Linked by umad on Thu 25th Aug 2011 22:51 UTC
Apple I thought OSNews would be a good forum to talk about a matter that has been weighing on my mind lately primarily because the site has been so focused on Apple's patents and litigation as of late. The news that HP, the largest PC manufacturer in the world is spinning off or getting out of this business is what really prompted me to write this article.
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RE: It's a good point
by kaiwai on Thu 25th Aug 2011 23:25 UTC in reply to "It's a good point"
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Microsoft's own success was the result of the competition being so poorly run at the time - in many cases it was Microsoft who was in second place and only pulled ahead because of good luck combined with mistakes by the competition which resulted them taking the lead. We could have been running IRIX or SUN workstations but it didn't happen because both organisations were hell bent on gouging the customer for every cent they had and more in some cases. Apple as of 1997 were charging an entry price of $4500-5000 for their computers when an mid range PC in NZ at that time was around $2000. Amiga was basically killed by the PC side of Commodore who saw no benefits of dedicating some resource to transforming Workbench into AmigaOS and marketing the benefits of their hardware (I'm sure a transition to MIPS or PPC at the same time Apple did would have made things a lot better).

One thing that needs to be taken into account is that Apple is an entirely different beast than it was 15 years ago (heck, its an entirely different beast than it was 5 years ago). The differentiating factor between Apple and the rest of the industry is the software hence the reason why they guard the exclusivity of Mac OS X so strongly - it is after all at the heart of the Mac just as iOS is at the heart of the i-devices, they make the devices what they are with the hardware merely being a means to an end rather than an ends in itself (hence their interest in patents as well - at the end of the day "hate the game not the player" because at the root of it are politicians who lack the backbone to say "no" to lobbyists). Whilst the rest of the industry has been slashing each others throats and shipping 'more of the same' PC's loaded with Windows, Apple on the other hand has offered 'something different' which makes their product stand out.

I've said this multiple times that the future of the PC relies on either being the hardware manufacturing side operation of Microsoft except being owned by its own shareholders or PC vendors waking up and realising that the only way to protect and improve their margins is developing their own operating system. There are the raw ingredients out there using FreeBSD and other technologies but it seems to me that the vast majority of OEM's don't have the stomach for a long term investment hence they go back to the 'race to the bottom' that has seen HP and IBM leave (or contemplate) leaving the PC industry.

Edited 2011-08-25 23:31 UTC

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