Apple's Achilles' Heel?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by 512ke, May 6, 2005.

  1. 512ke macrumors 6502a

    512ke

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #1
    Maybe this concept already has been posted, but...

    With the halo effect kicking in and Apple's market share (finally) growing again...what happens if MS simply quits developing Office for Mac?

    Would that be the end of the Mac as a consumer platform?

    Would it be possible for Apple to keep selling computers to consumers w/out Office?

    First no more IE, next no more MSN for Mac, then no more Office...

    This has been bugging me as a an owner of both Apple hardware and Apple stock...

    (If a thread exists on this, could someone kindly direct me to it?)
     
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #2
    Why would they discontinue Office?

    MSFT makes money on every copy of Office, be it PC or Mac, that they sell.

    Granted MSFT would lose a bit on the OS side with Windows, but they will still make a killing on the Office side which is the defacto standard industry wide.

    I wouldn't worry about it.

    Sushi
     
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    i'm with sushi on this one. Compare the price of M$ Office to M$ Windows. Now estimate the cost to develop each. Does this clarify things for you? Another point to consider is that the Mac market is huge. However, few want to compete with Office for office productivity marketshare. If Microsoft abandons the Mac, this will open things up for other developers. Not gonna happen.
     
  4. 512ke thread starter macrumors 6502a

    512ke

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #4
    Well, they might kill Office at the exact moment that Apple's marketshare gains offset the profit they are making from office.

    In other words, if they start losing more money due to the halo/switching effect than they are making thanks to Office Mac.

    No?
     
  5. Platform macrumors 68030

    Platform

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    #5
    Very true.....they make a lot of money on their Office side...think it is even better than their OS at sometimes :rolleyes:
     
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #6
    its not an overwhelming issue so long as the current Office continues to work under the Mac OS and that it doesnt break compatibility with Office for Windows, which im sure if MS stoped development of it they would also break compatibility
     
  7. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #7
    Well Apple has iWork in place, and though it's far from ready to replace MS Office, in a year or two, it might be. Also there are other apps like Nisus Writer that may work as good replacements.

    And MS might have an excuse if they want to stop developing Office for Mac. The want to add rights management capabilities to Word, something integrated system-wide, and they could just claim that it would be too hard to make that work on a Mac.
     
  8. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #8
    I think one of the issues M$ is facing right now is that there really isn't any compelling reason for users to upgrade to a new version of Office. I mean come on, how much more value add can they provide to a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation app? A huge majority of Office users don't use most of the features as it is.

    One of the big "silent" features of Tiger is a stable set of API that are not likely to change in an incompatible way down the road. If Office 2004 runs correctly on Tiger, it's likely that it will continue to run on 10.5, so who needs anything else? Who cares if that stop developing Office for the Mac? I don't buy the argument that M$ will break compatibility, because that would also impact previous Office for Windows versions, and I just don't think corporate buyers will tolerate that ever again.

    Meanwhile, alternatives like OpenOffice will continue to improve. Sun will release StarOffice8 (Sun's for-sale version of OpenOffice, which doesn't support Mac) this summer. NeoOffice keeps getting better and better on the Mac, and it is tracking the OO releases much more closely, these days. Anyway, I'm rambling.
     
  9. calyxman macrumors 6502a

    calyxman

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    #9
    MS ported IE, Outlook Express and other apps (with the exception of Office, that's been out since the 80s) to help Apple have a viable platform at a time when they were sliding downwards with no end in site. Now the gang at Cupertino is returning MS a favor by booting out IE in favor of Safari, not supporting WMA audio, and practically snubbing Office by introducing iWorks.

    As a result MS has all but dropped development for IE, WMP, and Messenger for the Mac. The last update we saw for Outlook Express was back in the OS 9 days, so that has gone by the wayside as well.

    I don't know if MS will yank office but I wouldn't be surprised if they did if Jobs is successful of ridding the need for MS from the OS X platform. The only thing that Microsoft will have going is VPC development. There are many Mac users who would be delighted if MS was all but shut out of the market, as they have nothing but seething hatred for MS.

    But for those who would enjoy that, be careful what you wish for. The main reason in helping me decide on a Mac was the fact that I could run Office. If I didn't have that ability, I would have never in a million years decided to buy a Mac. I'm sure many other switchers share the same thoughts as well. It's bad enough we don't have a mac version of Access.
     
  10. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    I see that you don't let the facts get in the way of a good point. Internet Explorer has been on the Mac almost from the day that Microsoft discovered the Internet. Back then IE was little more than a rebranded Mosaic with a new skin. What you obviously don't know is that this was a time when Windows was a distant third in access to the Internet. Various flavors of Unix and the Mac were way out front. One Windows, dominant wordprocessor was WordPerfect. The dominant spreadsheet was Lotus 1-2-3. On the Mac, the dominant players were M$ Word and M$ Excel. Word did not become primarily a Windows app until Word 6.0. You are confusing events that are displaced from each other by years. As for support of WMA, why should Apple do it. With iTunes, Apple supports open formats. Exactly why should Apple support someone else's proprietary format.
    M$ dropped IE for the Mac development because it does not generate revenue. At the same time it dropped development of IE:mac, M$ also announced that IE:win would no longer be released as a separate application for any platform. However, recent events forced the Redmond Monopoly to change its mind about IE:win. You say that M$ has dropped WMP:mac? This is news to me. Do you have a link? As for Messenger, M$ dropped development of it because it does not generate revenue. Bill's Boyz were supposed to develop a new MSN:mac that would have a built-in browser based on a new engine as well as built-in chatting. The new MSN client seems to have withered for lack of interest in a fee-based services. As for Outlook Express, it ships with every new Mac. However, it is true that this M$ email client is no longer in development. Again, OE does not generate revenue. Why should Microsoft contine to develop it? The bottomline is that Microsoft makes business decisions based on business considerations, not juvenile pique.
    M$ Office is the only full-featured suite of office productivity applications. It generates tons of revenue. In no shape form or fashion does iWork compete with M$ Office.
    How is not having a Mac version of Access a bad thing? OK, I'll give you that one. However, Access owes its life to its inclusion in the Office:win bundle. It was so bad that M$ acquired dBase clone FoxBase after it released Access.
     
  11. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #11
    Let me see if I understand what you are saying.

    If the Mac market share increases to say 20% (I doubt we will see this but what the heck), then MSFT will shut down Office for the Mac because they do not make money on Office for the PC?

    If this is your concern, I wouldn't worry about it. Anything to increase sales of Office is good for MSFT. Most corporate sales are licenses. Individual sales generate significant revenues. Many who use Windows at work use a Mac at home, this would actually increase sales of Office. In fact, with some licenses, the worker is allowed to install Office on their home machine provided that they need to accomplish work at home. Since not many organizations have Macs, home use sales would increase.

    As for decreased sales of Windows hurting MSFT. Now that they own VPC, they still get credit for the sale of Windows software (which they already did when Connectix owned VPC) in addition, they also get the revenues from VPC. A win win for MSFT.

    The last I knew BG likes to make $ regardless of the platform that generates it for them. In fact, in the late '90s, in the personal sales arena, MSFT made more on sales of Office for the Mac than they did for the PC.

    So like I mentioned before, I wouldn't worry about it. Plus as others have said, there are alternatives on the Mac side that will work as well.

    Sushi
     
  12. thequicksilver macrumors 6502a

    thequicksilver

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham
    #12
    With respect, if you think that iWork is a snub to Office, you clearly haven't used it. Pages is a curious blend between basic word processing and a DTP app, somewhere between Text Edit and a crude version of Quark Express. It is no competition for Word. Keynote is a far stronger app than Pages (naturally, being a 2.0 release) but it has far fewer features than Powerpoint, and, truthfully, isn't for everyone. There's no spreadsheet or business email client in iWork either.

    I see the point you're making, and I do agree with your general gist that Office on the Mac is a good thing. Though most people don't actually anywhere near the amount of features Office gives, it's a case of brand recognition - a recent version of Office on the Mac is A Good Thing To Have To Offer. I just don't see that MS are going to drop Office for the Mac any time soon. It's too good a profit engine.
     
  13. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #13
    MS will stop make office for mac when apple starts to gain a real % of the compter market, right now MS has no reason because they still rule the computer world in terms of market share.

    It will be a great day MS stops making Office for apple and apple starts making Iwork for windows.
     
  14. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #14
    Maybe not.

    Office is the standard in the business community.

    Most businesses are based on Windows and thus use Office for Windows.

    Most who have Macs, that work in business, have them at home. They run Office for Mac so they can be compatable with their work documents. Take away office for the Mac and you remove a significant reason business individuals are willing to switch. Being able to open, edit and save Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents is very important to these types of folks.

    Face it, whether you like it or not, MSFT Office is the defacto standard for the business community. The Mac community is lucky that MSFT produces Office for the Mac. God, I can't believe I just said that. But it's true.

    Just to be clear, that doesn't mean that I like Office. I really wish some other company would come along and make a competing product that works on all platforms. But I am not holding my breath.

    Sushi
     
  15. DougJrS macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #15
    Apple is also making software for the PC. Look at how many people have a PC with iTunes and an iPod. I think that the Bonjour release for Windows is big. I know that it took me hours to get my mom's PC to talk to a network printer, but on my Mac all I did was click the "+" and the printer was on the list. (I also noticed that Bonjour can see my Tivo.)

    I know that I have switched to FireFox at work and I use Safari at home. Safari for the PC would be really cool!

    Doug
     
  16. angelneo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    afk
    #16
    Well, you can look at it in another way, once mac starts gaining a substantial percentage of the computer market, wouldn't it earn MS office more money? MS is ultimately a software company, they might start thinking up new ways to earn from apple then.
     
  17. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #17
    Unfortunately yes, it is true :( I wish some other office suite would come along and take over.

    It's been stated before that the MBU (Macintosh Business Unit) is a big money maker for m$. Making money is m$'s goal, so they're not about to give it the boot.
     
  18. calyxman macrumors 6502a

    calyxman

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    #18
    MisterMe thanks for clarifying some info. I don't disagree with much of what you say. I understand MS doesn't make money on IE or MSM or any of their other apps.

    But at the same time, my point about Apple hasn't changed. We all remember around the time Copland came out that Apple seemed like it was sliding into oblivion. And, let's not forget Microsoft invested about $150 million in Apple and pledged to develop more software for the mac. Steve didn't get such a warm reception, but it was something that needed to be done at the time. If I'm not mistaken, didn't the agreement end about a year or two ago?

    Regarding my comments on the drop of support of WMP, I derive this from the download page for the Windows Media Player: the last update was 11/28/2003. Surely if they were working on improvements we would have seen another update or two but we haven't. My concern is that they are indeed dropping WMP support.

    PIM support has also been missing in action so to speak. We have no ActiveSync for PocketPC, instead we have to resort to third-part developers. The Palm conduit for Entourage is so out-of-date, it doesn't even fully support the newer datebook and address book applications of OS 5 and up; certain fields don't sync properly. Again, you have to resort to a using a third-party app.

    I understand what you are saying; I've never thought there is a direct one-for-one comparison between iWork and Office, however there are similarities and for those who needed a simple word processing app, a product like Pages would seem enticing. It is there to fill an empty space, because Appleworks was not a viable alternative due to it's archaic interface and dearth of features.

    My belief still remains that Microsoft remains a key part of the mac platform. Like I said, had there been no Office, the only Mac I'd own would be my 14 year old Performa 200 running system 7. I think it's important to know where MS stands as far as the Mac platform is concerned, because that can affect the decisions of prospective switchers.
     
  19. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #19
    Another factor may be that if Apple disappeared and went out of business (or stopped making computers), Microsoft would have a much harder time avoiding anti-trust action.
     
  20. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    Thank you for this, but...
    ... Not the $150 million investment again. For the millionth time, Microsoft did not invest $150 million out of the goodness of Bill Gates's heart. It was hush money. Apple had caught Microsoft's hand in the cookie jar. IIRC, an Apple inspection of Windows Media revealed substantial lifting of code from QuickTime, including the same misspelled words misspelled the same way. Apple knew that it had a can't miss lawsuit. Microsoft knew it had a can't win lawsuit on its hands. Apple also knew that its can't miss suit would drag on for years. Rather than engaging in a protracted fight, Jobs and Gates agreed to do business. Microsoft agreed to buy $150 million in non-voting Apple stock and to develop M$ Office for the Mac for five years. Microsoft received Apple's agreement not to bring the lawsuit. It also received the profits from the sale of Office 98. Eventually, Microsoft also reaped a profit when it sold its Apple stock.

    You mischaracterize the booing at the Apple conference at which Jobs announced the agreement. During the announcement, Gates's image was projected live above the stage like Big Brother. The imagery was the major cause of the booing, not the announcement itself.
     
  21. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #21
    Thanks for explaining it...again. Seems like many missunderstand what really happened.

    Sushi
     
  22. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #22
    You and me both brother!

    However, with MSFT's domination in this arena, I doubt we will see it happen in the near future.

    Sushi
     
  23. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #23
    Exactly. What I was trying to say but you did it so much better.

    Sushi
     
  24. calyxman macrumors 6502a

    calyxman

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    #24
    I wouldn't have a problem believing what you're saying except it doesn't run parallel with what some detracting executives of Apple had said at the time. Your desription makes it seem like Apple had the strong arm in the deal, when this article shows otherwise.

    My memory is rough on this, but I do not recall the atmosphere as friendly when Jobs announced the partnership with MS. The reaction was almost akin to disliking Jobs for supposedly selling out. I don't remember a warm reception from the crowd either when it was announced that IE would be practically favored over Netscape's Navigator, do you?

    I also found some more reasons for the deal, but I think we can take some of them in jest... :D
     
  25. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #25
    My description makes it seem like Apple had the strong arm in the deal? Can you do arithmetic? Apple settled a slam-dump legal case for $150 million in cash plus other terms that resulted in increased profits for Microsoft! Whether you know it or not, Apple had $4-$5 billion with a "b" in cash at the time Microsoft bought the $150 million in stock. How does this imply that Apple had the strong arm in the deal?
    Friendly? In my previous post, I said that Apple and Microsoft agreed to do business. I did not say that they agreed to go out for drinks or have a picnic. Come on. Who told you that business relationships have anything to do with friendship?

    Apple chose IE over Netscape Communicator as the default web browser for the MacOS. Yes, I remember that. I also know that Apple shipped both browsers with every copy of the MacOS. If you open the Applications (MacOS 9) folder in the computer you buy tomorrow, you will find the Classic version of IE 5.1 and Netscape Communicator 4.79. All the user had to do was to open the Internet control panel, click the Web tab, and choose Netscape Communicator or any other installed browser from the Default Web Browser pop-up menu. Apple's choice of IE as the default browser for the MacOS in no way limited its users' choices.
    You need to concentrate less on humor and read more about strategies for success in business. Since that famous Apple/Microsoft deal, Apple has gone nowhere but up. It concentrated its energies on improving its products and not on fighting a enemy with the resources to wait it out. One of the sad facts about adulthood is that we have to deal with people and institutions that we don't like. No one who read Avie Tevanian's testimony in the Microsoft Federal antitrust case can possibly conceive of friendly relationships between Apple and Microsoft. We can conceive of a business relationship.
     

Share This Page