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[2]: It's a good point
by phoehne on Mon 29th Aug 2011 04:28 UTC in reply to "RE: It's a good point"
phoehne
Member since:
2006-08-26

There's only one word that matters and that's 'execution.' Microsoft was really running well in the 1980's and 1990's. Maybe they didn't come to market with the best product, but they were well positioned and marketed. They exploited network effects and synergies where they could, keeping other companies from building a viable alternative for third party developers. They weren't above using a little muscle to keep their licensees and third party developers in line, either. Apple, by comparison, may have been putting out a better product, but as a company they weren't executing at the same caliber. Every company makes mistakes but Microsoft wasn't making as many or at least making more manageable mistakes.

As a concrete example, Apple's product lineup was a disaster. Before Jobs came back you couldn't tell if one machine was a better deal because it had a faster CPU, or the other one with slightly better graphics and bundled software. Wordperfect, another example, botched the Windows transition with some pretty shoddy products. I was actually part of a rollback from WordPerfect 6.0 back to 5.1 because it was so bug ridden. (And on Windows 3.1 that was a time consuming process done at the user's PC). Not that users who had spent time with the DOS version were that happy with 5.1 for Windows, either. Coming from DOS the world belonged to Novell, Lotus 123 and WordPerfect. It was theirs to lose and they lost it.

Now we have a Microsoft that's fumbling product launch after product launch and tearing themselves up from the inside with infighting. Apple, by contrast, is executing well. Maybe not everything they do smells like roses, but the are staking out a profitable turf. They are now among the top purchasers of semi-conductors (if not the top). They are at P/E of about 15 which means (relative to their earnings) they are not over-priced. (By comparison: IBM P/E about 14, Oracle 15, SAP 23, Microsoft < 10, HP about 6, which might mean the market does not have great confidence in Microsoft or HP.) At the end of the day it's mostly about how you run your business. If it were only about quality, the world would look very different than it does today.

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