Reality Distortion Field: How Apple Assaulted Microsoft At Its Media Event

Apple had a media event yesterday in the US where it announced a new wave of updated products across its portfolio. During its presentation, Apple executives compared Microsoft’s strategy with theirs to make their point. I disagree with all three cases they made against Microsoft. Here are they,

1) Apple 1

Apple CEO Tim Cook made the following statement to make the point that they are clearly focused on developing MacOS and MacBooks.

“Our competition is different: They’re confused. They chased after netbooks. Now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they’ll do next? I can’t answer that question, but I can tell you that we’re focused.”

My take on it:

Windows OEMs were focused on selling netbooks because it really sold well. In fact, totally 40 million netbooks were sold in 2008. Netbooks defined the category of companion device which will go along with a laptop and a mobile device in pocket. After Apple released their iPad, the netbook category got replaced by tablets as the companion device people started using.

And OEMs including Microsoft are now trying their hands to put a best possible tablet and PC experience into one device. I think it is the step in right direction as people will start to carry one device that can both act as their PC and a tablet (companion device). Carrying a 10-inch iPad and a Macbook Air together is so old school. Take a device like Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, it has a 13-inch touch display(3200X1800) powered by Intel Core i7 processor and 9 hours battery life with a great form factor for everyday use. What would you choose?


Apple 2

Apple yesterday announced that OS X Mavericks will be a free update to all OS X Snow Leopard, Lion or Mountain Lion users.

“The days of spending hundreds of dollars to get the most from your computer are gone.”

My take on it:

As you can see from the above quote, Apple is taking on Microsoft that they are selling an OS for $200. First of all, Windows 8 selling for $199 is not an upgrade version of the OS. It is a full version of the latest OS which does not require any previous versions of OS to be installed. OS X Mavericks requires Snow Leopard, Lion or Mountain Lion OS X on their Macs. And also, OS X Mavericks cannot be bought and installed on the device you build. It requires a Apple hardware which are ridiculously priced when compared to the competition to milk margins. Whereas, buy a Windows 8 OS and install it on virtually any PC available on the market.

I would have been happy if Apple compared OS X Mavericks to the Windows 8.1 update. Windows 8.1 update is a free for any Windows 8 user and it brings lots of new features and updates than OS X Mavericks brings to OS X Mountain Lion.

There is an another take on this argument, you can give away the OS for free if you are selling the hardware too. Virtually, every OEM is giving Windows OS as a free with their devices to customers. Actually, they include the licensing cost with the device selling price itself. The whole smartphone update scenario works like this.


Apple 3

Apple announced that iWork productivity suite will be a free download for all Mac OS X and iOS users.

“Others would have you spend a small fortune every year just to get their apps,”
“Now you can create a document on an iPad, edit it on a Mac, and even share it with a friend who’s stuck on a PC.”

My take on it:

First, Don’t even dare to compare iWork with Microsoft Office. Office is far ahead in terms of productivity suite, there is absolutely no doubt or argument about it. Comparing an entry level solution to a professional suite and making arguments that we are going to give it away for free doesn’t make any sense. Also Office 365’s $99 per year subscription includes license to install Office on up to 5 PCs and Macs and 5 mobile devices. More importantly, iWork is available only with new Apple devices for free. If you want to buy an Apple device, a low-end Macbook will cost you $999! ! Office 365 is complimented with Office Web Apps and SkyDrive which allows you to take your documents where ever you go and share it with others. Apple demoed this feature yesterday as if they invented it!

Leaving these arguments aside, Apple may be  right or wrong, I have a feeling that Apple has started to feeling the pressure from Microsoft and Google after 3-4 years of free run in the industry. What do you think?

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