Apple develops Microsoft Vista of opportunity

PUNDITS and analysts, having seen the latest Steve Jobs magic show, are frothing all over themselves by proclaiming that sales of iPods will equal more marketshare of Macs, especially the new, improved Intel-a-toshes.
That, oh by the way, run 4X faster than the allegedly superior PowerPC models. Some analysts think there will be as many as 9 to 10 million Macintelatoshes this year, which would be about 2.5 times as many as the 4 million Macs in 2005. That’s a hell of a ramp, and Apple’s never shown an inclination to flood a tight market with units (see: iPod).

By the way, is Intel so desperate for increased business that 1) their CEO needs to dress up in a bunny suit to show up at MacWorld 2) Give Apple first dibs on the Duo Core in its new machines and 3) Having committed these two acts of submission, then let Apple ignore Viiv and instead say “Hey, we’ve freed the chip from the box.?” Andy Grove would have NEVER worn a bunny suit for Mr. Jobs. It being San Francisco, Otellini should feel lucky he wasn’t handed a costume including black leather chaps.

Anyway, there’s this broken theory that iPod sales will result in “pull through” for new Macs. This makes about as much sense as saying the Sony Walkman should have lead to more Sony PC sales or that my Philips-labeled boombox has lead me to buy Philips PC-based products. The iPod is a portable device that just happens to attach to your PC, be it a Mac or PC and people aren’t junking their PCs in large numbers for Macs. After all, 32 million iPods were sold in 2005, but only 4 million Macs. C’mon!

The real pull-through will come when people start thinking about their options when Windows Vista comes to market sometime this year. Since it’s going to be the “Largest upgrade since Windows ’95,” according to Microsoft, that likely means a big hardware upgrade for nearly everything that was produced before July 1, 2005.

People are going to go down to their Big Box store, look at the expensive, still-ugly PCs and the nice-looking Macs, compare the two side-by-side. They’ll take a cursory look at the user interfaces between Vista and the Mac and see, well, they look pretty much alike and they have the same chips in them and the Mac can run PC software in emulation (and maybe later more directly in some fashion) but the PC can’t run Mac-ware.

A lot of people are going to realize they are going to hang onto their hardware for four to five years, so they might be willing to shell out a little more cash up front and buy the better looking Mac-intelatosh. After all, the two boxes use the same chips, cost about the same, and their operating system looks about the same. And, oh, by the way, the Mac-intelatosh can run Windows software in emulation. Of course, they’ll be gobs of people who are sticking to pure WinTel, including the hardware builders and the extreme gamers, but they’re a small percentage of the vast majority of home buyers.

Exactly how many will switch remains to be seen, however. There are also a chunk of people who are running Windows 98 SE and a lot of Windows XP users that have no rush to get into Vista. On the other hand, aiding and abetting Apple is a large fifth column of journalists around the globe that are unabashedly Mac-worshippers. You can spot them pretty clearly when they start talking about Windows, they’ve dropped “poor security” and “bloated” into the conversation by the second sentence.

The real winner in all of this is Intel. While Dell, HP, and other manufacturers expand their use of AMD chips, Apple comes on board with a hotter-looking box and a 100 percent (for now) loyalty to Chipzilla. You don’t hear Apple talking about AMD chips, hmm? And Intel doesn’t have to share marketing money with Apple! Mr. Otellini, I apologize for the bunny suit remarks.

News source: Theinquirer


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