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  • #1108409
    Michael [The Mac Experts]
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    I can pitch in here with some authority. Windows 8 is simply Microsoft’s answer to iOS.

    It’s really as simple as that.

    Microsoft is the 500 pound Gorilla in Government and enterprise, and they’ve traditionally never cared about the home and consumer market. Until now.

    Why do they care about the consumer market now?
    A large chunk of executives now have an iPhone and iPad in their arsenal, and this is trickling down. Don’t let the name of my business allude you, I’m not an Apple fanboy or preacher, but Apple has hurt Microsoft over the last several years in an area where Microsoft was historically impenetrable.

    Microsoft never saw Apple coming!

    Accountants, professional services (lawyers, etc), purely administrative businesses, non-profit organisations, Government, the educational space and medium-to-large enterprises have historically always been saturated with Microsoft solutions.

    The iPhone changed this. I’ve worked with Apple Australia and in the reseller channel, migrations away from Microsoft solutions to hybrid solutions is currently unprecedented.

    We have clients that 10 years ago that would simply have never, ever, in their wildest dreams even considered an Apple solution. I’ve worked with schools that have deployed thousands of Apple laptops. I’ve worked with medium-sized businesses that have migrated 100+ staff to Apple desktops and laptops purely because the owner liked how his iPhone “just worked” – I kid you not! Go sit at a Uni, the market penetration of Apple products is *insane* then remember that a large chunk of these students in 5, 10 years will be at the helm of managerial positions and they won’t be asking for Microsoft solutions if Microsoft doesn’t seriously start targeting consumers with better solutions.

    It’s already been happening for a few years. One of our clients is the AFP (Federal Police), which now have a department of 40 Macs. I was standing their when the Apple solution, Dell solution and IBM solution where sitting side-by-side to each other, and the bosses picked the Apple solution purely because he extrapolated the solution to work better based on his positive experience with his iPad. Microsoft is rightfully scared because they types of decisions are happening more and more!

    Microsoft is also getting pressure placed on it from their professional partners. Almost all Australian Government external I.T. expenditure would be spent on Microsoft partners. Both NSW and ACT Department of Education and Training (DET) are now starting to spend big money on Apple solutions and within the ACT as an example more than 10% of the supported fleet of student computers are now Apple – an Apple solution is now also a large chunk of the future SchoolsNet project/schools computing revolution that is aimed to be rolled out K-12, Australia wide. As such, those in the Apple channels who were once getting a statically irrelevant piece of the Government I.T. spending pie, are now getting hundreds of thousands per year thrown at them (including us). This money is coming from somewhere else, the Microsoft partners – who are jumping up and down as they literally are losing money from their hands.

    Microsoft has been listening and they’re now reacting. Frankly, I’ve been baffled why it’s taken them so long to react! I’ve structured a lot of my business on them reacting years ago and every day they don’t react, is a day I and others get a leg up on a company that was once untouchable!

    Apple are also going to *incredible* lengths in the Australian channels to assist the resellers with heterogeneous solutions. 10 years ago, you’d be silly to have a Mac in a business environment – now it’s become more and more common.

    Just look at the fact at how well Apple’s integrate into a Windows server and Exchange environment – they are near faultless, and this is why Microsoft are going to massively invest with Windows 8. They need to draw people away from the iOS and emerging tablet markets, because every iPad sale literally is a risk that Microsoft could lose a huge business client. This isn’t pie in the sky stuff, it’s happening!

    The best example I’ve personally seen of this is Custom’s Australian Maritime Identification System (AMIS) project, in a highly secured environment where anything-Apple isn’t certified and Windows XP runs king. Apple won the solution (I wrote the proposal). But not just any solution, Apple supplied all the hardware (you can see the Cinema displays here: https://www.aipm.com.au/resource/09-pmaa-act-actp01-3.jpg) – with Windows used as the certified operating system. Why? Because the decision makers loved their iPhones, and loved the Apple “look and feel”. The tech heads (including me) were screaming high and far that Apple wasn’t certified in this type of environment, but the bean counters got around this requirement by simply allowing Apple hardware with a Windows solution built on-top. Since then, Apple is really working hard in getting Mac OS X certified in high and secret environment and when this happens – future projects that were once 100% Microsoft guaranteed, now run the very real risk of having competition. Even if Apple realistically don’t win these bids anytime soon, it’s going to drive Microsoft’s profit margins down!

    Microsoft don’t like competition in the enterprise/Government markets. They really, really, don’t like it!

    You’re literally witnessing the consumer and business markets converging, which has never – ever happened before. Microsoft were caught with their pants down, which hasn’t helped them. Windows 8 is them trying to play catch-up.

    #1108410
    NathanB
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    I heard Microsoft and Windows were going to resurrect Flash from the dead.

    #1108411
    Michael [The Mac Experts]
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    Actually it’s going to be quite funny to watch Microsoft over the next few years. They are going to try some really unusual things. Microsoft have had some fairly outrageous ideas over the years, expect a few more and possibly resurrections of previous ideas.

    They’ve never had to complete in a consumer market before that will directly effect their business and enterprise sales. Windows 8 will be different to the failures of the Xbox, Zune, and online services devisions because Windows 8 is specifically targeted to stop consumer non-Microsoft solutions from getting into the hands of executives and decision makers.

    Over the next few years, watch Microsoft throw absolutely everything they have at getting cool, hip and ‘sexy’ solutions into the hands of bean counters. I reckon it’s going to be one hell of a fun ride to watch and expect their to be massive failures and successes along the way!

    #1108412
    Zava Design
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    Michael [The Mac Experts];127951 wrote:
    You’re literally witnessing the consumer and business markets converging, which has never – ever happened before. Microsoft were caught with their pants down, which hasn’t helped them. Windows 8 is them trying to play catch-up.
    I agree to a certain extent, but also believe (as do many other commentators with far more authority than I) that MS are going about it in completely the wrong way.

    Apple haven’t tried to deliver the same iOS for desktop and mobile devices (which includes tablets), and yet MS for some reason think that’s the step forward, and at risk of alienating their substantial desktop user base, which with XP and Windows 7 have no real issues with MS at all, they’re making such a fundamental change to their main cash cow.

    It’s ridiculous, desktop and touch based are completely different beasts, and the fact is that MS users didn’t hate the general MS interface, they just hated it when things didn’t work well, or were buggy or bloated (ie. Vista, Windows ME …etc).

    Did you read the Vanity Fair article above? Just an article/opinion, but it’s a very interesting one which follows along the same line as what they’re dong now.

    #1108413
    Zava Design
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    Michael [The Mac Experts];127954 wrote:
    Windows 8 will be different to the failures of the Xbox…
    Don’t really think Xbox was a failure… one of their few successful new ideas of the past decade I would say.
    #1108414
    Uncomplicating
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    Zava Design, post: 127940 wrote:
    But corporate applications won’t be developed for a platform, they will be developed agnostically, even cloud based. That is the future, not developing windows apps.

    [/url]

    Precious few companies will build their internal stuff for more than one platform. Cloud apps can exist where they like, but they need a presence on the device of choice. So that’s either a browser or a specifically designed app.

    What win8 offers is that same presence on a phone, tablet and desktop without having to migrate your whole IT department to Mac, and for a lot of companies who already have in house .Net development and a reliance on Office, that’s going to be a tough offer to turn down.

    Whether it will be enough remains to be seen.

    #1108415
    Michael [The Mac Experts]
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    Zava Design, post: 127960 wrote:
    Don’t really think Xbox was a failure… one of their few successful new ideas of the past decade I would say.

    Oh, but you would be wrong. The Xbox division had lost Microsoft at a minimum $4-5 billion US up to 2008. If you take into consideration the money they invested to get the division off the ground as-well, it was up around the 7-8 billion mark. Decent graph of this is here: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-microsoft-losses-on-xbox-2012-6

    Today, they’ve been turning a slight profit in some quarters, but only just. The division to this day is still ~2 billion in the black. (Take initial investment into consideration, and it’s around 5 billion in the black)

    I’m not sure how you could ever remotely call the Xbox a success. Losing any amounts of billions that does not collate to follow-up sales into other devisions is definitely a huge failure. All of Microsoft’s online services divisions are huge failures, losing the company many mind boggling billions, and they’re starting to shred large amounts of profits from their core profitable divisions (business services, Office and Windows licensing).

    Something has got to give one day.

    Microsoft has that rare luxury that they can pipe billions upon billions of loses into a division to stay relevant into their prospects minds.

    #1108416
    Greg_M
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    I think the fact that so many businesses hung onto XP and resisted upgrading tells a story of MS failure to provide a better option.

    I also agree the iphone and ipad were really the beginning of the end for MS, in my case I haven’t used MS product or system in a decade (I was a hardcore Linux user) but I did buy an iphone and fell in love, it just worked, so when my old Dell laptop running Ubuntu bit the dust I ventured into the Macbook Air, 2 months later I converted all the desktop stuff to 27 inch iMacs.

    Why? They just work (just like the iphone), I spend no time mucking around with systems but I still have the power of Unix based computing lying underneath when I need a command line fix.

    My evidence is a bit anecdotal but I think typical.

    The business I share an office with recently needed to upgrade from XP, basically I got sick off fixing stuff for them, they decided on Mac, have now changed their phones and are going to iPads for field work.

    Ditto for my biggest client, got an ipad fell in love, now all MS systems are going out the door by end of year.

    I could go on but I wont.

    I’m not an Apple fan boy, their stuff just works, I think Google are hot on their tale with Android, all Linux needed to take off was brand identity which Google is providing.

    Going to be interesting times but I think the day’s of using the closed source model for apps etc. is ending.

    #1108417
    JohnSheppard
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    Zava Design, post: 127959 wrote:
    Apple haven’t tried to deliver the same iOS for desktop and mobile devices (which includes tablets), and yet MS for some reason think that’s the step forward, and at risk of alienating their substantial desktop user base, which with XP and Windows 7 have no real issues with MS at all, they’re making such a fundamental change to their main cash cow.

    As a piece of anecdotal evidence. I sit in this crowd. Happy with windows 7. Couldn’t really care less for tablets, smart phones, etc…I really don’t care one bit for touch on my desktop…it seems like a real annoyance to me…

    If they separated the OS instead of craming it all in…well…that seems better to me…on the other hand I guess they probably have the luxery to gamble a bit and fix it in win9?

    Anyway, computers always seem to get in the way of getting work done :) I don’t see how the surface is going to solve that problem.

    #1108418
    Uncomplicating
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    Zava Design, post: 127960 wrote:
    Don’t really think Xbox was a failure… one of their few successful new ideas of the past decade I would say.

    I tend to agree. While the division has spent big, it is now a profitable venture and beginning to provide a consistent income and profit. That by most measures constitutes a successful venture, especially as the trend is upward. My guess is that in 10 years time, it will look like an inspired choice.

    What’s perhaps more interesting though, and particularly in light of where Win8 appears to be targetted, is their revenue from business related activities.

    Online services may only turn a a lousy couple of billion or so, but that’s pocket change compared to servers and tools and the business division which is turning over a staggering 25 billion a year and rising. That’s a 60% increase in the last 6 years and that’s a part of MS that does not sell hardware.

    And if you’re still concerned that MS are somehow losing the plot, take a look at their share history. It looks rather healthy despite the apparent onslaught from Google et al.

    It seems that they really don’t care about the personal computing market that much. They have the corporate world sewn up and a consolidated windows product on phone, tablet and desktop will just help to enforce that for many years to come.

    #1108419
    bluepenguin
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    There are a few misconceptions here:

    1. As cool as Apple products are, 80+% of the world’s desktop computers still run Windows of some form.

    2. Windows 8 on a typical desktop is almost identical to Windows 7 (which is hardly any different to Vista from a UI point of view).

    #1108420
    Uncomplicating
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    estim8, post: 127970 wrote:
    I also agree the iphone and ipad were really the beginning of the end for MS…

    I guess that would probably be the same end that IBM were facing when Microsoft and Windows first came to the fore.

    IBM are still doing very nicely thank you very much and still run the bits of the world that most smartphone users don’t know exist. And it ain’t gonna change much in the next 20 years either.

    Same for MS. The man in the street might now have a mac and an iPhone but business uses Windows, Office and Windows servers and is firmly attached to it one way or another, and will be for a very long time to come.

    The tech. industry might move quickly, but infrastructure most certainly does not.

    #1108421
    Uncomplicating
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    bluepenguin, post: 127976 wrote:
    2. Windows 8 on a typical desktop is almost identical to Windows 7 (which is hardly any different to Vista from a UI point of view).

    And that really wasn’t that different to XP…apart from the fact it didn’t work that well.

    #1108422
    Greg_M
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    Uncomplicating, post: 127985 wrote:
    I guess that would probably be the same end that IBM were facing when Microsoft and Windows first came to the fore.

    IBM are still doing very nicely thank you very much and still run the bits of the world that most smartphone users don’t know exist. And it ain’t gonna change much in the next 20 years either.

    I’d agree with that but IBM did fully reinvent themselves when they saw the end of the world as they knew it coming, MS has yet to prove it can, in the meantime other players are cutting their lunch, albeit in very small increments.

    #1108423
    Zava Design
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    bluepenguin, post: 127976 wrote:
    There are a few misconceptions here:

    2. Windows 8 on a typical desktop is almost identical to Windows 7 (which is hardly any different to Vista from a UI point of view).
    The demos I’ve seen the GUI is completely different. I know you can go back to a more traditional “desktop” type interface, but that’s not default, and programs open in a true fullscreen mode, and you can’t have smaller multiple windows.

    Or have you seen something different than I’ve seen?

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