Re: I don't get it
"Apple hardware is just commodity gear in pretty boxes. "
They've alway been commodity gear, just not Intel.
"It's insanely over-priced."
That is a matter of opinion. Arguably, there is a lot of cheap tat available. That's what you get with race-to-the-bottom market share grabs. Incidentally, Apple make more from their share than everybody else. I know whose profit I'd rather have.
"They could grab a huge market share by reducing their prices into line with Windoze machines, and all they'd lose is their massive profit on hardware. This would be more than counteracted by their hugely increased sales and the sales of software to support the platform."
See above. It may have passed you by, but market share is meaningless. Brand loyalty (i.e. repeat purchases - see Windows) and profits matter more.
"Sadly, Apple's management don't understand the "supermarket principle" and still believe that they can survive in their niche markets."
They seem to be doing significantly better than pretty much everyone else in the PC game, including Microsoft. It may have passed you by, but it's 2013 not 1993.
"The third player that's gaining market share rapidly is Google. There is certain to be a standalone implementation of "Chrome" soon enough - a solid Linux base with all the pretty attractions of an Apple-alike desktop. Apple will scream "foul" and discover that Google can be evil if they feel like it!"
The world already knows Google is evil. They've shown that with their false cries of 'Us? we would never help the NSA'. That and their underhand and conniving attempts to get everyone of the frankly shite Google+. Contrary to what Googles enterprise marketing wonks say, convincing people to use Google apps instead of Office is an uphill battle to say the least. That and the lack of enthusiasm from enterprise software vendors means that it has limited chance of being successful outside of the growing rabid base of minions the Chocolate Factory seems to have.
Windows 8 will eventually be a 'success' simply because most of my IT management brethren have neither the nous or skills (or intelligence frankly) to leave Microsoft.