Linked by David Adams on Fri 13th May 2011 04:54 UTC
Microsoft In business school the first thing they teach you about CEOs is: it is the CEO’s job to increase the shareholder value of the company. Since taking the position Ballmer has decreased shareholder value, as reflected by stock price, by -56.63%. That. Is. Not. Good . . . Microsoft should be searching for a new CEO right now.
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RE: the tortoise and the hare
by Laurence on Fri 13th May 2011 07:30 UTC in reply to "the tortoise and the hare"
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Sure MS could create a Skype clone - but it would take years and wouldn't have any brand recognition.

"Microsoft" is already a much bigger household brand than "Skype".

I would place my money on MS surviving another 20 years over Apple any day. Jobs has always bet the farm on a few products. MS sticks to low risk diversity at the expense of growth.

I think it's the other way round.
Apple have quite a number of profitable products (from their laptops to software (iTunes, Garage Band, etc) to phones to portable music players, and so on).

MS, until the recently, wasn't making a profit on their games consoles. WP7 is under performing and their old mobile OS is already obsolete tech. Zune isn't selling. MS is basically staking their whole company on a few flagship products: Windows, Office, SQL Server.

What happens to Apple's share price in 2-3 years years when unlocked $50 WP7 smartphones and $100 Android tablets are sold in supermarkets? How long before every second company has an online app and music store? I guess even Ebay and Facebook will have one soon.

So long as iPhones and iPods still sell, iTunes will still generate Apple revinue. Such is life with a walled garden.

Will people still buy expensive Macs when they can do much faster media editing on cheap server farms or via a cloud-based service?

Yes because clouds are NOT faster for professional media editing. For one, you'd have to upload your high quality media to the cloud before you could start. Given that most high-end systems cope with media editing just fine already, there's no need to switch to server farms except for a few niche industries. However those that do need server farms already use Linux server farms (eg movie render farms) so that point is moot.

As for the switch to Windows, many media professionals prefer OS X because the tools are (in their opinion) better / more productive in OS X than Windows. eg Logic (pro audio production suite) compared with Cubase.

The success of Apple has always been due to cult marketing hype by sycophants in the media. Mundane products that have been around for years suddenly become absolutely amazing once they have the Apple brand applied. Star Trek had tablet computers way back in the 1960s FFS.

In terms of their consumer products, I agree with you. However consumers have always bought into style and PR*. My girlfriend (for example) buys phones that look "cute" despite having a horrid UI. Apple have always been good at creating a pretty GUI with pretty hardware and then hyping it perfectly. So it's no surprising that consumers buy into Apple.

* Well, those and often price too.

Online music stores and MP3 players were around long before Apple got into the business.

Indeed they have. ;)

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