Apple + Linux = Microsoft?
Great article, brought a lot of thoughts together from around the industry.
And like most people have said here already, Microsoft is where it is at right now because it just works. People can open up a PC bos, fire it up and know exactly that Internet Explorere = Internet, My Documents = personal documents, etc etc. Its manufactured and packaged for any little goof to pick it up and use it. More people use computers now than ever before and I think we have Microsoft to thank for it.
However, do I beleive that we should'nt charge MS for being a monopoly and hence, not break it upp because theres no other competitors out there? HECK NO! Competition and open market never hurt anyone. The profit margins on MS softwares are huge which means that even they themselves know that they can afford to milk the idustry and consumers for all their worth. This sort of attitude just leads to greedy business and lazy programming. We can all look at the automotive industry in North America for comparison. The big 3 were in a joint monopoly, much like MS and Apple are now, and it was extremely tough for any outside company to compete effectively. This was known by all companies involved and hence their products were sub-par quality. Where outside manufacturers(Honda, Toyota etc) were producing cars that were designed by closely studying and analyzing the customer's interest (Fuel efficiancy, cheap etc) the Big 3 kept re-using their old products time and time again. The industry shook up when the prices of gas sky-rocketed and caused the big 3 to become unfavorable with the consumers due to their absurd fuel efficiency in their products. Smaller companies came in and the industry had to innovate. Faster, more fuel efficient products were made by all out of sheer necessity. Those who didnt, are now suffering (Chrysler anyone?).
This same analogy can be brought to the world of computers. Unlike automotives, however, the computer world doesnt have a complimentary industry that it is dependant on. Hence, the government has to do the part of just that. But even then, theres the question of a viable competitor. Unless someone studies the market and sees what customers like and prefer and what are their likes/dislikes, no one but MS is going to come out on top. The Linux crowd needs to understand that not everyone is ready to devote time and energy to learn their product so as to effectively use it to the same level that Windows can. The simplicity and GUI just isnt there. At the same time, Apple must also understand that consumers like choice, and that theyve been surviving so long just because no one has really tried making viriis and malware for OSX until recently due to its only recent wide-spread exposure to the market.
A perfect competitor would emerge once Linux's level of user control is added to the GUI of OSX along with hardware customization.
But its already here, its name is Microsoft.
PS: Reading about the same format for file types across OSs seems to be a wonderful idea that I had never thought of before. Hats off to whoever came up with that.