Tuesday, June 17

Apple's Long Shadow

According to an article today in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft should divert some of its attention away from Google and concentrate on Apple. Although Microsoft faces fierce competition from Google, particularly after its recent deals with DoubleClick and Yahoo, Apple is rapidly encroaching on territory once totally dominated by the software behemoth--such as smart handheld devices, gadgets, and gizmoes. And the market share for the Mac OSX platform has grown at an exponential rate. Even worse than that though says the article, "Apple has the attention of the American public whereas Microsoft does not."

The most serious threat to Microsoft's once near monopoly may be in Apple's desire to thrust the iPhone into the enterprise realm, through support for push e-mail, true GPS, and 3G speeds. While all smartphone manufacturers may be at risk, according to the Journal, Apple is encouraging widespread native software development, which may not only attract consumer Mac sales, but also businesses looking to ensure maximum compatibility.

Microsoft has also made some "critical blunders," says the Journal, such as the Zune, which was intended to be an iPod-killer but has become just another poor competitor, in spite of massive investment and an improved second generation. For a time, the clunky player wasn't even compatible with the flagship Windows Vista operating system. And let's not even get started on the other Vista stumbles.

Microsoft is far from a troubled company of course--and its products still dominate a host of markets. But, Apple is moving in fast. Who'd a thunk it?

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