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Summary:

From Computerworld, the ponderings of Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall may state the obvious, but nonetheless bear repeating: Windows 7 is no threat to the Mac. Having looked at the data on Windows release dates, Marshall “found no negative correlation between them and Mac sales.” Further, […]

From Computerworld, the ponderings of Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall may state the obvious, but nonetheless bear repeating: Windows 7 is no threat to the Mac.

mac_sales_window_release

Having looked at the data on Windows release dates, Marshall “found no negative correlation between them and Mac sales.” Further, Marshall suggests that “new OS launches from MSFT may have even acted as a ‘delayed accelerant’ to AAPL’s computing sales.” However, he is also careful to add that “AAPL’s success (or failure) in the computing market is largely idiosyncratic (or company-specific) in nature and not dependent on others in the industry.” Just like a six-figure analyst to have it both ways, but he does have a point, at least about Apple.

While it’s true that the numbers don’t lie, they don’t tell the whole story in this case, either. Not shown on the chart is how the release of Windows 95 was an unmitigated disaster for then-Apple Computer. The company saw Mac market share effectively halved from 1995 to 1996, from around double digits to 5 percent in a year, and it only got worse.

That bump in sales in 1997 was due to the original iMac, as was a good deal of the spike that ran until 2001. And 2001, of course, brought the tech bust, not a worldwide embrace of Windows Millennium Edition at the expense of Apple. While Mac sales were stagnant over the next several years, even as PC sales grew, the basis of the Mac Renaissance we now enjoy can be traced to a few key events.

  • Beginning in 2002, the continuous, incremental improvement in Mac OS X combined with the perceived security disaster of Windows XP changed attitudes about Microsoft and Apple.
  • The iPod Halo Effect, the idea that the popularity of the iPod encouraged the Mac “curious” to switch, probably started in late 2003 with the iTunes Store and iTunes for Windows.
  • The switch to Intel in 2006, along with the “safety net” of Apple’s Boot Camp or third-party virtualization, removed the last perceived obstacle to owning a Mac.

So, the iMac, the iPod and the iTunes Store, OS X, Intel Macs, and now the iPhone; all these “idiosyncratic” products are what have fueled Apple’s comeback, though it’s also fair to say Microsoft’s lack of innovation played a small part in that comeback, too. Looking forward to 2010, it appears that trend will continue. Windows 7 does nothing more than replace lackluster Vista, Microsoft’s mobile strategy is a disaster, and how about a tablet PC with a stylus in the age of multitouch?

Really, the game is Apple’s to lose.

  1. Did you really just bash all future tablets that use a stylus? Maybe i just read it wrong.

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    1. I believe it was 2001 when Bill Gates said that the Tablet PC, as envisioned by Microsoft then, would be the most popular form of PC sold in America by 2006. That vision crashed and burned years ago, even Palm knows it by now, and yet Microsoft continues living in yesterday’s tomorrow. The real future is multi-touch.

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    2. I think its important to incorporate both multi-touch and stylus usage to make a well rounded tablet. Both have their specific uses.

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    3. Charles I consider that comment pretty ignorant. I use a lenovo x200 tablet everyday. It came with multitouch and wacom digitizer support. I do not even use the touch support anymore. A tablet without a digitizer is useless. Anyone who says otherwise has never used a tablet with support for it. I write 40 pages of equations and diagrams relevant to engineering a day into this thing. Something that cannot be done with a finger. How can you precision select with a finger on a screen that has a resolution of 1280×800?

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  2. When I saw VMWare Fusion unity mode in a video it along with Intel support made me make the plunge to a Mac. I knew I could run my business apps alongside Mac.

    The Exchange support in Snow Leopard was also an incentive.

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  3. [...] All Things Digital History suggests Windows 7 launch could boost Mac sales – Apple Insider TheAppleBlog – Cult of [...]

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  4. You guys must be kidding me ! Windows 7 no Threat to mac , MAC HAS 3 or 4 % of the share with the nerdy guys.
    As Steve Ballmer said , Apple ads are good for those 3 or 4 % , we are interested in the rest of 96 % !!!.
    For that price , Mac is the most overated product of the century.

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    1. Troll a little do you?

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  5. I wouldn’t be so sure, once users get their hands on 7. I’ve been running it on my ThinkPad at work, and Snow Leopard at home on a MacBook Pro.

    Nobody pitched Snow Leopard as a major upgrade, and it isn’t. Windows 7, despite my skepticism, really is. I’m addicted to the window management, and think that the next big cat really should spare a few pixels on those “ugly borders” and add the wonderfully functional window gestures available in MSland. It’s such a snap to put windows side-by-side or move a window from one display and maximize it on another in a single stroke.

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  6. AAPL’s success (or failure) in the computing market is largely idiosyncratic (or company-specific) in nature and not dependent on others in the industry…so Apple is the only company in the world that is not impacted by competitors??? Very interesting.

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  7. I use both Intel Mac and PC. I’ve been running Windows 7 (beta, then RC) on an AMD laptop and an Atom-based netbook since the beta was made publicly available. I’ve been very impressed with 7 and less so with Snow Leopard (which I can only run on one of my Mac’s).

    I am terrified, however, of what could have happened between the time the Windows 7 RC was released and the version we will see on the 22nd. I think Vista was a great gift to Apple, slow, clunky, and largely unstable until service packs were issued. I know I bought one of my Mac’s as a result of Vista frustration. If 7 comes out of the gate with bad press, it’s going to be worse than the Vista bad press since so many of us have truly liked the release candidate and will feel duped if the final version doesn’t meet expectations.

    It’s up to both companies to make great products and they also have the ability to surge ahead if a competitor trips up.

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  8. [...] the original:  Windows 7 No Threat to Mac This entry was posted by MikeWink and posted on October 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm and filed under [...]

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  9. Apples and Oranges, so to speak.

    That Windows 7 is more expensive than the latest OSX upgrade is like saying that a new set of tires is more expensive than an Audi-branded USB charger.

    The point is, one of the strengths of Microsoft is that you can run Windows 7 on a huge array of hardware from many vendors, but with Apple you have much less choice and will pay about twice as much for comparable hardware that is prettier than most offering from Dell, Toshiba, Acer, Fujitsu, HP, etc. Apple can figure that premium cost for hardware into any software they sell, because aside from Hackintoshes, you already paid the price.

    The Microsoft world is much less expensive and much more flexible, in balance.

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    1. @Astrochimp;
      I’ve been a Windows man for 10 years, always busy doing things “under the hood” for some reason. Windows was like an involuntary hobby, one I don’t miss. so you can stop selling “flexibility” & “low cost” for those words do not connect to Redmond, I’m sorry ol’Chimp-chap.

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  10. Windblows still blows…….

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    1. If you want a computer that blows….. get yourself a PC and install Winblows on it….. you can even get your mac to blow if you install Winblows on it….. generic little boys with little weiners use Winblows.. …. Guys with big slongs use macs…..

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