Windows To Make Apple Rich

January 25, 2020

Thanks to the Boot Camp software released by Apple, Windows users can switch to the Mac and bring their OS along for the ride with OS X.

The Apple Boot Camp software has been available in public beta, pending its incorporation into the next version of Mac OS X. Boot Camp allows users to install Windows XP and run it natively on Intel-based Macs.

That sound you heard was the ka-ching of cash registers ringing in Cupertino. Windows to thank for helping out Apple? Apparently so, according to a report from Forbes.

“Judging from consumer interest, it is reasonable to believe that Boot Camp will play a significant role in Apple gaining market share over the next twelve months,” the firm said in a statement to clients, the article noted.

This is where it gets a little strange.

Analysts from Piper Jaffray have cited their survey on PC purchasers. Of 42 shoppers who plan to purchase a PC soon, 8.3 percent plan to buy a Mac instead of a PC due to the availability of the Boot Camp software.

That works out to three people, out of 42. If that percentage were to hold true for the entire market, it would more than double Apple’s market share in the US, currently around 3.6 percent.

The desire to keep Windows XP available on a new platform revolves around applications. Although there are many common applications on Windows that the Mac can match, in the home market there is one category that they cannot touch – the gaming market.

Hardcore gamers aren’t likely to part with carefully tweaked machines running Windows XP on top of overclocked AMD chips and the latest video cards installed. A less serious gaming fan could make that change and not miss a Windows-only platform too much.

Windows users would get a best of both worlds experience. They would have access to a Mac platform that is well-suited to creating and distributing digital media, like video, that has become so popular through sites like YouTube and Google Video.

For applications requiring a Windows-or-nothing platform, users can switch over to XP via Boot Camp, and likely run what they need. A great example of this would be the software-as-a-service (SaaS) available from Salesforce through its AppExchange program.

Software that may not run under a browser in Mac could do so in IE on the XP side. If SaaS does take off as Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has evangelized, maybe it will be Mac hardware that provides some impetus for more users to embrace it.

Turner Snaps At Microsoft Rivals

January 20, 2020

With its Worldwide Partner Conference coming to a close in Boston, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner declared war on companies and technologies aspiring to Microsoft’s place in the enterprise.

"I'm in it to win it, and No Limit is my home."
-- American rapper and poet Snoop Dogg

Microsoft is in it to win it when it comes to the enterprise space. Just because a lot of journalists think Google and Linux will take a wrecking ball to Microsoft’s foundation of Windows and Office doesn’t mean Microsoft feels the same way.

COO Kevin Turner told the crowd during his closing keynote speech that “we’re not going to let Google win in the enterprise space. That’s our house, our market space,” a CRN report noted.

Turner continued in this vein, to the approval of the Microsoft faithful in attendance:

“Then we’ve got Novell, Linux, Red Hat and other competitors. We’re going after IBM and Google,” Turner said. “We’re going to win because we have a better solution, better total cost of ownership. We’re going to get at the competition.”

“We know you have choices,” Turner told partners. “But this is a company that if we don’t get it right the first time, we’ll keep coming, and coming and coming and not stop until we get it right.”

That does sum up how Microsoft has entered and ended up dominating a lot of markets. For example, Microsoft moved from a zero market share in the web browser market to a figure of about 83 percent usage of Internet Explorer in 2006. One-time browser leader Netscape is a shell of what it used to be.

All the ex-Wal-Mart CIO Turner was missing from his speech was a Howard Dean-style call to action from the executive. Though it is tempting to rule out Microsoft when so many alternatives exist for its products, the company does enjoy the business of numerous large and powerful corporations for its core revenue generating products.

Microsoft ODF Plans Nothing New

January 5, 2020

Microsoft’s announcement that it would back the Open XML Translator project, and bridge the gap between Office 2007 and OpenDocument Format as an open source initiative, had been hinted at in October 2005.

It was Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s new chief software architect as well as the inventor of Lotus Notes, who let slip the suggestion that an ODF plugin for Microsoft Office would be developed.

That’s the contention of Andy Updegrove, who follows standards issues on his ConsortiumInfo blog. He noted in an email that as recently as May 19th of this year, Microsoft continued to withhold information on the project.

That was the date Microsoft replied to a state of Massachusetts request for information on plugins. With ODF gaining popularity, and public attention, in Europe, it appears Microsoft chose to follow that with its announcement.

This may also have been an attempt to generate some good press for the company before the European Commission decides whether or not Microsoft should be fined for failing to comply with antitrust rulings.

Updegrove cited Microsoft’s action as a “concession” to interoperability desired by users at the government level:

“Microsoft’s latest concession clearly makes it easier for governments and other users to feel safe in making the switch from Office to ODF-supporting software, since Microsoft itself will be collaborating to make document exchanges smooth and effortless.

Critics of the Massachusetts (and Danish, French and Belgian) initiative will now know that not only will Massachusetts government workers and the keepers of public records be able to easily exchange documents, but those with disabilities may simply continue to use Office as their peers convert to ODF software, later changing over themselves when accessibility tools for ODF software become available.”

Microsoft’s capitulation on building an ODF plugin became news last week. The company announced the creation of the project, and made a download of a Word 2007 prototype available.

Despite the concession, Microsoft did not let the fight end without tossing a late jab at ODF:

(Microsoft’s) Open XML and ODF were designed to meet very different customer requirements….

ODF focuses on more limited requirements, is architected very differently and is now under review in OASIS subcommittees to fill key gaps such as spreadsheet formulas, macro support and support for accessibility options. As a result, certain compromises and customer disclosures will be a necessary part of translating between the two formats.