Although this conversation probably never took place, I can well believe the scene is playing out as if it did.
One day, Steve Jobs and Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who sits on Apple’s Board of Directors, were having lunch and talking shop. In one of those fated eureka moments, they both devised a strategy that would, over time, consign Microsoft to irrelevance.
Apple’s part of this grand scheme includes those cute little Mac versus PC ads, where the PC is a slightly paunchy, overweight corporate type who suffers the slings and arrows of Windows and never quite comprehends the folly of his ways. The Mac, portrayed as young, hip and perhaps a little full of himself, tolerates the PC’s foibles with a bemused expression.
The message isn’t lost on customers, who are deserting the Windows platform in droves, with the numbers growing larger every single year. Where Microsoft experienced a flattening of Windows sales — which they attribute to growing piracy in the Third World rather than confront the real reason — Apple continues to flourish. If you can believe the figures, some 50% of the folks who buy Macs at one of Apple’s own retail outlets are new to the platform. That’s a figure, by the way, which has sustained itself for several years, as Mac sales continue to soar.
So Microsoft continues to experience a steady erosion of its once insurmountable operating system dominance. While it’s not a stampede by any means, the handwriting does appear to be on the wall.
Sure, Microsoft doesn’t always lose a sale when someone buys a Mac. A number of you buy get a copy of Windows to run with Boot Camp, or under virtualization with Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion. And Microsoft appears to be selling a fair amount of copies of Office for the Mac, though I’m skeptical that the 2008 version is doing quite as well as previous versions.