Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,031
17,414


AllthingsD republishes a memo from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to all Microsoft employees detailing an update in their corporate strategy. Ballmer specifically mentions Apple and their recent success:
Apple: In the competition between PCs and Macs, we outsell Apple 30-to-1. But there is no doubt that Apple is thriving. Why? Because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience. Today, we’re changing the way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises. We’ll do the same with phones—providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences.
Ballmer details how Apple has found success in an "end-to-end" model by providing the customer with a full experience by designing both hardware and software. Walt Mossberg had previously articulated this basic difference in strategy between the two companies.
For many years, there have been two models of how to make computers and other digital devices. One is the component model, championed by Microsoft. The other is the end-to-end model, championed by Apple.
Microsoft, of course, saw huge success in the component model in the personal computer market by supplying Windows to thousands of competing hardware developers. Microsoft has tried to apply this same strategy to music players and mobile phones, but now acknowledges this had come with some user experience compromises. Some of this shift in strategy has already been seen in their Xbox 360 and Zune products where Microsoft is the sole vendor.

Ballmer, however, believes that Microsoft will be able to extend a "no compromises" end-to-end experience while retaining a commitment to choice. He specifically mentions phones as a target.

Article Link
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,125
317
Indianapolis
I always called the Xbox the "Microsoft Mac" given the control over the experience end to end.

While I do enjoy the lack of digging for drivers and such for my Mac, it's rather annoying to have severely limited model choices.
 

kabunaru

Guest
Jan 28, 2008
3,226
2
While I do enjoy the lack of digging for drivers and such for my Mac, it's rather annoying to have severely limited model choices.

What Mac(s) do you have?

Just get a Mac Pro with a Quadro FX 5600 and that will last you a long time. :rolleyes::D
 

whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,601
694
Cork, Ireland.
Which just kinda reiterates what we already know.

Apple are a great solutions company. Not hardware, not software. The entire solution - which is why the iP3G is such a great device. Great design (Apple), great OS (Apple), great development tools (Apple), great browser (Apple) great online store (Apple) etc...etc..;)
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,125
317
Indianapolis
What Mac(s) do you have?

Just get a Mac Pro with a Quadro FX 5600 and that will last you a long time. :rolleyes::D
I've brought this up before but all Apple needs to do is add more little radio button build to order options. I'd give up CPU clock speed for a dedicated GPU on my Macbook.

It's like Apple doesn't want my money...

I don't have a problem with longevity it's hardware choices.
 

Rojo

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2006
1,328
241
Barcelona
As a loyal Apple devotee who's always dissed Microsoft, but who is also severely dissapointed in Apple lately (MobileMe disaster, 2.0 firmware bugginess, etc.), I'm looking forward to what MS has to offer in the future. I hope they can start kicking some ass, and force Apple to really get on their "A" game again.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,055
162
Canada, eh?
Yeah, Apple and Microsoft need each other to be at their best, much like a good superhero needs a good villain.

Each should continue trying to out-innovate the other, and ultimately the world wins.
 

andrewdale

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2008
868
1
Memphis, TN
As a loyal Apple devotee who's always dissed Microsoft, but who is also severely dissapointed in Apple lately (MobileMe disaster, 2.0 firmware bugginess, etc.), I'm looking forward to what MS has to offer in the future. I hope they can start kicking some ass, and force Apple to really get on their "A" game again.

My thoughts exactly. It's always good to have solid competition. Look and Canon and Nikon.
 

Zargot

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2004
71
3
Texas
Interesting read...

I hope they do well, forcing Apple to keep innovating to remain the media darling they are now.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,891
1,480
Palookaville
What this really comes down to is that Microsoft's success with the so-called "component model" was a fluke, an historical anomaly. It would be difficult to find another example of where it worked well for anyone else at any other time, including for Microsoft. They are just learning this it seems, having failed to implement it successfully in other markets. I think they're going to continue to struggle to get the same "seamless experience" out of the Windows PC market that Apple offers. They just don't have that sort of control over the OEMs -- in fact, they have less control today than they did just a few years ago. They're going to continue to jawbone the issue, but produce little. That's my prediction.
 

stefman

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
156
4
I'd be curious to see how Microsoft is going to implement this new strategy.

Maybe it'll go the way of the zune after a couple of years.
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors G3
Dec 23, 2006
8,053
786
In my imagination
Steve Ballmer is on the same tier as the CEO of Palm, an idiot and lacking the knowledge and wherewithal to monitor the market and adapt to changes.

Old farts that have fallen out of the tech world and inundate us with outdated technology that caters to outmoded market segments.

I may not be a huge fan of the iPhone, but it has changed the market substantially, while those that were flourishing in it tried their best to give users a better device with crappy OS.

Ballmer will fail at much of what he tries to do with Microsoft, though I do hope that the next version of Windows gives Apple a run for it's money, and makes me consider buying a PC.
 

Beric

macrumors 68020
Jan 22, 2008
2,148
0
Bay Area
I've brought this up before but all Apple needs to do is add more little radio button build to order options. I'd give up CPU clock speed for a dedicated GPU on my Macbook.

It's like Apple doesn't want my money...

I don't have a problem with longevity it's hardware choices.

Yeah, I totally agree. There just aren't many BTO options at all. I too want a dedicated GPU on my Macbook.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,821
7
Microsoft don't outsell Apple 30-1. Apple currently have a 4% worldwide share, meaning that even if every piece of PC hardware sold is running Microsoft (which it isn't) the maximum ratio is 24-1.
 

Mattjeff

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2008
261
3
As a loyal Apple devotee who's always dissed Microsoft, but who is also severely dissapointed in Apple lately (MobileMe disaster, 2.0 firmware bugginess, etc.), I'm looking forward to what MS has to offer in the future. I hope they can start kicking some ass, and force Apple to really get on their "A" game again.

I agree completely! Apple is missing a chunk of its quality control and friendly support.
 

kabunaru

Guest
Jan 28, 2008
3,226
2
Ballmer will fail at much of what he tries to do with Microsoft, though I do hope that the next version of Windows gives Apple a run for it's money, and makes me consider buying a PC.

Are you getting bored with Macs now or are you starting to dislike Macs? :confused:
 

Dustman

macrumors 65816
Apr 17, 2007
1,357
199
As a loyal Apple devotee who's always dissed Microsoft, but who is also severely dissapointed in Apple lately (MobileMe disaster, 2.0 firmware bugginess, etc.), I'm looking forward to what MS has to offer in the future. I hope they can start kicking some ass, and force Apple to really get on their "A" game again.

Apple is doing the best they've ever done. Other than MobileMe, they're rock solid and let us remember that the 1% failure rate for MobileMe is hardly a disaster. Competition is always good though, but it seems like Apple's on their way to taking over the computer industry to me? ;)
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors G3
Dec 23, 2006
8,053
786
In my imagination
I've brought this up before but all Apple needs to do is add more little radio button build to order options. I'd give up CPU clock speed for a dedicated GPU on my Macbook.

It's like Apple doesn't want my money...

I don't have a problem with longevity it's hardware choices.

Agreed as usual E. I'd really kill for a MacPro without the Xeon chips for $600 less. Or a 13" notebook with a dedicated GPU for the sake of having one.

Or better yet! How about those radial buttons that give me the options of NO HDDs, RAM, etc. in the system so I can get them somewhere else.
 

bigmc6000

macrumors 6502a
May 23, 2006
767
0
So he wants to redefine what end-to-end means? MS can't be an end-to-end system because they aren't an end-to-end system. Until MS starts making their own computers they can't be an end-to-end system. Ballmer just wants to make it look like they are trying because if all you're doing is working with Dell/Acer/HP/Toshiba/etc on making sure THEIR products work then you'll NEVER be an end-to-end company.

Eh well - it's not exactly like ballmer has ever been a master of the English language anyway. *squirt*
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.