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  • Should Apple Remove the Gloves?

    October 4th, 2007

    The best way to observe the state of the so-called computer platform wars today is to look at the ever-popular Mac and PC spots, where two friendly dudes banter about the advantages or otherwise of their chosen operating system.

    At the end, you come away with the impression that the personifications of the Mac and PC are nice people that actually like each other and are just trying to find ways to work together. Imagine two brothers with widely different world views trying to come together and act like family.

    Indeed, one of the big selling points of the Mac is that it plays nicely with Windows. Microsoft’s Office suites on both platforms can share files, and your Mac can easily network with a PC. After a fashion, there’s even support with Microsoft Exchange servers for corporate email and other group-related functions.

    I suppose it all dates back to the 1997 Macworld, where the ghost-like figure of Bill Gates appeared on screen via a satellite feed. There and then, Steve Jobs and Gates declared the platform wars over. Microsoft won, and it’s time to get over it and get on with our lives.

    This is not to say that Apple is above ribbing Microsoft from time to time, witness those ads to those ubiquitous signs during WWDC events about copying stuff from Mac OS X.

    But you sometimes feel Apple doesn’t really have its heart in it anymore. They have already invaded Microsoft’s turf with QuickTime, the iPod, iTunes and even Safari. Besides, Apple’s sales appear to be climbing steadily, so is there any real incentive to wage out and out warfare with Microsoft when stealth marketing seems to be accomplishing its goals?

    Stealth marketing?

    Well, consider all the online pundits who claim they used to be Windows users, but extended exposure to the Mac convinced them to change their ways. One by one, they have become Mac users, loyal Mac users, but they always leave a caveat in their articles that there still may be reasons that force you to stick with Windows. But they’re just hedging their bets with no real enthusiasm.

    These days, even Microsoft’s best efforts play second fiddle to Apple’s marketing machine. From the introduction to the second-generation Zune music players to last winter’s release of Windows Vista, you get the impression that Microsoft wasn’t even trying anymore. Maybe they are so confident that their dominance of the PC industry will persist until the last personal computer rolls off the assembly lines that they no longer feel it necessary to pull out all the stops.

    Certainly you get the impression that Apple continues to believe what Jobs said ten years ago. While the Mac continues to make inroads against Windows, the overall Mac user base is still dwarfed by Windows. Growing sales may help Apple’s bottom line and delight their stockholders, but it won’t change the world.

    Then again, maybe Apple doesn’t have to remove its gloves after all.

    Watching Microsoft in action, it’s easy to compare the company to an aging boxer, whose best days in the ring are long gone. His legs move slowly, fists don’t have the speed and power they once possessed, and perhaps too many glancing blows have dimmed mental alertness.

    This is not to say Microsoft is necessarily punch drunk. But years at the top can certainly make any individual or company overconfident. You think you’ve already conquered the world, and that nobody will ever take your crown away. This may explain why Microsoft is happy to play the waiting game with the xBox and Zune, confident that huge investments in both products will eventually pay off with huge profits.

    After all, doesn’t Microsoft own the PC universe?

    Besides, although they’ve faced apparent defeats in antitrust actions, they have plenty of money to go around, and they probably chalk up those hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and other expenses simply to the cost of doing business.

    At the same time, you wonder what might happen if Apple decided to go for the brass ring. How would Microsoft react then? It’s not as if Apple isn’t there already with the iPod, and some suggest the iPhone is poised to attain total dominance of the feature and smartphone markets.

    But the Mac? Just because one in six laptops expected to be sold at the retail level in the U.S. are Macs doesn’t mean Apple has suddenly caught a wave. They still sell but a fraction of the units that are moved by either Dell or HP.

    There are also the alleged consequences of lashing out against Microsoft in full force, such as the probable loss of Office for the Mac. Would Redmond really pull the plug on the Mac Business Unit? Some think, by shedding Visual Basic for Applications, Microsoft is already moving in that direction.

    It may also be that the steady improvements in iWork are designed to set the stage where Microsoft’s Mac software will no longer be available. True, iWork has a lot of room to grow, but perhaps there are already test versions in the labs that match Office feature-for-feature and then some.

    Don’t say it can’t happen, but maybe Apple doesn’t care anymore. Maybe they are happy enough to see Macs make steady inroads against the Microsoft machine. Maybe they just want Microsoft to fade on its own accord, with only a little guidance on their part.



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    13 Responses to “Should Apple Remove the Gloves?”

    1. Tom Hughes says:

      Apple, under Steve Jobs leadership, doesn’t seem preoccupied by competitors.
      They are certainly observers of the competition but are seldom influenced by it.
      I think this is why Apple appeals so much to creative people, they march to the beat of their own drummer not to someone else’s.

    2. Louis Wheeler says:

      The OS wars were never over: Apple just needed a “hudna” — a temporary cessation of hostilities until one side, the Muslims usually, gained the strength necessary to restart the war. The reason for the hudna is to lull the opposition into thinking that they have won.

      What has Apple done since 1997? It has put its house in order. It created a popular, modern Operating System out of NeXTstep that can carry it forward for many years while Microsoft is immeshed in “Vista development hell.”

      Apple “forted up” in its areas of strength– the consumer, the SMB and the creative markets. It ignores market share statistics. It has created a series, of consumer and professional software, which give it great strength in the graphics, music and consumer fields.

      It has covertly opened up fronts in many areas– servers, enterprise, consumer electronics, music players and the telephone. Apple has revamped its distribution chain to wipe out any price advantages Wintel had. It does not sell stripped or low price, e-waste computers by keeping the practice of including many hardware features in each computer. This disguises that Apple computers are quite competitive on price with other name brands.

      It has surreptitiously been inserting ground breaking software into its opposition’s domain: Quicktime, iTunes, the iTunes Music Store and now, Safari for windows. It has done this without using any of Microsoft’s API’s. This preserves the Macintosh look and feel, but it also duplicates the Mac OSX frameworks and API’s on Wintel machines. This will allow Apple to provide a complete replacement for Microsoft Windows with just some minor additions. The result will never be as good as on an Apple Computer because of Apple’s tight hardware/ software integration. But, Apple can take on Microsoft on its home front, if it wishes.

      The opposition seems unaware that Apple is laying the ground work for future success because Apple is acting piecemeal and saying nothing provocative. The move to Intel hardware is crucial, as is the introduction of BootCamp. People report that the Mac OS opens its applications six times faster than Windows apps on Apple hardware– 12 seconds to open an Apple application versus 72 seconds for the Wintel version. Apple isn’t crippling Wintel software; it is providing a direct comparison.

      The business market has stagnated worldwide, to about 5 percent per year, while Apple sales have been growing at 30 percent a year. The consumer market is still growing as people in the world increase their standards of living.

      Apple has been adding Open Source replacements for Microsoft’s group calendaring and Enterprise software. It is providing hardware and software for IT that has five to thirty times lower costs over the life of the product.

      Apple is rocking no boats. It is leaving Microsoft’s entrenched markets alone. But increasingly, canny people are taking advantage of the fact that a Macintosh has fewer problems and thus, cost less to maintain for a longer life expectancy. The smart business people are keeping quiet and pocketing the profits of using Apple products, but the word will come out. Apple is unready for a “Hot” war with Microsoft, but it is running its “Cold” war quite well.

    3. Dana Sutton says:

      I’m not sure what “taking off the gloves” means. This implies that Apple has been deliberately holding back on some moves it could make that would increase its market share at Microsoft’s expense. But what would these moves be? I can think of two: a.) adopt a much more aggressive advertising strategy that would not just point out the greater ease and simplicity of the Mac, but would deal frankly with Windows’ security problems, and b.) recast the image of the Mac as a computer for getting work done rather than the hub of an entertainment center and a “digital lifestyle.” The latter may have appeal for individual purchasers, but doesn’t cut very much ice with the kind of guy who purchases hundreds or even thousands of personal computers at a time for corporations, government agencies, and school districts, and this is the guy who really dictates what kind of computer has good market share. If Apple ever becomes serious about wanting to claim a large market share, he’s the guy who can make it happen, and by retooling its public relations and advertising Apple needs to convince him that the Mac is not just a toy. In that sense, Apple’s entertainment-oriented “digital style” approach condemns the Mac to being a niche product.

    4. Hardbox says:

      I think most people — Apple fans included — still don’t get it. The OS wars are already over for Apple. It seems to me they are happy letting Linux duke it out with Windows while they go on to invent the next category of devices.

      10 years from now Microsoft will still be around, regardless of whether OS X advances leave Windows far behind. Just as 20 years after the so-called PC revolution mainframes and mini computers are still around and irreplaceable by PCs. Apple will also enjoy a dominant position in another segment of the marketplace, where their competition would not be Microsoft at all but rather Google.

      It’s no longer the zero-sum battlefield of old, where for Apple to win Microsoft has to lose. The goalposts have moved. And people who still view the world in Windows vs Mac terms are just stuck in the old days.

      PS, Louis Wheeler: I’m a Muslim. What are you trying to say about me?

    5. I think most people — Apple fans included — still don’t get it. The OS wars are already over for Apple. It seems to me they are happy letting Linux duke it out with Windows while they go on to invent the next category of devices.

      10 years from now Microsoft will still be around, regardless of whether OS X advances leave Windows far behind. Just as 20 years after the so-called PC revolution mainframes and mini computers are still around and irreplaceable by PCs. Apple will also enjoy a dominant position in another segment of the marketplace, where their competition would not be Microsoft at all but rather Google.

      It’s no longer the zero-sum battlefield of old, where for Apple to win Microsoft has to lose. The goalposts have moved. And people who still view the world in Windows vs Mac terms are just stuck in the old days.

      PS, Louis Wheeler: I’m a Muslim. What are you trying to say about me?

      I think Microsoft understands that unless its new products, outside of its core Windows/Office universe, don’t gain traction, they will be on a death spiral. But I don’t think they understand how to embrace the future. That’s Apple’s advantage here, because they convey the image of cooperating with Microsoft, as Windows users come on over in larger numbers.

      But I still think it would be nice to see an out and out platform brawl. But Microsoft may have to become a bit more vulnerable first for Jobs to even consider it.

      Peace,
      Gene

    6. Louis Wheeler says:

      Dana, “Taking off the gloves” is the last act that gentlemen do before visiting violence on one another. The three acts before you start swinging are “remove the hat, remove the coat and remove the gloves.” It means removing the last pretense that they can be cordial.

      This is not about market share; market share is simply a result of actions you have taken. Taking off the gloves is about changing the mindset– acknowledging that the two are at war. That they have been covertly acting to gather strength for the coming battle and positioning themselves on the best terrain.

      You might think that Apple has no chance of upsetting Microsoft’s lead. And you may be right about that. But, when markets change, what was successful before no longer works for you. Your actions may have gathered sufficient enemies that you can not defeat them all, especially when they gang up on you. The contradictions in your make-up may have resulted in you becoming complacent, fat, sloppy and arrogant. You have power but nothing you do works out because your motives and values are false. Some trends have increasing influence so that Microsoft’s market share will diminish. It is already happening. But, Microsoft and its sycophants are doing their best to confuse the issue.

      This is not about changing Apple’s advertising or marketing. Apple has positioned itself to take the lion’s share of the future business. The world-wide computer market is almost flat at 5% growth a year while Apple is growing at 30% . Microsoft is increasingly being pushed back into their strongholds of the Low end market, the Enterprise market, the government market and Point of Sale devises.

      Microsoft will be attacked on a number of fronts. Google will attack Microsoft with web applications. Linux will attack those parts of Microsoft’s market segment where raw efficiency is needed. Microsoft is a “one-trick-pony”; it tries to push its Windows OS into everything. But, its OS is getting old, antiquated and inefficient. Embedded Linux will strip away Microsoft’s market in Cash registers, visual displays and hand held devises.

      The complete-computer-on a-chip hardware will get fast and powerful enough that practically every devise will have a computer in it which must coordinate flawlessly with each other. The computer’s peripherals will beome as smart as some computers today. The computer will become an ecosystem of mutual supporting equipment; how well they intercommunicate will tell which devises will flourish. Apple is prepared for this eventuality. But, Microsoft? I don’t think so. They are having a hard enough time holding on to the desktop.

      Apple will take away those portions of Microsoft’s market where ease of use, flexibility, panache, elegance and a better human interface are most important. That is, it will take away the most profitable portions of the consumer market. It is the consumer market where the future growth is. Apple is showing very high grow rates among students– 40% plus market share.

      Meanwhile, the Enterprise market has stagnated; it is mostly a replacement market. Apple will not make a direct attack here; it will chip away at it and wait for those students to enter the workforce and demand a Macintosh at work. Apple cannot appeal to the IT personnel, so it will go around them. People will sneak their own computers on the business network, because Microsoft’s software is so lousy. Apple is price competitive with the name brands and it works much better.

      Canny business people will take advantage of the fact that Mac’s last twice as long as PC’s. And that they have a Total Cost of Ownership that is a half to a third of even the cheap PC’s. The SMB market knows that now. They will grow because their costs are lower than the Enterprise markets.

      Apple will be introducing open source CalDAV Group Calendaring in Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard. All of Microsoft’s other Enterprise strengths will be addressed in later up grades. Since Apple issues major software upgrades every two years or so when Microsoft takes much longer, then Apple will encroach on Microsoft’s territory. But, there is no reason for Apple to make a direct attack.

      Let Microsoft continue to be complacent. Let it think of Apple as a niche market. But, all markets are niches. Microsoft is failing to serve it’s customer in most areas where an Apple product will do better. Microsoft will be pushed back. And when it is perceived by the public that Microsoft is slipping then its customer will drift away. Being #1 will not matter; being better is.

    7. Hardbox says:

      Gene,

      an old-fashioned brawl would be entertaining, admittedly. But I doubt the fighters are keen to get into the same tired old ring. The way I see it, Apple — and Google — will be a dominant player in the kind of environment you see in sci-fi films like Minority Report and Aeon Flux, where the computer is far more ubiquitous than today — it will be in your car, your toilet, your apartment — and in so being invisible to the people. That is what the Mac has always excelled at compared to Windows: it gets out of the way.

      That would be the time when the Internet as well as software become appliances. Your toaster oven would be running OS X and you wouldn’t know it (or even care). I see Apple’s rumored partnership with Volkswagen as another possible step towards this goal.

      As for Microsoft, I’m not surprised they don’t know how to react to the new environment where the computer extends beyond corporate walls. They have always been more lucky and shrewd than nimble as a corporation. I never thought they deserved the kind of success they did.

      In the early to mid-90’s I was a journalist covering the technology scene in my country, and it was frustrating to see what I felt were inferior Microsoft products winning out over better competitors, thanks also in no small part to bumbling from the other side. Ownership of Windows had helped Microsoft to see off those competitors back then — Office was a better suite than Lotus Symphony or WordPerfect Office because its tight integration was a result of intimate knowledge of the Windows code base that other app makers didn’t have.

      This is why I agreed wholeheartedly with the DOJ action against the company, but felt that focusing on browser was far too short-sighted. The company — in my view — was employing the same tactics in probably every business category it was participating in.

      At the same time, I wouldn’t underestimate the stickiness or longevity of the revenue machine that is Windows and Office. Even if Microsoft were to stop producing new versions and did nothing more than collect on these two products today it would still do very, very well for itself for the foreseeable future.

    8. Louis Wheeler says:

      Hardbox said, Louis Wheeler: I am a Muslim. What are you trying to say about me?

      I am not saying anything about you personally, Hardbox. But, the Islamic religion and culture have certain traditions. We can apply them to our commercial wars where they are appropriate. You have something against us learning about your people?

      First, the Muslims have permission from their culture to lie to infidels. Second, when they are defeated they promote a temporary truce ( a hudna) until they have the strength to strike again. Third, they can be quite obsequious; this can fool their opponents into thinking that the war is over when it is not. Fourth, Any territory that the Muslims have conquered remains still theirs in the Muslim mind. That is why Osama bin Laden decried Andalusia (Spain) being in Western hands for the last five hundred years. Fifth, Christians and Jews in their territories are barely third class subjects although the Turks, and to a lesser degree the Persians, treated them well. The Arabs and the Berbers routinely treated the “people of the book” badly. Sixth, the Muslims are a conquering people. Part of why they are at war with the West is the cognitive dissonance between the actuality of their status in the world and what they think God has promised them. “How can the infidels be so powerful?” they ask.

      But you know all this. You’ve read the history.

      10 years from now Microsoft will still be around, regardless of whether OS X advances leave Windows far behind.

      I never said that Microsoft would go out of business, but that they would no longer have their monopoly position.

      Apple will also enjoy a dominant position in another segment of the marketplace, where their competition would not be Microsoft at all but rather Google.

      So you want to split hairs about what the computer marketplace will be in ten years. Microsoft counts as part of its market share everything that has it’s OS in it. Why shouldn’t Apple?

      It is no longer the zero-sum battlefield of old, where for Apple to win Microsoft has to lose.

      Do you know how to read? I never made this an Apple vs Microsoft battle. I brought in LInux and Google; both will steal from Microsoft’s market share, not from Apple’s.

      The goal posts have moved. And people who still view the world in Windows vs Mac terms are just stuck in the old days.

      Isn’t it convenient that when people are losing, they can move the goal posts that they have been defending for ten years? That Microsoft has 90 percent of the computer market. This is just to prevent the other side from winning.

      That is part of Microsoft’s disinformation strategy. They don’t want to count the Apple OS in set top boxes, music players and in phones when they sure do for Microsoft products. Meanwhile, Apple doesn’t care about what games Microsoft plays with market share. It is all propaganda– FUD. The people can be fooled, but not forever.

    9. Louis Wheeler says:

      Gene, a brawl would be gratifying but people on the sidelines can get hurt in an all-out donnybrook. So, let’s not.

      I see Microsoft being slowly cut apart. Microsoft will not see how Apple and others will grow the market of computer related devises. It will be unable to take advantage of coming hardware improvements: Apple and Linux will. It’s not going to understand why it can’t make its proprietary applications into open standards. The reason is simple: people no longer will trust them.

      Microsoft will protect its turf and it’s turf will become a smaller niche of the overall market. Where does Microsoft get its money? That is from the Windows OS inserted in new computers, the after-market OS sales, It’s office applications and from its server based enterprise applications and licensing. It will protect those desperately. Every new venture that Microsoft has tried has failed. Microsoft is like a castle that can no long control the surrounding territory. Eventually, it will be starved out. It has few advantages now and less in the future.

    10. Dana Sutton says:

      Right on, Louis! Microsoft’s essential problem is the same that has destroyed empires throughout history: the combination of success (which makes it both arrogant and too content to rest on its laurels) and bigness (surely one of the reasons Microsoft products are as mediocre as they are is that anything they put out the door has to fight its way through so many layers of bureaucracy, which tends to stifle and distort creativity, and we all know that a camel is a horse designed by a committee). If history has anything to teach us, it is that such empires eventually collapse under their own weight, because they lose the ability to respond and adapt to change. Microsoft’s best hope for survival would be to spin off some of their enterprises as independent corporations and focus their attention on their core products. But they’d never do that, because that would mean learning to accept their limitations. That would mean abandoning their lunatic delusions that they can be all things to all people, making a better device than the iPod, a better search engine than Google, a better browser than Firefox or Safari, and so forth.

    11. Louis Wheeler says:

      Dana, I see Microsoft getting further and further behind.

      Look at the Longhorn fiasco; it took almost five years for them to throw in the towel. They were forced to abandon the possibility of a modern OS when they revamped Windows Server 2003 by putting a GUI on top. Windows Server 2003 is just a slightly improved version of Windows NT. Microsoft did put some modularization into Vista, but it is, by no means, a modern operating system. As bad as Vista looks now; it is a disaster waiting to happen.

      Steve Jobs went back to the drawing board in NeXTstep. It was the OS that everyone was aiming against. No body came close, but few people developed software for it and it had few customers. Apple had the customers and the developers, but a lousy OS. When Apple bought NeXTstep and tried to get its developers to embrace its Yellow Box Advanced Development System, but the developers rebelled. So, Apple created the Carbon API’s to allow the slightly reworked old software to run under MacOS X.

      It has taken Apple ten years to get back where they wanted to be when they bought NeXTstep. The move to Intel processors has allowed them to lose their legacy software. All the 68xxx software is gone and PowerPC will soon be just a memory.

      Right now, slightly less than half of the Apple computers are Intel based just short of two years after introduction. Leopard will declare obsolete the 800 MHz G4’s and below. Mac OSX 10.6 in two years will get rid of all the G4’s and a part of the G5’s; 10.7 in four years will get rid of many of the G5’s. The next upgrade 10.8 will get rid of all 32 bit applications. That is a fast migration– six years. It took Microsoft about that long to secure its dominance. Microsoft has little to compete with Apple now. It will have much less in six years.

      The last remaining legacy software is what ran on the old MacOS, now on the 32 bit Carbon API’s. The Carbon API’s have been polished and integrated With Cocoa, but Apple seems likely to start leaving Carbon behind in five years or so. This will happen when Apple abandons 32 bit applications. This will happen much smoother than Microsoft’s migration.

      Since Apple doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel since its Cocoa API’s are mature, it can spend its dollars on new developments or moving software into Microsoft’s home ground. Microsoft has many more dollars, but it is still “putting lipstick on the pig” with Vista. Microsoft will not be able to move the market; it has too much to protect. Both Apple and Linux will move beyond it slowly. This will happen piecemeal and seem to be an unplanned response to hardware improvements. But, opportunity avails itself to the prepared. Apple and Linux are prepared. Microsoft will be “caught in the headlights.”

      Apple’s Cocoa API’s will take those developments in stride because it is a modern operating system. Microsoft doesn’t have one and none is on the horizon.

    12. Hardbox says:

      [quote]I am not saying anything about you personally, Hardbox.

      Oh, okay then.

      There are a few things I could say about your points re: the lessons to be learned from Muslims throughout history. The treatment of Jews in Christian lands versus in Muslim lands, for example. Or whether it is just Muslims who are “conquering people” — shall we forget who committed the most atrocities against other civilisations of the world in the last 400 years? The colonial conquests and wholesale decimation of the indigenous cultures in the entire continents of North America and South America, Africa and many parts of Asia come to mind. And can any civilisation ever hope to top the orgiastic bloodletting unleashed by Europeans in the 20th Century?

      And which civilisation is ascendant now? So shall we also apply the lessons of that history and mimic them for commercial success? That’s what the robber barons and Microsoft did, I think.

      [quote]I never said that Microsoft would go out of business, but that they would no longer have their monopoly position.
      I never said you said that, and my remarks above were not directed to you personally. Sorry if you felt that way. But we basically agree that Microsoft will no longer be a monopoly. Although I also happen to think that Apple could well be the next monopoly in its stead. And that going by its current behaviour, it will be not more benevolent a dictator than Microsoft was.

      [quote]So you want to split hairs about what the computer marketplace will be in ten years. Microsoft counts as part of its market share everything that has it’s OS in it. Why shouldn’t Apple?
      Why shouldn’t Apple indeed. Did I sound as if I disagree with the statement? The picture I painted above — ubiquitious computers in devices people won’t even think about — suggests the probability that Apple – and Google – might well reach further than Microsoft ever did.

      [quote]Do you know how to read? I never made this an Apple vs Microsoft battle. I brought in LInux and Google; both will steal from Microsoft’s market share, not from Apple’s.
      Again, my posting above was not a response to yours; it was a response to Gene’s original piece. So going personal is not an option in my case.

      [quote]Isn’t it convenient that when people are losing, they can move the goal posts that they have been defending for ten years? That Microsoft has 90 percent of the computer market. This is just to prevent the other side from winning.
      You seem to think that I’m defending Microsoft for some reason? Read my second post in response to Gene’s response to my original post above. I never liked Microsoft’s strategy.

    13. Louis Wheeler says:

      Jesus, Hardbox, why are you so sensitive? Of course, Anglo-Saxon’s are a conquering people. And when two such meet, it gets bloody. Did Westerners treat everyone well? NO. But we don’t pretend to be peaceful when we are not. We have given up provoking violence since commerce is better.

      The Muslim religion and culture are decadent; the height of their civilization was five hundred years ago. Islam is a false religion and God will have his way with you, but that is HIS business. If the Muslims keep provoking us Westerners then we will take off the gloves and kill most of you. Don’t take that personally. It doesn’t mean that we must fight. I wasn’t bad mouthing you; nor do I have anything against you. I was just telling the truth.

      Besides being too sensitive, you seem rather socialistic. At least, you play the Liberal guilt trip well. That’s two strikes against you, I think. I read too much history to fall for that baloney or to think that Liberals are nice people.

      What does that have to do with our discussion on this thread? Little. I just used “hudna” because it expressed the situation between Apple and Microsoft well. I could have brought up something from Western civilization, but it wouldn’t be quite as apt. And rather than talking about technical and business points, you want to confuse the issue with politics.

      Hardbox, If you want to say something to me, then don’t bring up what Gene said. I took you as someone with a chip on his shoulder. I don’t immediately respond to provocation. But if you want a fight, I’m ready. You laying a guilt trip on me was the wrong way to gain cordiality.

      Most of your comments were off the mark. What position are you taking? I haven’t a clue. My position is simple.

      1. I don’t want the OS wars between Apple and Microsoft to heat up.
      2. Microsoft will lose its monopoly position without needing such a war.
      3. A variety of enemies will take Microsoft down.
      4. I am uninterested in Apple replacing Microsoft’s dominance. If people want to buy substandard computers, it is nothing to me.
      $. Microsoft is not well positioned to take advantage of future events. Apple is.

      Did you agree or disagree with those points? I don’t know.

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