AppleInsider | Steve Ballmer calls Apple’s Mac growth a “rounding error”

AppleInsider | Steve Ballmer calls Apple’s Mac growth a “rounding error”:

“‘And are the ads working?’ he asked rhetorically. ‘In an independent survey, we asked 18- to 24-year-olds—or they were asked, ‘Who offers the best value, Apple or Microsoft?’ You can kind of see Apple was comfortably ahead despite the fact they — well, despite whatever the facts are. Our ads started in April of ’09. You can see kind of what the perception changes have been so far.'”

(Via AppleInsider.)

And that’s when you know Microsoft is speaking out of both sides of its mouth. Apple is beating them despite the ads. In other words, people don’t believe the hype.

The Macalope » Blog Archive » Deep thought

The Macalope » Blog Archive » Deep thought:

“The Zune must really suck goat balls if it can’t compete against a device that costs $10,000.”

(Via The Macalope.)

Godlike efficiency.

Avoiding Temptation

Daring Fireball: Regarding the Verizon and ‘iPhone Lite’ Rumors:

“The reason why Apple did this with the iPod, and why I’m convinced they’ll do it again with the iPhone, is that when it comes to managing the balance between per-unit profit and overall market share, Apple is determined to err on the side of market share. (Not as much with the Mac, however — the difference being that PCs are now a firmly established market.) Most gadget companies, when they have a smash hit on their hands, try to milk it. A typical company that found itself selling millions of $400 hard-drive-based digital music players would try its best to continue selling the same $400 hard-drive-based digital music players for as long as it could. Apple, despite an overwhelming 70 percent market share, aggressively added features and drove down its own prices, year after year after year.”

(Via Daring Fireball.)

Good analysis on how Apple “thinks” in “Erring on the Side of Market Share.” I found the monopolistic discussion towards the end, the most trenchant. Companies tend to be “sales-guy” driven who want to grow market share at the expense of quality/consumer value/innovation or go for profits by milking the cash cow once they have a monopolistic position. Apple since the turn of the millennium has avoided away this successfully. That’s why I spit fire on Microsoft. They are like Apple in the late 90’s (pre-Jobs) when I was considering leaving the platform/going with Mac clones. I wish Windows 7 née Vista SP2 continues to flop. Microsoft has shown that it can learn its lesson given enough pain. Security in Vista is demonstrably more robust. I’m hopeful they will experience enough pain to finally concentrate on usability in Windows 7. That’s good for everybody, even Mac OS X users.

Macalope on the Apple Tax “Battle”

The Macalope » Blog Archive » No, no, no:

“Just to be clear, this is not a rational argument they’re trying to make, so don’t treat it like one. Don’t waste your time refuting horse shit. When someone calls you a name, you don’t say ‘Am not!’ You say ‘Yeah? That’s not what your mother said while I was…’ Etc.
Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.”

(Via The Macalope.)

Why I am a Mac user

Microsoft’s ‘Apple tax’ needs a refund | Mac | MacUser | Macworld:

“Kay would have you believe that everything can be reduced to quantitative measurements, and that’s emblematic of the way Microsoft operates. But there are plenty of important qualitative differences as well. The report bandies about the term ‘cool’ like a four-letter word, but it mistakes the trappings of ‘cool’ for its substance. True coolness is never really about appearance and only those who just don’t get it claim that it is. Apple’s computers are fantastically designed and aesthetically attractive, but that’s not what makes them cool—what makes them cool is what they allow their users to do. And for many, that’s worth a few extra bucks.”

(Via Macworld.)

Paying for the Name

Microsoft’s latest ad attacks Mac aesthetics, computing power — RoughlyDrafted Magazine:

“The strangest point of this ad is that Giampaolo didn’t get the portability, battery life, and power he was looking for, he just ended up with a cheap-appearing machine that obscured its real technical limitations under a flashy layer of misleading, specification-oriented marketing, the very thing he thought he was avoiding with HP: buying a brand rather than a computer. And that’s exactly what Microsoft wants people to do: buy its brand rather than a computer that does what they want it to do.”

(Via Roughly Drafted.)

Great summary on why Microsoft can’t even sell itself. It has to sell others. I wonder how Dell or Lenovo feel about this ad.

Why Apple Will Always Be a Hardware Company

Apple earnings, profits, and cash embarrass Microsoft — RoughlyDrafted Magazine:

“While Microsoft executives like to talk about Apple as an insignificant company with less than 5% of the worldwide market share of all PCs and servers sold, the company now has more cash than Microsoft and earns more than half of its profits and over three fourths Microsoft’s revenues.”

(Via RoughlyDrafted Magazine.)

It Begins…M$ vs. Apple…Yeah Right! – Apple Slams Music Service From Rival Microsoft
This article is a masterpiece of PR. It has lessons for us all.
First, where is the so called slamming of Microsoft? Basically this is to read the article which basically says, “M$ opened it’s music store today.” So what? We all knew they would. Apple, for its part, was a bit belittling but there were no Zell Miller-esque rants or slams.
Second, Apple in its wisdom tried to make this a non-event, which is exactly what it is. But never fear boys and girls! Apple is watching closely and will provide stiff competition. It’s like Bush “not thinking” about Osama bin Laden. 😉

Apple’s Squeeze Play Part II

Apple announced the new iMac G5 today and true to Apple form it’s sleek and “enchanting” and has the predictable “wow factor” that boost sales and to delight of Apple’s investors, the share price.
This cycle is not new and this is why the market always corrects itself after a new product launch. Apple is a product company and thus must innovate to be true to its brand and simply survive. The media and the usual pundits (talking heads really) conveniently forget this, perennially predict the company’s demise, and then, wonder of wonders, a new product launch arrives and they claim that Apple is once again on the road to riches. You’d think somebody would have caught on after almost 3 decades!
Actually, the financial industry has. Invest when the demise predictions invariably come and sell when the going gets good. Make a tidy profit.

Weapon of Choice

My Apple – PowerBook G4 15-inch laptop is my weapon of choice for computing for one simple reason: it gets out of my way and let’s me accomplish what I want to do. Unlike the Windoze machines I use or have used in the past, descriptions like “plug-n-play” and “it just works” actually apply.

My Apple – PowerBook G4 15-inch laptop is my weapon of choice for computing for one simple reason: it gets out of my way and let’s me accomplish what I want to do. Unlike the Windoze machines I use or have used in the past, descriptions like “plug-n-play” and “it just works” actually apply.
The best part is how it takes care of the mundane stuff for me while allowing me to concentrate on details I care about. If I want Apache to launch, I can do it in as little as 4 clicks of my mouse. Now, that’s easy computing! I have the option dig into the Unix minutae to configure the web server and have done so when necessary. This is power of the platform: I’m not forced to use “wizards” that always seem to complicate rather than simplify or edit text files and memorize countless options.
Apple is that company that makes “Insanely Great” products, which is great for us users. Unfortunately, for Apple as a business this is not the standard by which profitability is guaranteed. In the business world, he who markets best gets to laugh…period.
These days, it’s still a matter of ideology. There are people who will run Windows no matter what pain they must endure and there are people who think that Apple will save the world. The more pragmatic of us, simply use the the tool that best suits our needs and tastes…in that order.