Cringely Calls It – Kinda

June 10, 2005


Several days ago, I posted about the Apple/Intel deal. I really feel that this is a signal from Apple to Microsoft. After all, why would Apple pre-announnce something so far in advance if it didn’t signal their intent to re-invigorate the desktop battle.

Well, it seems that Robert Cringely agrees – sort of. He has a much more extensive treatise on the subject in his most recent scribblings. His basic rationale is simple: “For Intel to keep growing, people have to replace their PCs more often and Microsoft’s bloatware strategy just isn’t making that happen, especially if they keep delaying Longhorn.” Robert sees the battle as one to dethrone Microsoft. I agree. But Robert thinks that Intel is trying to dethrone Microsoft – by buying Apple. I don’t buy this prediction. But I do believe that the target is the same: Microsoft.

So what does this all mean? AMD is challenging Intel. Apple is challenging Microosft. We have seen how Intel is responding to its challengers. How will Microsoft respond? Well, we are starting to see Microsoft get into the content biz with their new subscription music foray. And we are starting to see them re-engage in the browser wars. Apprently IE7 will ship before Longhorn (old news). And they are even talking about tabs for IE6 (via an MSN toolbar plugin)!

What will come next? RSS support in the browser and the office suite? I sure hope so. But the “really good news” is stunningly simple: Microsoft excels when it is challenged. If Cringely is right, Microsoft must respond to the Apple challenges (as well as the Mozilla/Firefox challenges). And the big winners in a competitive market are the consumers.




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