[IWE] Linux != Threat anymore to Windows

Peter Whysall peter.whysall at gmail.com
Sat Aug 13 04:09:40 BST 2011

On 12 Aug 2011, at 17:06, Greg Folkert wrote:

> Microsoft's biggest threat right now, is indeed Apple and Google.

I'd constrain that to "Just Apple, and then only maybe"

Google simply isn't big enough, business wise, to worry Microsoft in any more than a notional way. Google's entire business is smaller than the iPhone - a single Apple product. I was gobsmacked too, but the numbers don't lie.

Apple's stupendous market cap and cash pile have come from somewhere, obviously, but I don't think it's particularly at Microsoft's expense, because it's primarily from mobile stuff. Windows Mobile 6.5 never made all that much money for Microsoft (what with it being a steaming pile of shite, and all), and, despite having easily one of the best phone UXes out there, WP7 looks like being just as successful, the upcoming Nokia rollout notwithstanding. I think that AAPL has grown to where it is by (a) converting a lot of former featurephone users into smartphone users; that market is truly vast, and (b) having a margin on their key products that would make even Warren Buffet blush. I read somewhere that every contract iPhone sold meant $200 to Apple, no messing, and that's before they take the money for the handset itself. Other handset manufacturers would kill for that sort of arrangement with carriers.

I think it's telling that Android makes so little money for Google that they don't even mention it as a product or product line in their results. In fact, due to patent issues (wrong as they are, etc) it could very well be the case that Microsoft end up making more money out of Android than Google.

No, I think Microsoft's biggest threat is Microsoft and their fractured, territorial, feudal management structure, which doesn't allow for either big risks or rapid change. I think it's unwise to underestimate how much money they make (and will continue to make, for the foreseeable future) out of Office and Windows, though.

Google are an advertising company. You are not their customer; you are their product.

And "don't be evil" wore thin a long time ago.


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