Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

Summary: Frank Shaw, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Communications, took the unusual step -- given the Softies' usual reticence to mention their rivals -- of sharing a bunch of data on Microsoft and its competitors in various industry segments.


Sometimes (especially when attending Microsoft press conferences, in particular), it's easy to believe that the multiplying Macs and their magical iPad cousins have taken over the portable computing world.

Frank Shaw, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Communications, took the unusual step  -- given the Softies' usual reticence to mention their rivals -- of sharing a bunch of data on Microsoft and its competitors in various industry segments. Shaw didn't share a memo he wrote that amplified his message, but All Things Digital's Kara Swisher shared it for him.)

The PC numbers (collected by a variety of third-party sources cited by Shaw in his blog post), were especially interesting:

7.1 million Projected iPad sales for 2010

58 million Projected netbook sales in 2010

355 million Projected PC sales in 2010

I still think blogger Long Zheng made this point best a couple years ago. (In fact, I liked his image so much that I ended  up using it on my business card.)

As telling as these numbers are, I can't help but wonder when and if we're going to see Microsoft create a common user interface for the coming crop of slate PCs running not Windows 7, but Windows Embedded Compact. (If Microsoft doesn't end up doing this, each of the coming slates running Embedded Compact will have a different look and feel, creating another Windows Mobile situation.)

There are some nice new Windows 7 laptops and netbooks coming to market, but my "magical" device would be a Windows-based slate with some serious battery life and true instant on/off. I want my Winpad!

Topics: Windows, Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

    My netbook is almost a Winpad ... 8+ hr. batter life, full Office, multitouch on the touchpad, <$400 ... not bad :)

    Oh, and it runs full Aero too with 7 Home Premium.

    I bet Microsoft has more up their sleeve with 'pad style computers than they've shown so far ... at least I hope they do :)
    • What netbook do you have?


      I'm kinda curious. I'm in the same boat, I have a netvertible running Win7 Pro, Full Office 2010, Windows Live, and few other essential pieces of software. Aside from a few minor bumps in the road, I love the experience.

      How has it been for you?
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

        @NStalnecker I've got a Samsung N150 ... it's an Atom N450 with 1Gb ram and a 250Gb hard drive. It shipped with Windows 7 Starter, but I anytime upgraded it to Home Premium. Again, it is not a touch screen computer, but it does have multitouch on the touchpad, which is awesome. And it works great ... to be honest, I've been impressed with its performance considering the stats. Battery life is consistently 7-8 hours, higher of course with screen brightness turned down and WiFi turned off.

        I mainly use Office (2007, and now 2010), Windows Live Writer, Google Chrome, Splayer, Paint.NET, and Kindle for PC on it, though of course I have quite a few other apps I use from time to time on it. Not bad ;)
      • Cool

        My B, I thought you had a netvertible, but multi-touch on the touch pad is pretty nice too. I know ASUS has that on their EEE PC's, I've gotten so used to using the touch pad with multi-touch that I carry it over to my other laptop that doesn't have it, and I find myself rather upset when I realize what I am doing.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

        the reason windows is so popular is because of their assimilation tactics of buying out small companies and bastardizing the software to incorporate it into their lineup, and because mac hardware is almost exactly the same as normal PC's selling for astronomical prices.

        We have just entered a new era of computing where users do most of their work on the net rather locally that places an emphasis on browsers rather than 3rd party software installs. When an obvious competitor to Microsoft appears, which will probably be google's OS, you can be sure all the PC manufacturers will flock to it because it's free and it will drop all prepackaged laptops and desktops by at least $100 or more by not having to pay homage to microsoft for each sale.

        Now whether google gets their act together is a whole other story. So far BIOS and motherboard manufacturers have had a way to bypass Windows altogether for at least 5 years, but no software developer has accepted the challenge probably because of Microsoft's sheer monopolistic behavior and weight in the marketplace.

        Thanks to beefier upcoming browsers it's now just a matter of lightweight software with small footprints to make it easier to work offline and not worry about using microsoft products.

        my latest foray into Windows dominance;
      • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

        It's really not about netbooks. It's about windoze. These are the same clowns who bitched a couple of years ago about Linux being put on the same machines.<br><br>The Borg Collective looks for any excuse...
        ahh so
      • Nice try, but, fail...

        After reading your linked blog, you certainly fall into the MacIdiot camp.

        Really? you actually are complaining that Windows shut down when you told it to? And by your own admission, you prompted Windows to restart without you saving your work, not Windows restarting itself without prompting you to save your work? If Windows had taken any longer to reboot, you'd be here complaining about how long it takes Vista to reboot.

        You say you were working on several text docs with "important HTML code" during the iTunes update. Well, from my own experience, that last iTunes update took at least 20 minutes, why not save your "important" code at some point before, during, or after you were running that update? Let's not even beleager the fact that you should have know iTunes updates are going to require a restart, or why were you working on something that important whilst running an update of that sort? Surely you have seen the phrase "Close all programs, save all data, before continuing this update"?

        The fact is, your computer did [b]exactly[/b] what it was told to do, by its operator. The problem here is PEBCAK.

        Actually, you should save up and only buy Apple apparently fall into the user group that needs to be told what hardware you [i]will[/i] use, what software you [i]will[/i] use with it, and in what way you [i]will[/i] use it (i.e., "this is how you hold your phone").
      • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

        @Cylon I'd be happy if <a href="">sohbet</a> got rid of the ribbon and gave us <a href="">chat</a> users the pull-down menus that existed before Office 2007 for <a href="">forum</a>. I like getting Outlook for the <a href="">portal</a>. It has grown on me since my new Windows <a href="">izlesene</a> box had to use Outlook since <a href="">chat sohbet</a> was removed. <a href="">sohbet odalari</a> email client is <a href="">mynet sohbet</a> <a href="">cinsel sohbet</a> weak.
    • Whistling past the graveyard

      Is more what he sounds like. Also, quoting disparate statistics is misleading as well. 7 million iPads is, firstly, an underestimation as is the 58 million netbooks an overestimation. Where are the 9 million Macs if you're going to throw out the total PC's projected? Are the included in that number? And what about the iDevices running iOS? Last I heard there were about 100 million of those out there.
      Certainly Microsoft isn't in any danger of extinction. They remain a monopoly in the commodities computer market. They have seen their share of the 'smart phone' market nearly vanish under the onslaught of the iPhone, Android, and RIM though. They are coming a day late to that prom, but I hope they gain some market share again. Competition is good. But it is indeed whistling past the graveyard for a Microsoft exec to toss 'reality' onto a competitor who has such a paltry market share. Isn't it?
      • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

        @dheady@... More like 35-40 million Macs projected to be sold. Correct on the rest. :) Of course, you expected a Windows/Microsoft reporter to include something that would weaken the "Microsoft rulez!!!11" argument. Oh, and then there's those untold millions upon millions of servers sold that do not run Windows.
      • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

        @Random_Walk@... "untold millions upon millions of servers sold that do not run Windows."

        Millions upon millions untold? I don't think so. And don't bother with the bogus argument that people buy servers with Windows pre-installed, then install Linux/whatever. The "No OS" server checkbox is not hard to find, and it's often the default. Plenty of Windows Server customers pick "No OS" as well, since they already own the licenses through their Microsoft licensing agreement.
      • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

        Well, there are many untold severs running Linux. It is FREE and requires no activation or registration after all. And before you go on about how the statistics of Linux servers are skewed and Windows has far greater market share. a) you are right if you were going to say it had greater market share, but as I have already pointed out "market share" is based on units sold. People do not need to buy servers with Linux and it would be of much greater benefit to buy them without it pre installed so they can install which ever version they want customized how they want it. Or for that matter their own custom version as Google does.

        b) Steve Ballmer is quoted when talking about servers that "Forty percent of servers run Windows, 60 percent run Linux," he said. "How are we doing? Forty is less than 60, so I don't like it. ... We have some work to do."
      • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

        @dheady@... <br><br>What kind of content protection are you thinking of? I'm not just talking about HTML5 for video either. Google thinks that HTML5 is the future of web app development, and that web apps will supplant native apps very soon <a href="">kola kamyonu</a> <a href="">mini go kart</a>
      • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective


        The same advertisers that brought us Seinfeld (lets play footsie and wiggle our shorts Bill), Laptop Hunters (that got all sorts of bad press for lies (incorrect pricing and customer never actually went into an Apple store) and portraying windows as "cheep"), And Windows 7 was Macs idea (where a college kid who can't get laid and get kicked out of his dorm room (by his Mac roommate) has to watch TV in the hall because he doesn't even have a friend whom he could visit).

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    • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

      @maguay U should try using an ipad :-) <a href="">Chef Jobs</a>
    • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

      "There are some nice new Windows 7 laptops and netbooks coming to market, but <strong><a href="">learn violin online</a></strong> my ???magical??? device would be a Windows-based slate with some serious battery life and true instant on/off. I want my Winpad!"

      I'm feeling the EXACT same way, really!
      I can't use <strong><a href="">glaucoma eyes drops</a></strong> a Tablet with android or Mac for anything. I mean, can I run normal programs on it? No! Good, then let's all agree that it cannot compete with the PC, <strong><a href="">bright eyes drops</a></strong> thanks! Microsoft can change all that, though.
      As you said, having a Windows 8 based tabled would be neat!
  • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

    Also outlined in the last Windows Weekly, there's a real wall between reality and what the tech press are using, and 'perceive,' and I would say 'want,' people to use.

    Windows Live Messenger is the widest use IM, Live IDs are actively used in the millions, and all these stats about computers aren't relevant when you are in front of the group using the Mac, and think everyone else should.

    Things will never change, and they all want to scream momentum now, but MSFT still has the numbers because people, like myself, can actually afford a PC and not a Mac. Imagine that!
    • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

      @clindhartsen Very true ... good points.
      • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

        @maguay But why does any of that matter to what kind of computer I should get? There are enough Mac out there that choosing one is perfectly safe.

        So Mac or PC, it is everyone's choice - and I shouldn't even consider what you use.
      • RE: Keeping PCs and Macs in perspective

        @Jeremy-UK - Sure, it always makes sense to use whatever has the apps and services you need. I think @clindhartsen is trying to say that most of the services and programs he and many other use are on the PC, and I have to agree with that. After all, I think Office and Adobe tools are 2 things that keep many users from using Linux; just the lack of those programs makes it less valuable and useful to many people. And it's the same between Mac and Windows.

        That's why choice is a great thing ... everyone can use what works best for them. What we get tired of is everyone saying that Macs are for everyone, and that we're inherently doing something wrong if we're using PCs. There's no more logic to that than the other.