at the wall and hoping one of them hits the dartboard.