The (simple) difference between Apple and Microsoft

We can look at Microsoft and Apple and compare them strategically: Microsoft is the plumbing for a commoditized desktop computing market where Apple delivers a unique computing experience based primarily on its proprietary technology stack. Microsoft as the complacent market leader, Apple as the wannabe – fighting hard to win share. Apple, in tune with today’s computing lifestyle as the innovator, Microsoft as the raw execution machine, buying innovation where needed.

But for me, in the shoes of an end-user, all of that is summed up in a simple way:
Type in CNN in Safari (without url etc, just as we wrote it here) and then type in CNN (again without any internet “grammar”) in Explorer. Bottom line: with Apple you get what you expect the home page of CNN, with Microsoft you get spun into their web of search, literally, with CNN as one of the search results.

Maybe this is Microsoft’s tactic to produce page hits to compete with Google: any user that doesn’t know how to type in a URL will be rerouted by default to MSN search. I call that cheating, Microsoft. But even with those tricks, you still need Yahoo!

Getting and keeping customers is about integrity and authenticity, not sneaky monetization techniques to squeeze every cent out of every visitor – leading them down the endless path of search. I am glad Apple is around and here to stay. There is nothing better than getting what you want, quickly.

BTW: talking about Microsoft’s complacency, does it still not have anti-aliasing sorted out – or is that the big improvement in Vista?


The sign of an intelligent nation is its willingness and ability to reinvent itself, upstream. Let’s inspire the world with new rigors of excellence we first and successfully apply to ourselves.

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