By Greg Mills
The press is churning out story after story about Apple finally beating Microsoft out of being the top tech company spot, as far as market cap goes. Unfortunately for Microsoft, this is only the first of the major indignities that are looming ahead.
It boils down to this: Apple has launched a series of major hit products that each represent a virtual monopoly in their class, while Ballmer & Company have suffered embarrassing gaffs that have crippled their future and perhaps the PC platform itself.
Realistically, Microsoft has been cruising for years on their laurels as being the main operating system for all PCs but Apple's. The question for the PC minions of the world is not which operating system to use but rather which version of Windows will you fight with to keep your computer working.
My metaphor about the dam is based upon the problem you have when water goes over the top of an earthen dam and erosion occurs. The water eats away the top of the dam and more water flows over, eroding more of the dam, which then frees more water and a complete unstoppable
washout occurs. This is exactly what we see as to market share as the great Microsoft monopoly erodes away in a cascade effect that puts Apple as the only viable alternative in the position of
capturing the PC market.
Now, I am going to speak the unthinkable. With Microsoft on the ropes after the Vista, Kin, and the Windows Mobile disasters, Apple could cut them in half in six month by selling the Mac OS X for any Intel PC. The results would be a mad scramble to abandon Microsoft, in mass.
The notion that Mac hardware sales are protected by the tight integration of the software is countered by another premise that Mac hardware is overpriced. Frankly, one expects to pay more for a Mercedes than a Yugo. Allowing the PC world to experience the Mac OS on even crappy PCs would let taste the good things we Apple folks take for granted.
The sales of Mac OS for any Intel PC would raise billions of dollars in record time and shaft Microsoft through the heart. Apple really no longer needs Microsoft's good will -- if they ever really had it. Since Mac Office software is compatible with Microsoft's anyway, why not crush Microsoft to the cheers of the PC world. While we love Apple, most PC folks hate Microsoft for nasty policies and crappy software releases.
What if Steve Jobs' next "one last thing" is that: "We have decided the time has come to sell the Mac OS to our friends stuck with PCs. We will warn them, that generally, their hardware is not up to our standards but I think they will like the Mac OS experience and decide that since our software is so good, they will want our hardware as well."
Sell your Microsoft stock, folks!
Greg Mills does faux wall art (http://www.gregmills.info) and runs Cottage Industry Solar Shops (http://www.cottageindustrysolar.com).