I worked for Microsoft way back in the 1990’s. Once a year, all of the Microsoft faithful got together for a big love-in. Like high-priests that they were back then, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer would preach. Like faithful parishioners, we lapped it up. At the end of this annual bash, we were all wound up like a highly strung Swiss watches. And off we went, for another year, gunning for the Top 3 “targets” that Bill and Steve had chosen for the coming months.
One name that cropped up over and over again during the "sermons" was Apple. Simply put, Microsoft hated Apple. They wanted to rid them from the business world.
And during the 90’s, they nearly succeeded.
Way back then, when Windows was emerging as the desktop powerhouse that it became, many reckoned that Apple had superior products. However, Microsoft outsold Apple in spades, mainly by distributing its product broadly on hardware made by many companies. Apple wanted control and, as a result sold less.
At the time, software developers wrote applications for the Windows PC market, which in turn attracted more customers, which attracted still more software developers to Windows. For the better part of two decades, Microsoft held the allegiance of software developers, relegating the Mac to the sidelines.
Fast forward 20 years. Today, the mobile smartphone is the new desktop. Nowadays, Microsoft is playing second fiddle. Google and Apple are leading the pack.
But the interesting thing is that Apple is still that same control freak!
Google, with their Android operating system (which, like Windows before it, has been made available to any hardware maker), is outstripping Apple in terms of apps sold. Smartphones running Android outsell iPhones more than two to one.
But, an interesting advantage that Apple has is that many app developers are completely loyal to Apple and continue to make applications first, and sometimes only, for iPhones. They find it easier to create software for Apple devices than for ones running Android. Their allegiance to Apple has helped make its devices the powerhouses they are for the company.
At these years WWDC – the developer conference for Apple die-hards – Apple is expected to introduce a new version of the iOS operating system that powers iPhones and iPads.
Apple is more than “still rockin’ after all these years” !