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Microsoft’s latest financial results were negative

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John Hodgman as PC and Justin Long as Mac
Image via Wikipedia

I’m an iMac user or more importantly I’m a Mac OS/X user. Sometimes I have to help my wife sort some things out on her Vista platform and the experience always convinces me that I never want to use a Windows platform ever again no matter how much cheaper it is.

So I was intrigued by this blogpost by Jon Gruber that was mentioned in the NY Times:

Microsoft is no longer ignoring Apple’s market share gains and successful “Get a Mac” ad campaign. But the crux of these ads from Apple is that Macs are better; Microsoft’s response is a message that everyone already knows — that Windows PCs are cheaper. Their marketing and retail executives publicly espouse the opinion that, now that everyone sees Apple computers as cool, Microsoft has Apple right where they want them.

They’re a software company whose primary platform no longer appeals to people who like computers the most. Their executives are either in denial of, or do not perceive, that there has emerged a consensus — not just among nerds but among a growing number of regular just-plain users — that Windows PCs are second-rate. They still dominate in terms of unit-sale market share, yes, but not because people don’t recognize Windows as second-rate, but because they don’t care, in the same way millions of people buy metric tons of second-rate products from Wal-Mart every hour of every day.

That’s the business Wal-Mart wants to be in — selling a zillion cheap low-margin items and turning a profit on volume. That’s not the business Microsoft is in.

And in mobile software, the fastest-growing segment of the computer industry, Microsoft’s platform is both inferior and unpopular. Their plan to address this is to change its name.

I’m not arguing that Microsoft will collapse. They’re too big, too established for that to happen. I simply think that their results this quarter were not an aberration, but rather the first fiscal evidence of a long, slow decline that began several years ago.

I’ve always thought that this day would come about. Is it really here? Is Microsoft Windows really in a long term decline? Does it matter to the world? To me? To Microsoft shareholders?

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/08/01 at 05:16

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