Apple v MS

Prediction: Apple will be worth double Microsoft by the end of 2011. (maybe end Q1 2012 I guess)

It hardly seems like yesterday that Apples market capitalisation passed Microsoft’s, and to me it now looks like they are in line to hit 2x.

I had been waiting for Google to catch up and overtake MS but those two move in almost perfect step, even though in theory they address very different audiences. Or maybe not, as MS makes corporate SW and Google sells the same corps ads. Interestingly it looks like IBM could creep past MS on the back of some good news.

Anyway a successful iPhone 5 launch and an iPad Christmas and Apple will leave them far behind. With Android tablets largely shelfware and Windows tablets just a glint in a marketeers powerpoint, Apple still have the market pretty much to themselves, barring the odd HP givaway of course. And pcs are old news of course, IT press coverage could be summed up by Cloud, Tablet, facebook.

What do you think?

Does it really matter?

Do you see any obvious opportunities or threats in these moves. I know software devs on the Apple platforms can do very well, but I would expect most consumer type stuff to move to the web, rather than native code. For businesses searching for the last nano second of performance native dev often makes sense, but that world is not so attractive to small software dev co’s I don’t think. As someone recently said, ‘the best minds of our generation are focussed on getting more people to click more ads’.

I am assuming of course that the threatened financial system meltdown does not occur, and that neither co makes a huge acquisition, I assume the MS/Yahoo deal is now officially off (in what must be considered one of the luckiest escapes in CEO history).

Cheers

Simon

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6 Responses to “Apple v MS”

  1. Harlan Grove Says:

    The really big difference is that Apple has demonstrated an ability in recent years to bring out new products and create markets for them. For the last 10 years MSFT has been coasting along on Windows and Office revenues/profits. MSFT has brought out some successful new products: XBox, Kinect, arguably SQL Server and related products. But all the other products together are tiny compared to Windows and Office.

    MSFT and its current CEO have demonstrated no ability to grow new product lines to roughly the same size as Windows/Office. Stock price reflects earnings growth prospects. The market seems to believe MSFT’s growth prospects suck compared to Apple’s.

    Looking only at software (MSFT will never go into hardware in a big way because that’d scare off OEMs who license Windows), MSFT’s competition is now SAP, IBM, Oracle, to some extent SAS. These other companies are ready and willing to sell their services customizing their software to better meet their customers’ needs. MSFT doesn’t, at least not in a big way. Maybe MSFT provides the foundation for more ISVs and consultants than these other companies, but that doesn’t wind up on MSFT’s books.

    The big new markets which Apple (not MSFT) helped to create are tablets and smartphones. Where are all the Windows tablets? Where are all the Windows phones? I think tablet manufacturers saw MSFT’s response to the first Linux netbooks – supplant Linux with Windows – and saw what it did to netbook sales. Device manufacturers may finally have determined that being a MSFT partner is a one-way street.

    The bad news for MSFT is that it’s main products have become as necessary and as glamorous as toilet paper: most everyone needs it, and sales will grow as long as the population increases, but very few would discuss it in polite company. As for devices other than PCs, they sell on coolness, and if there’s one thing MSFT decidedly ain’t in the 2010s it’s cool. Maybe people need to buy more TP when adding bathrooms to their houses, but it’s not an impulse purchase.

  2. DickM Says:

    “The bad news for MSFT is that it’s main products have become as necessary and as glamorous as toilet paper: most everyone needs it, and sales will grow as long as the population increases, but very few would discuss it in polite company. As for devices other than PCs, they sell on coolness, and if there’s one thing MSFT decidedly ain’t in the 2010s it’s cool. Maybe people need to buy more TP when adding bathrooms to their houses, but it’s not an impulse purchase.”

    GREAT analogy Harlan … appropriate and funny too ….

    What Microsoft doesn’t seem to get is that it is possible to make money selling TP and the need is simply not going away (unless smeone comes up with some kind of laser replacement (ouch)… They are SO worried about being boring that they’re willing to risk everythig to play in that space. It sure reminds me of a company called Lotus Development Coporation – but who remembers them :-(. Didn’t somebody say something once about not knowing history means you are bound to repeat it ?

    Dick

  3. Simon Says:

    I love the bog roll analogy too Harlan.
    I heard the latest MS staff meeting went down pretty badly. I think there are a few people less than impressed with recent direction and performance.

  4. DickM Says:

    i just got lectured by a guy at MS on how >NET is NOT being thrown aside in the Windows 8 world… rather it opens up HUGE opportunities for .NET devs in the Metro environment…. Hmmmm.

    They’re pretty sensitive about this.

  5. Simon Says:

    So I got the IBM bit right, lets hope the antennae on the next iphone works and the Apple bit might come right too.

  6. Bob Phillips Says:

    It’s easy to slate MS at the moment, God knows they deserve it, but be wary of holding Apple up as the new paradigm. I have always been amazed at why people overpay for closed technology; Apple’s business model has always seemed short-sighted to me (Jobs did the same thing first time around with Apple, then with NeXt). This article http://blog.gardeviance.org/ articulates my view far better than I can.

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