Why did Microsoft "win"?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Foxer, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. Foxer macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Washington, DC
    While I was writing my thread on our feelings about the beast from Redmond, this idea occured to me. Why did Microsoft win?

    When I was in College in the early 1990's, everyone used macs. Our computing center was about 20:1 mac:pC ratio. (I know beacuse I was one of the few scholastic PC users back in the "C:win" days). The world seemed safe for Apple. Then, I lived in the third world for a couple years and when I returned, the week Windows 95 was released, you couldn't find a mac to save your life. I walk past the same computing center on alumni weekend, and it's all PC. I do believe Apple is making some inroads recently, but it's a long, long way back to the top.

    How did this happen? Did Apple drop the ball or did MS have the right positioning all along. Was it price (I doubt it. All computers, PC and Mac were several thousand dollars until recently)? Innovation? Did the PC makers just flood the market? Did Apple wait too long to allow clones? Was it inevitable? I'd apprecaite everyone's thoughts.
  2. Stelliform macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2002
    There are several reasons, but if I were to pick a dominate reason, in my opinion, it would be the price.

    You could get IBM clones for a couple of thousand less. (in the early 90's) Granted, they didn't have near as many bells and whistles, but for simple wordprocessors they were adequate.

    Then with business firmly behind PC's, people started buying them for their homes. (Since they were familiar with the PC's)

    When my Dad bought his first computer for the house it was a PC because his office used PC's. When he was making the decision on what type of computers to get at his office (To replace the Apple II's) PC's won because they were cheaper. Just dollars and cents..
  3. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    To me they've never won.... every company I visit or freelance for have stacks of Mac's.... it's part and parcel of day to day operations, sure there are PC's knocking about, but no where near the amounts of Mac's....

    I certainly can't imagine working without Mac's or being surrounded by them....

    To me they've never won...
  4. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    When System 7 and Windows 3.0 were released within a few months of each other around 1991, there was enough similarity that there was little justification for a $1500 premium on a computer.

    Windows 3.0 didn't have balloon help or publish-and-subscribe, but it didn't need them either. The full textual help Windows had didn't get in the way the way that balloon help did. Did you know anyone who used publish-and-subscribe? I remember someone trying it but never saw it used it a daily setting.

    When MS ported graphical versions of their office products to Windows, it changed the focus from Mac's ultimate ease-of-use to Windows' not-so-ultimate ease-of-use but cheap-to-use platform.

    It's not as though there wasn't a capable GUI system before Windows--that was Digital Research's GEM, but Apple sued Digital Research about that. MS had momentum and a lot of different things going on which came together, somewhat later, in Win3.1 and Win95.
  5. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    As simple as:

    Until 1997 apple was the only computer that was reliable doing graphics and video. The PCs where too expensive for those things, specailly 3D stuff. So, you had to deal with the price difference.

    Later on PC impruve their graphic stability and add the same features. For a Mac users it was a cheap imitations but for the new user you could do now "the same" thing that macintoshes but at a lower price.

    PC's are handling lots of multimedia applications, there are more applications for PC's right now than ever, Frootloops (the audio soft) is one of them.

    So, Apple is making the computer design sexier and is adding the linux based platform for those programmers but still:
    1. No many softwares as the PC world.
    2. Computers are more expensive
    3. Speed is lower

    So, the best thing to get around that is to dvelop the "Digital Life" concept that si no more than "making your peripherals to comunicate with your machine" but there are not that many compatibility issues in the PC world neither.

    So, the sexi part goes on. The new iMac is the perfect example of that as well as the Jaguar interface and the iPod.

    But for a school, they couldn't care less. If you are making a budget for a large corporation (for 20 computers at list) and you see that there more than a 50% of difference in the price, you will go PC all the way.
  6. Perci Mac macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2003
    In a state of perpetual waiting
    Is this due to the situation in Venezuela? Good luck with where ever in NY you end up. :)
  7. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    haven't you ever seen star wars? they haven't won yet, someone just needs to shoot a missle up the unexplained rectum of the MS headquarters.

    i think a lot of the problem is with IBM: they entered the PC market with millions (probably billions, i don't know) earned over the past century of making typewriters and cash registers... Apple had a stash box full of acid and some really radical thinkers... i think apple has done exceedingly well for the marketshare that they have, if you look at it that way...

  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    It worked for the Beatles as well. :) Lucy in the sky with diamonds....
  9. MrMacMan macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2001
    1 Block away from NYC.
    What the hell are you guys on? :eek:

    Whatever. M$ gain market share because of bad planning on the part of apple over pricing their products and not advertising good features.
  10. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    hehe :) since i know someone else will do it, i actually have to correct you on this one... believe it or not, it's not drug code (i'm still not 100% convinced), rather it's attributed to the title of a drawing done by one of their children...

    of course, artists have also claimed that "puff the magic dragon" and "mr. jones" aren't drug related... hah.

    [/offtopic trivia]

  11. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    Re: Why did Microsoft "win"?

    simply put, apple is concerned about making the best computers for us...we are their concern

    microsoft is concerned about making money, and the only part where we (the consumer) fit in is that we get to pay for their inferior product

    steve jobs does not want to sell out and try and make apple another microsoft...i think apple is happy with its small (nowdays, tiny) position in the computer world as long as their machines are among the best

    and at this point (i hate to say never), but apple will never become as big as microsoft...and some of you here, in other threads have mentioned you wouldn't want to see apple that big anyway

    for us, the consumer, we win when we use macs and mac os vs the poor souls who have to struggle with windows and pc machines:D

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