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Apple targeting Dell, not Microsoft

updated 11:20 am EDT, Mon August 14, 2006

Apple's real target

As Apple expands and uses its momentum from the success of the iPod to power to help drive sales spurred by the Intel transition, some question who Apple's real target should be. According to Rob Enderle, Apple is not at war with Mircosoft, but is really at war with Dell. reports that despite the general thinking that Apple is in a struggle against the 95 percent of Windows PCs, often used as a measuring stick for Apple's success, it is indeed a battle to draw customers into buying hardware. As such, the conclusion is drawn that Apple's tactic (during this era of Intel-based Macs) is not to overthrow Windows, but to offer a software advantage over companies who bundle third-party software due to their deficiencies -- and example of which is Dell. Apple often challenges Microsoft publicly at events like WWDC and in general PR, but the columnist believes this is simply a means to the ends of getting an advantage. In 1998, Apple's CEO declared that "For Apple to win, Microsoft doesn't have to lose," -- though that first attempt at a mutually beneficial relationship arguably failed, it would appear Apple is closer to this thinking than ever.

by MacNN Staff




  1. e2Sync

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Rob Endull

    You are so full of sh*t that you're simply beyond anecdote.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    He's right on

    Apple's not going to supplant MS, so why even try (is Leopard the next Windows-killer??? You all complain about the ipod killers out there, so its fair to ask). Apple doesn't make its money on software. Its all in hardware and iPods. So all they really want is to get people to buy their hardware. Why do you think they released BootCamp. Its to allow people to run windows if they want, even if that's all they want to run (as opposed to the mac-flock, switchers are less likely to stand in line on day one and buy the latest and greatest copy of the new OS or iLife or whatever else Apple decides to release).

  1. iChick

    Joined: Dec 1969


    loose vs. lose

    >>>"In 1998, Apple's CEO declared that "For Apple to win, Microsoft doesn't have to loose,"

    OK - pet peeve of mine. Loose: as in how you hope your jeans fit. Lose: not winning the spelling bee.

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Since Dell is a Microsoft reseller then of course Apple is going after Dell, just like they're going after HP, Gateway, etc. They offer better hardware at competitive prices and they offer fantastic software. And for those who don't think Apple make money from their software, the price of a new mac includes the cost of development of the OS, iLife, etc. Apple make a ton of money from software just like Dell sell Windows at a profit.

    This would be like saying in May 1944 that the allies goal was not to overthrow n*** Germany, but to have a successful invasion of Europe. So lets say that Apple ends up with bigger market share than Dell. Won't that mean that they have also taken significant market share from other PC vendors and therefore taken a HUGE slice of income from Microsoft. Remember MS only has two really profitable products, Windows and Office. If you take away one of their biggest profit sources, how can this not be seen as a victory for Apple and huge loss for MS.

    Conquering Dell along the way would just be cream on the cake. Once again Rob Enderle opens his brain to the world only to show everyone that there's nothing there.

  1. Rezzz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    think it through

    when apple gains marketshare at the expense of a PC manufacturer, the manufacturer (like Dell) loses hardware profits and microsoft loses windows licensing fees.

    in other words, for Apple to 'win' then both PC makers and Monopl$oft have to lose .. at least a little.

    all that said, Monople$oft makes money from the Mac platform so its not a complete bust for them. however, and more important to Redmund is the idea of losing *control* of the desktop. it is only possible to continue a monopoly if the monopoly still exists. take Zune for an example. you can be damned sure it will be part of Windows Media 11 and will come bundled with every copy of Vista.

    how does one compete with that? come to market first? historically that's not been enough. has anyone else noticed that Apple seems to be refining their "Office' / business products? go for it, Steve. if anyone can make a run at these shrewd and crude dudes, Apple is it.

  1. HighFolioLip

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Nonsense

    Beeble, Have you considered that MSFT makes more on Office and Windows when someone buys a Mac? Every Mac sale that includes Windows capabilities includes possible retail sales of Office and Windows. MSFT's OEM pricing to Dell has to be considerably less than what they charge Comp or Best Buy. Yes, there will be a percentage that will not buy Office for Windows if they buy a Mac but I think that number is small enough to not make much difference. MSFT still wins. Coinsider, also, if MSFT buys the manufacturer of Parallels. Profit, again.

  1. torifile

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't be so quick...

    to say Enderle is wrong. There is some validity to his argument, especially now that Macs can run Windows. Dell and other manufacturers of Windows machines need to look out - Apple's got some very compelling offerings that can run Windows without a problem.

  1. macmiser

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Here's the video of the 1997 Macworld Boston Keynote he refers to

  1. e:leaf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is not . . .

    a war against MS, but on HW manufacturers. To beat MS, every new Mac sale must be to someone who uses OS X exclusively. If people buy Macs and use both OS X and Windows, then only other HW manufacturers lose.

    Market share is a different beast now because of Boot Camp/ Parallels. Theoretically speaking, both OS X and Windows could have 100% market share (assumming no one uses any other alternatives), which means that Macs have 100% of the hardware market. Using Windows (even exclusively) no longer precludes using Macs. Being an OS X or Windows user are not mutually exlusive anymore, but being a Mac user or PC user is, and so the battle is no longer against Windows, but hardware manufacturers.

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I disagree

    Two things. First, no it does not necessarily mean that. For instance, say those people Apple wins over are all Windows users. Say those people buy the Mac and want to run Windows using Bootcamp. They will buy Windows at a more hefty price then they would if they got it through Dell. Under that scenerio, Dell loses, but Microsoft actually does better.

    Second, Apple is a company. Accordingly, it is an "it" not a "they." For instance, you should have wrote "doesn't that mean IT has taken significant . . . "

    A corporation exists independent of any people working for it. When people act on a corporation's behalf the corporation has acted.

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