Mistakenly many people used to think that Apple was a direct challenger to Microsoft’s future success and business, mainly because both were in the “operating system” business. While this is maybe a little more true today than it was a decade ago, the fact is that Apple is a niche company when it comes to traditional OS/Computer experiences.
Sure, the iPad has become a wild success, but I still don’t think Apple could ever truly become a direct threat to Microsoft.
And why is that? Different goals in mind. Yes, they both want to make money, but the way they go about their strategies is ultimately quite different.
Microsoft lures in users with wide compatibility and a wide array of hardware options, thanks to literally thousands of different vendors out there.
Apple, on the other hand, appeals to those looking for a simple approach. They want a machine that will work, require little tinkering, and not having to compare 500+ models side-by-side. Instead they have just a few, simple choices.
While this type of model has a wide appeal to a certain kind of user, really ‘overtaking’ the PC market would likely require a more open structure, something that Apple has never been big on.
So, who is really Microsoft’s biggest enemy? This is a ‘duh factor’ today, but it is Google. Though a ‘duh’ probably comes out of everyone reading this article right now, the fact is that not everyone saw this coming a decade or so ago. I’m sure Google did though.
Google built itself on policies that sought to target out companies like Microsoft, with a more open model and yet in many ways they’ve become the giant they wished to bring down.
What I’m curious about is whether or not Google will keep this moment going, and what the company might look like in another decade. Do they have what it takes to steal the PC and OS market away from Microsoft for good?
Maybe, they’ve certainly shown some big progress. Still, going from a search company, to an OS/software company so quickly is certain to leave some big growing pains in the process.
Android isn’t a bad OS but I’m firm that it won’t be the OS that directly challenges Windows on the PC front.
At least they’ve gotten their foot in the door, and even though Android has some serious problems, it is still quite popular. Perhaps in another 4-5 years something new will take its place at Google that can truly challenge Windows.
So what can Microsoft do to stop this from happening? First of all, I’m not claiming that I believe Google will take the OS market, just that it is possible. We’ve seen huge growth from the company and it’s certainly branched out to some unexpected places.
For Microsoft, getting in good with the tablet market is a big part of this key. If Windows 8 is successful in merging mobile and desktop environments through innovative inputs like touch, voice, and Kinect, then they have a lot less to worry about.
If Windows 8 isn’t well received, does it spell doom and gloom for Microsoft? Not at all, but it certainly will push them back and give companies like Google the opportunity to move forward into PC territory.
Keep in mind, this piece is entirely speculation based on recent changes, and I’m not claiming I agree with the possibility of Microsoft getting bumped down by someone like Google (or even Apple), I’m just throwing it out there as food for thought.
So what do you, as readers, think? If Google does have a chance, is it with Android or would they have totally scrap it in favor of a new OS before you’d consider a Google-based Windows-alternative on your home machines?