The numbers are hard to argue. Microsoft ships more copies of Windows on PCs than Apple does OS X on Macs. In fact, at least as factual as Microsoft can be, the company claims to have 75-million PCs actively running Windows 10, or, about the same number as all the Macs in the world.
That’s a big number and a big gamble for Microsoft. Why?
Windows 10 is a free upgrade to users with Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, many Windows business customers, and, of course, Windows 10 is starting to show up on new PCs. Unlike OS X which has a single version for all Macs (and an anemic OS X Server edition add on), Windows 10 comes in multiple versions; Home, Pro, Enterprise, Education, and if you need to buy it from Microsoft or wherever, the official price for Home starts at $119, and the Pro at $199.
Remember when OS X was $129?
Despite making money hand over fist, Microsoft has squandered tens of billions of dollars on ill-fated attempts to diversify itself beyond the Windows and Office hegemony which remains wildly profitable, but has completely missed the mobile device revolution, now occupied by Google’s Android for marketshare, and Apple’s iOS devices for profitshare. That’s much how it works in the PC arena, except Google doesn’t make as much money on Android as Microsoft still does on Windows and Office.
Whatever happened to Windows Everywhere?
Traditional PC sales have dropped in recent years, while the Mac continues to sell in record numbers. Microsoft is feeling the pressure of Google’s Chromebooks– which often sell for less than $200– on the low end of the PC product segment, and Apple’s Mac at the high end of the spectrum.
Still, Windows’ numbers are huge by comparison, topped only by the combined total of Android and iOS devices. Microsoft plans to have Windows 10 installed on one billion devices within three years. How is that possible if PC sales are shrinking? Microsoft’s Windows 10 carries the same name on PCs, smartphones, Internet of Things devices, and Xbox One.
Microsoft’s strategy of Windows Everywhere and cloud services has impressive numbers, but more for the former with PCs, and the latter with PR hype more than profit. The jury is still out on how the Windows maker will do in the future, but one thing they do well is put Windows on a very large number of PCs. Apple can’t do that with OS X.
One More Thing…
Following up on Stephen Hackett’s piece about Apple’s AIOs; ‘The Rise And Fall Of Apple’s All-in-One Machines.’ We think of the original iMac as the first of Apple’s all-in-one machines, and Apple has carried the tradition down to today’s lusty iMac models (neither the Mac mini nor the Mac Pro are all-in-ones, each requiring display, keyboard, mouse).
Allow me to contend that today’s Mac notebook line are also all-in-ones, perhaps more so than an iMac where the keyboard and mouse are integrated, while Bluetooth connected on the iMac. One could argue that it’s more ‘The Rise And Fall And Rise Of Apple’s All-in-One Machines.’