Thursday, July 12, 2007

Back, After a Long Break; Microsoft vs. Apple: Differing Strategies

Well, here I am. I just got done moving, and have been busy applying for jobs, so I apologize for the wait.

That said, here's my update.

Microsoft and Apple seem to be going in opposite directions: Microsoft is going down, and you know which way Apple is going. But the reality is that both companies are following different strategies.

Microsoft lays the foundation with Windows. The groundwork is all there, but it's up to third parties to develop the utilities and really apply user interfaces to the features.

Apple doesn't wait around for third parties. They build in the features, instead of merely making it possible for third parties to do so.

A good example: Time Machine, from Apple's new Leopard OS, and Shadow Copies, from Vista. They essentially do the same thing; both allow the user to restore backed up versions of their files. but the Time Machine app actually has an understandable and intuitive UI, whereas Shadow Copies only lays the groundwork; it is really just a bare-bones feature.

In the end, Apple's strategy is the one that works, and Microsoft had better get on board or they'll find it out the hard way.

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