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March 22, 2006

Why Windows Vista Delay is Bad News for Google and Apple

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 3/22/2006 01:56:00 AM



Many pundits argue that the delay of Windows Vista will allow Apple to sell more Macs and Google to gain more marketshare while the giant from Redmond sleeps. I would argue that the delayed launch of Windows Vista is bad news for Google and Apple. Unlike previous versions of Windows, Vista is not about selling a desktop OS. It is about selling a rich Internet experience positioned to compete directly against Apple and Google. While Apple and Google have built their businesses around vertically integrated Internet platforms such as iTunes and Google Search, Microsoft is taking a step back and delaying its launch so that it can integrate more tightly with its Internet content partners and distribution partners. Unlike Google and Apple, which operate closed ecosystems, Microsoft is launching Vista with more of a partner approach. First, Vista's core functionality is being revamped to strike Apple at the heart of the broadband Internet experience. Unlike Apple, which is notorious for strongarming content partners, Microsoft is playing nicer with content owners. Second, expect Vista to be tightly integrated with Live.com and MSN and strike Google where it is weakest, which is in the productivity application space. Unlike Google, which has focused on building light weight Internet applications with low barriers to entry, Microsoft will be focused on building rich, Internet productivity applications with significant lead times and high barriers to entry.


Windows Vista Is Being Re-Shaped as an Apple Killer
To fully appreciate Vista's threat to Apple, look no further than the Windows Vista launch page. Vista is first and foremost about making the PC the center of your rich media experience focused around your pictures, your music, and your movies. These are the three things that Apple has built its business around via its iLife strategy and the three core products supporting this strategy are iPhoto, iPod, and iMovie. Microsoft knows that in order to beat Apple, it must attack Apple where it is weakest. Apple's biggest weakness is that it works very poorly with third parties. In the PC world, Apple was terrible at working with PC manufacturers because it wanted to own the whole food chain. In the online music world, Apple has effectively created a closed ecosystem boxing out content owners from the distribution chain. Microsoft understood several decades ago that in order to win its PC battle against Apple, it needed to ally with PC manufacturers. Today, Microsoft is doing the same with content partners. Microsoft is going to empower rather than hinder content owners who have been held captive by Apple's lock on the music hardware business.

If there is one thing that Microsoft does better than Apple, it is enabling third parties to build products and businesses on its software platform (and collecting its share of the winnings toll via licenses) rather than encroaching on the businesses of its partners. In the PC business, Microsoft focused just on the software - enabling PC manufacturers to make money off hardware. Microsoft won. Its partners also made money. In the content business, Microsoft is doing the same thing. It is making Windows Media Player a platform for enabling content owners to make money off their music and movies, while Microsoft makes money off the platform.

In the music space, you can see that Microsoft Music Experience for Vista is built around partnering with the premier names in music - it has already announced partnerships with MTV, VH1, and CMT. In the TV and movie space, you can bet Microsoft is doing the same.

Vista Delay May Lead to More MSN and Live.com Integration and Make Google Irrelevant

Microsoft understands that the PC experience is now an Internet experience. It is not about selling licenses or owning desktops. It is about owning the webtop. Bill Gates commented at MIX 06 that Microsoft is already working on the next two versions after Internet Explorer 7, which is due later this year with Windows Vista and that Microsoft intends to build deeper RSS support in Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7, allowing people to subscribe to Web pages as well as podcasts and photos.

The Vista delay will allow Microsoft to integrate Vista more tightly with Live.com which is frankly a Google killer. Unlike Google, Live.com is open, meaning that users can customize their experience with any content they like just by clicking "Add Stuff". Live.com is user generated meaning each Live.com experience is different. Finally, Live.com is familiar and the interface handles like a PC quality software experience. That said, Live.com is a real work in progress, so it is unsuprising that Vista is being delayed. This is Microsoft's third try at building an Internet presence after Start.com, MSN and I would bet that, as always for Microsoft, the third time's the charm.


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28 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

But why does Apple need to be crushed by M$? Apple are hardly threatening their marketshare. The shoddy performance of Windows is forcing users to Linux though.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MS has tried to make windows 'media orientated' since Me. It's never worked. They're tried to help third party partners in defeating (or even slowing down) the growth of ipod/itunes. That's been going on for three years, and still nothing.

Vista brings a new skin to windows, and some long awaited security fixes, that's pretty much it. The only thing a longer delay means is that Apple have more time to work on Leopard, which they have said will be released at the same time Vista will be. THAT, will be an operating system to watch out for.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous jim said...

I'm puzzled at your comment that Google is not an open system:

"Unlike Google, Live.com is open, meaning that users can customize their experience with any content they like just by clicking "Add Stuff"."

I've been using the customizable Google homepage (http://google.com/ig) for a few weeks now, and have a bunch of feeds added that have nothing to do with Google, including my company's blog.

I agree with your other point that the early versions of Live.com do behave more like a desktop application, rather than Google's basic text web page.

But haven't users shown a strong preference for Google's "sparse" UI?

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the normal user point of view, its not only, or the least, the question of the OS choice... for me an apple ever has been to expensive (even the Mini Mac) a nd you can only use the Mac OS on Macs, simple... Windows is bundled with everything, low cost pcs or high end machines... the lowcost Mac is by far more expensive! There is no real "fight" between Mac OS and MS Windows as the Mac Os is no real antagonist... Linux is one, but seems to be to difficult for the normal low end user (tell a non pro about differences between Suse, Ubuntu, Knoppix etc... they tell you "get me that f.... Windows! There I know what awaits, good or not").
I simply wait for Vista, hope for more intelligent users (as a part of my Job is Help Desking DAU's (Dümmste Anzunehmende User... Most Stupid User Possible ;) )) and try to become a better Linux User for fun ;)

9:30 AM  
Anonymous anyone said...

MS delaying the Vista just because they cannot get it done on time... how the hell that will make them better and hurt Google and Apple?

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The music content providers mentioned (MTV, VH1, and CMT) are all Viacom entities, so it's only 1 umbrella provider. Expansive, yes; impressive, no.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous penningtron said...

I'm sorry, I just don't buy this. MS isn't delaying Vista to shore up internet partners, it's doing it try and improve security. Yes Vista is aimed squarely at repeating the formula OS X has followed, but by the time it ships, Apple will have already introduced another version of its OS and still be ahead in many respects, which will only increase as Apple releases successive versions of its OS with incremental improvements and MS struggles with one release every five years.

The truth is MS' biggest competitor isn't Apple, it's legacy versions of its own OS, from which it makes no money. MS' strategy of partnering with manufacturers, while it has worked up to now, is now coming back to bite them. Each version of their OS must support so many legacy computers and components, it's no wonder that they have delays and can't ship an OS that "just works."

As to Google, they are not competing with Vista, they are competing with MS Live, a whole other animal. To think that MS units are a tightly integrated unit is very misguided, it's doubtful one hand knows what the other is doing.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Vista Delay May Lead to More MSN and Live.com Integration and Make Google Irrelevant"

Make Google irrelevant? Surely you must be kidding... Google (as Apple) has gained such a mindshare that it will be very long until it is replaced from users heads.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous steve said...

You are smoking crack. Maybe if they delay Vista another 6 months they can put Google and Apple right out of business before they even launch. Specious argument. MSFT is groaning under their own weight.

More importantly, Microsoft is a TERRIBLE partner for content companies and a lot of third party developers - and every one in either business who has any brains doesn't trust them. The "Microsoft Music experience for Vista" is an attempt by Microsoft to both commoditize content and own the interface and consumption points. And it is going to fail (just like WMP9 and WMP10) because a) Microsoft is bloated and they can't execute b) Microsoft is bloated and they can't innovate. c) nobody trusts them. Only the companies that are weak or way behind (like MTV online) will be taking Microsoft up on their Faustian bargain. The only thing I will give MSFT credit for is that they have learned to plug in weak 3rd parties (MTV) instead of their own weak content (MSN) so as not to appear monopolistic or anticompetitive.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a theory! Probably you believe in fairy tales, don't you?

Did you hear about 'Mini-MSFT' (google minimsft). Read what insiders (microsofties) are writing. Then, come back with your dvorack-like theory.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok,
MS should delay vista a few more years to crash their opponents to the ground. YAY!!!

Sorry but "Delay is good" BS you're talking about is just ridiculous.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt Vista's focus has much to do with Apple at all, except for using them as inspiration to make an improved OS for people to upgrade to.

Media management is the big thing these days. Of course Microsoft is promoting it for Vista, it's what everyone wants. Not because they want to take Apple down.

Microsoft is a $300 billion company and has huge revenues coming from Windows OEM licenses and Office sales. Apple is a $40 billion company that isn't even a blip on the radar. They make nice hardware that appeals to a small niche of university people and the tech cognoscenti, but Microsoft knows they'll never even get near to threatening the Windows monopoly in the slightest.

Microsoft may be a bit annoyed that the iPod is more widespread than devices that use Microsoft's PlaysForSure DRM, but that's about it.

Any media partner deals will be to promote upgrades to Vista.

The Google angle is more significant though. They have the potential to both disrupt the OS and Office upgrade cycle and take the lion's share of internet advertising revenue which Microsoft feels it alone is entitled to.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a couple of thoughts. Since the base code that runs Vista is going to be ultimately flawed, regardless of how MS tries to correct it, users will still have problems. Its inevitable with every OS. Delaying the release further just creates a stronger hope that things work much, much better than in any other version of Windows. The additional GUI enhancements and code meant to make things easier will just make it easier to find cracks in the foundation.
Secondly, Google is not going anywhere. I read an article in PCMag that Google may be buying up stretches of dark fiber across the country. I'm waiting to see if Google is planning to become part of the Internet backbone here in the US, making them all but impossible to defeat. Their strategy is basic and optimistic. Design great small applications that people need and make sure that they know that they need them.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sorry but "Delay is good" BS you're talking about is just ridiculous."

I have to disagree there. It's good for M$, gives them more time tRyInG to copy features of OSX into Vista, lmao.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous media guru said...

I agree with this post. M$ is going to kick Apple and Google's a$$. This is a pissed off billionaire that is seeking "one ring to rule them all" and I think he can achieve it.

For those of you thinking this is a cover-up for a reorg nightmare, you otta wake up. Yeah Vista ia delayed, but does it really matter? Media Center is all they need to sell right now, and that is already dominating the PC sales to-date.

In order for M$ to 'continue' to be king they must control the delivery platform of advertisements, add the profiling of users, and penetrate every device possible. Because of this Apple is a bigger threat than Google.

Yes, Apple is a threat, a great threat to M$ in the media space and potentially the advertising avenue of the future. But what apple always screws up at is allowing other players into their space. They like to think they control a media platform, but in the long run they strangle it out of existence with their snobby attitude and closed mindedness.

On the other hand, Google just doesn't get it. These guys are too young to do well in this 'big boy' game. Go ahead fools, invest in Google and watch your assets disappear within the next 3 years. Yeah they have money, but they don't spend it wisely. Will they have desktop apps? Yup, but so did corel. Big Deal. The consumers 'just want it to work' and the geeks 'just want something other then M$'. In the long run. I'd rather bet on consumers. It's a bigger market, and they are currently on TV and not so much on the Internet. Consumers have not moved to the internet space (as much) because thay have not seen a compelling reason to do so... last I checked the TV show 'Survivor' gives a better experience on TV/Tivo then the CBS web page.

Those of us that have 'seen the light' will join the next technology revolution and deliver media to this new exciting platform called WPF/E. We will wonder why we ever used such archaic tools such as a web page search or flat unanimated, unintelligent, and mostly goofy interfaces of the web. I for one am tired of trying to teach my mother-in-law about computers and can't wait for her to start using the television. We will forget what a PC was because we will have the complete personal experience on every device, and in every home.

Wake up people, or better yet, don't wake up. Keep bashing Microsoft (An amazing AMERICAN company). At least that will keep the stock down until Bill Gate's chess pieces are in place...

9:36 AM  
Anonymous rod shuffler said...

I think you folks are crediting Microsoft with too much intelligence. All they do is follow the money. I do believe the Vista delay is tactical, perhaps to avoid cannibalising Xbox 360 sales?

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Eron Wright said...

I agree that Microsoft's focus on "platform" and partner relations will beat Google. I also believe that Microsoft has already won the media wars.

http://spaces.msn.com/ewright/blog/cns!C0C3DF24CE16DC2F!142.entry

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apple was first MS copied the GUi to make windoes its a known fact. #1 reason they cant get it right they didnt develope it in the first place they copied it. IT was even taken to court but Apple lost because of a glitch in a contract line. APple wants to control everything because 1 that is how they keep viruses and spyware out and they guarantee everything works because they makes the OS the hardware and they deisgn it all to work together. I love my mac i dont have to load drivers everytime i plug something in i dont have to update every day with virus protection because there is no viruses or spyware. I can do everything any windows computer can and do it better, faster and without blue screen of death crashes. Apple is very tight yes but it has to be that way. Back in the 90s they opened up to other manufactures and it lost them money caused lots of pain and they were kind of like a small MS. Steve came in and if he had not done away with MAc clones Apple would not be where they are today.


Apples OS is a million times better then any MS. My company is the exclusive installer for Dell in the greater kansas city area and day after day i see people struggling with thier computers trying to make them work right trying to get that updated virus protection. Then the best part is when right out of the box the computer has a virus or keeps crashing. Dell is cheap they use cheap parts to make cheap machines and then out source all their CSR to india or some other country and they cant speak english.


99% of people who put down MAC OS X are people who have not used it. One of my customers who bought a mac from us had this to say; When I use my PC, I am struck by the amount of unwelcome interruptions - from the OS, from programs, and from advertisements in the browser. In sharp contrast to this annoying, high-maintenance behavior, my Mac simply allows me to do my work. It has never interrupted me, or popped up a browser ad, or had a program telling me that my system may not be secure. It just works, and elegantly. It supports me like a good tool (think hammer, coffee mug, etc.) should... it just gets out of the way, and I don't have to think to use it.

The statement is true and so is the statement below

Simply take a Mac out of its box, plug it in and start surfing, working or rocking. And when you want to add something new — such as a digital camera or iPod — you just plug it in and start using it. Too good to be true? No, the Mac is exactly that good.


NO windows will ever be able to do this. it cant be secure there are to many 3rd party venders with apps and prephialls and pc makers. Every PC maker has to contend with thier own hardware and their own extras as well as trying to make it work with WIndze. Apple does not have this probelm they are not studid to not open up their OS they are smart they know this way they keep it secure.
MS is the most untrusted company in the world. They will lie, cheat, steal, rob , kill or hack whatever they have to , to get what they want and then claim they thought of it and they are praised and everyone is guess what MS came out with today. Mac people are laughing saying we had that feature 5 years ago. I would rather have a computer that looked nice was light to carry and was bug, spyware and virus free then paying less for a far less superior computer

one last note to the people who say OS X and Apple are more expensive. Sure comparing basic price to basic price yea but then you buy a dell or a sony or whatever then you have to buy the virus and spyware protection software then sign up for another fee for the continued virus defention updates. Then you have to think about the time you spend installing drivers everytime you hook up something and then rebooting and then trying to get it to work corectly and then the time every week you spend on updating your computer and then when it crashes and you have to reinstall because a virus invaded your system. WELl with an Apple you never have to worry and with the ability to dual boot now you can get the MAC OS on a mac hardware and run windows too but i guarantee you it wont be long you will be leaving windows in the dust.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't make sense for Microsoft to crush Apple. Where would they steal their ideas from then?

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the Mac user who thinks that Mac is the best thing since sliced bread:

Yes, Macs are virus and spyware free. There is a good reason for this. Over 70% of Mac users are college students. What do college students have that a cracker would want? Not much. The average college student brings in under 12 thousand dollars a year, has over 100 thousand dollars in student debt, and is generally going to be in debt for about 9 years after leaving college. Crackers have no need to get into these peopole's computers. If there were ever a need to get into a Mac, trust me, there are plenty of programmers out there who could bypass Apple's "perfect" security system. Compare that to the PC. More than 40% of pc's are used in a business environment. This means money. Viruses and trojans are aimed at creating chaos and stealing information that will benefit the cracker using them. That is one of the reasons there are so many problems with M$ code. Too many people that have assets use PCs, and those PCs are better targets.

Secondly, you are completely wrong about a PC's inability to perform plug-and-play. Anything I plug into my PC works just fine. It also works just fine when I plug the same device into my Mac. I have NEVER had a problem with plug-and-play drivers since Windows XP. Prior to XP, there were definitely problems with M$'s plug-and-play routines. In fact, Apple did the right thing when they had it going on from the beginning, whereas M$ didn't really get it going until Windows 95. But my outside hardware runs on both of my comps without the need for excess drivers. Even my scanner ports to both machines just fine.

And yes, I have a Mac, in addition to my PC. I prefer my PC to my Mac for most things. There are a few things that the Mac does better, but not all of them. Graphics manipulation and music are the two main things I use my Mac for, otherwise, it sits on a corner of my desk taking up space. Mac is definitely not better at a lot of other things however. While a Mac can manipulate graphics extremely well, it has a hard time creating large-scale mathematical-based models of images. I can run 20 million iterations of a fourth generation fractal in about 30 seconds on my PC, the same fractal takes about 4 minutes on my Mac (maybe because it's only a G4.) There are also other instances of this. Almost all of them have to do with mathematical rendering. Mac's are great computers, except for high level math functions, where the PC still outshines it, viruses, bugs and all.

Now, let us get on with the whole crashing problem. My PC has crashed exactly 3 times this year. My Mac crashes every 5 times I turn it on at some point. And it's not like a PC where the PC tells you it crashes. It simply restarts. No warning. No anything. Simply a restart for no reason. You can't even get a reason why it crashed, only that it did, and hopefully you know what you were doing at the time it crashed. My PC tells me what program causes the crash and then crashes. And when I boot up I get more messages about what caused the problem.

Before you knock another system, you should really delve into both sides. Yes, I love my Mac, but I love my PC more, and if I had to choose one or the other, the Mac knows where my window is.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these inciting confrontational comments! because Microsoft is so successful? essentially due to good business decisions. Is success not what we all want? Is Microsoft doing something wrong? Would we really do it any different? Why does everyone seem so intent in defeating success? We’re all told success is good, and then when it happens, nobody likes it, is this a little conflicted? I don’t believe its right to put some entity down in order to lift some other entity up. Did Microsoft steal the GUI (WIMP Environment) from Apple or did Apple adapt the idea from Xerox Park? Business is Business. For me an OS developed & coordinated by a single (rich / stable) company has got to be more stable / advanced than an OS developed by many separate people, although the reduced costs help many people. I think Apple is great, but they can’t seem to make up their minds. Their new OSX is a derivative of Berkley Linux (Unix) OS, which I believe is different from their earlier generic Apple OS, not forgetting ‘nexT’. Also are they not all derivatives of each other? The competition drives progress and (can be) fun! Have we not got anything better to do, our own life maybe?

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7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person who said their Mac crashes five times a day:

There must be something really wrong with your Mac. I have two Macs at home, one a year old iBook and the other an original iMac that I purchased back in 1999. I have to reboot the old iMac a few times a year, but it really does not bother me all that much since I have definitely pushed it beyond its expected life. I have upgraded virtually everything in it and it is currently running Mac OS X Panther and it is on 24x7x365. Its seven years old, but it still works great. As for my iBook, I have never had to reboot it, not once. It just works.

I use PCs at work and have even owned one in the past. Every night before I go home, I lock my workstation (sort of like putting your Mac to sleep). The only problem is that after about a week or so of doing this, I have reboot my PC because things start to run painfully slow and in general it starts to misbehave. Rebooting usually corrects the problem for another week or so. As an auditor, I work with large volumes of data on my PC and guess what, it pukes regulatly and I have to restart either the application I am working in like ACL, MS Access, etc. or worst yet I end up rebooting the whole machine. When that happens, sometimes everything is okay after I restart or reboot and sometimes the whole ordeal ends up corrupting the files I was working in. My PC is brand new, but it is still a POS.

As far as Vista goes, perhaps consumers that have not already gotten so frustruated with MS that they have opted for Mac may purchase it. However, I highly doubt corporate america is going to sign-up for it. Our whole department, about 50 of us in a 40,000 employee company just got brand new laptops. However, not a one of them will be powerful enough to run that bloatware of an OS that MS calls Vista. Is my company and companies like it going to replace 40,000 computers just so they can run Vista corporate-wide. The answer is hell no! It will be years before corporations embrace Vista, if at all.

If you think that consumers are not getting fed up with Windows PCs and purchasing Macs instead, think again. In my own department, about a half dozen people have purchased Macs in the last few months alone. Their reason, they were sick and tired of dealing with Windows. Have any of them had any problems with their Macs? The answer is no. They love them and will never go back to a PC.

In terms of the whole MS versus Apple argument, if you like your PC please keep on using it and being loyal to MS. I, however, would rather not bring the too numerous to mention PC problems that I experience at work home too. That's why I have Macs at home. They simply work! Once you go Mac, there is no going back!

7:19 PM  
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