Microsoft apologist Paul Thurrott on Microsoft vs. Apple.
Apple is unique, for sure. Its margins dwarf any other player in technology. Apple’s customers are willing to pay more, and buy more frequently. They perceive a quality there, and it’s not entirely unwarranted. They see Apple as the BMW of the technology world, also not entirely unwarranted. Whatever the reason, Apple exists in a bubble and it’s a market no other player can touch. There is no Mercedes or Audi to Apple’s BMW. There’s just Apple.
And what of Microsoft?
I’m worried that this race for the bottom is exactly what it sounds like, a zero sum game in which Microsoft and its partners are shooting for big numbers (unit sales) but ultimately end up with little or nothing in the way of actual profits because the only big growth will be in a part of the market where profit is difficult. When PC prices steadily plummet, as they did with the netbook, there’s no rebound. You can’t convince customers to suddenly start spending more on these things… When you look at markets in which the products sell for next to nothing and keep going down, you have to worry for the future on the Microsoft side. You just have to.
It’s getting ugly down at the bottom of the food chain.