General Question

Elumas's avatar

Do you see Microsoft lasting more than 20 more years?

Asked by Elumas (3167points) June 6th, 2009

Right now, as a young adult, more than half of my friends use Macs and all save maybe 6, use iPods. Apple is moving into the corporate outlets while pushing Microsoft out. I see the company dying out soon, it’ll stick around for at least 10, but with a new generation growing up using Apple products, I don’t see it lasting much past that.
What do you think?

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15 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

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Macs are only popular in the US.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

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...and comprise only a very small fraction of the computer market.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Don’t the professionals and the businesses still use Windows? Macs are good for home usage, but as far as I know, the professionals still use Windows mostly.

eambos's avatar

I highly highly doubt that Apple will get more than even a 20% market share in my lifetime. They are at around 9% – 10%, and really aren’t growing all that much. Yes, the new generation certainly uses more Macs than the past, but not everyone in our generation likes apple. I dislike them, a lot.

Macs are also a less viable solution for large corporations. Although people claim that Macs require less maintenance and have less problems than Windows machines, they still cost much more than a comparable Windows computer. If a company has to buy 1500 computers for its employees, which do you think they are more likely to choose: $400 slim Dells, with monitors, or slower $600 Mac Minis with no monitors? I’m talking desk job here. More intense computing would have an even larger spread.

So, to answer the initial question, there is no big enough competitor to knock out Microsoft. As long as computers exist, I feel that Microsoft will be there.

cwilbur's avatar

Given the fiasco that was Microsoft Vista and the increasing viability of both Mac and Linux, I think Microsoft is on the way out. Their business model was based on buying competitors and copying like mad, and they’ve run out of competitors that are for sale and they don’t have the organizational skill or culture to copy something like Apple’s Cocoa environment or Sun’s ZFS.

Also, @eambos, when you compare Macs to Windows you need to take into account both total lifetime of the computer and maintenance costs. If a $600 Mac mini is powerful enough to last 3 years and a $400 Dell lasts 2, well, you break even right there. And if the Windows machine requires even 2 more person-days of attention over its lifespan than the Mac does, well, there goes that advantage.

And when this generation of college students—which has a far higher percentage of Mac users than any prior generation—makes it into management, and starts asking, “Why are we doing this the hard way, when we could be doing it the easy way?” things will start to change. And when they become management, and say, “Why is it so much harder to do things at work than it is to do them on my Mac at home?” their IT departments will have to change things.

Microsoft doesn’t need a single big competitor to destroy it. Because their success is based on monopoly power and dominating markets, once there’s a viable alternative that 10% of the people are using, they will see their power slip away, and that will be the end of them. Look at what happened with Firefox: MSIE6 had an incredible amount of the browser market share, and web design was synonymous with designing for MSIE6. Then Firefox inched its way over 10% market share, and suddenly Microsoft had to change its tune—which is why MSIE7 and MSIE8 are far more standards-compliant than MSIE6.

I foresee that this will happen with Microsoft Office next, and then that will be the end of Microsoft.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

All businesses except for creative types run off of PCs.

ml3269's avatar

Macs are very popular in the EU, too… and we are every day more people using Apple-Products… could be, that MS will go… don’t know… it depends on so many things…

cyn's avatar

Microsoft will last in computers… not products though. Apple is better at making products like Iphone, Ipod, etc. etc.

cwilbur's avatar

@PandoraBoxx: Many software developers strongly prefer Macs to PCs. Visit a web development conference sometime, and count the glowing Apple logos.

eambos's avatar

In addditon to computers, Microsoft’s gaming section is doing great. Even if their OS dies off not going to happen, the XBOX portion of the company may still exist.

In one way or another, Microsoft will be here.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I wouldn’t own a Mac if they gave them away for free, and a lot of the people I know feel the same way. I think Microsoft will always be around, they aren’t Studebaker, ya know.

skfinkel's avatar

My guess is that with the millions of cash dollars that Microsoft has, it will figure out something inventive and new that will capture the imagination of people, and it will regain lost popularity.

El_Perseguidor's avatar

Yes… Microsoft is gonna be here… maybe your friends has Mac. but my friends doesn’t. Any of my friends has Mac… why? the price…. I don’t have money for a Mac and a lot of people either.. Plus.. Here in Latin America Mac sucks in technical Support, but if you ask me about HARDWARE yes… mac is better… Vista sucks, but they are gonna fix that, a lot of people is using XP that’s it.

mattbrowne's avatar

Wed Jun 7, 2028 9:09am EDT (Reuters) – Microsoft filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week in federal court in Seattle. After months of rumors, Google’s CEO Rory J. Gates finally presented yesterday at a Wall Street Journal tech conference in New Jersey the proposal to take over its competitor Microsoft Inc. Insiders speculate it was Mr. Gates Jr. way of getting even with his father who had allegedly confiscated his son’s iPod and Macintosh computer which had been secretly installed shortly after his sixteenth birthday resulting in a severe family crisis.

cwilbur's avatar

@eambos: You realize that the Xbox division isn’t profitable, right? It’s a perfect example of “We’re losing money on every console, but we’re making up for it in volume!”

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