In the final calendar quarter of 2011, everybody’s favorite Cupertino, California-based fruit company sold more than 15 million iPads, which is more than any single brand of traditional desktop and portable computers in the same period. This year Apple is expected to sell 60 million tablets, a 50 percent jump over 2011, and I think we can expect another year of double-digit Mac growth, as well. So, is the end nigh for Microsoft, HP, Dell, Acer and Samsung?
Call it a failure of trickle down morality. If Apple’s competitors that also manufacture in the Middle Kingdom — Microsoft, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung and, well, everyone — only give a lip service damn about workers, then nothing is going to change. Well, nothing outside Apple’s China supply chain will get better.
Once upon a time, a PC was a PC and the Mac definitely wasn’t. With an ever growing number of consumers and enterprises, one user at a time, choosing iPhones, iPads and Macs over Microsoft products, the distinction is fading. Pissy aspersions from me aside, this is good for users, businesses and Apple, especially Apple.
Apple updated OS X’ integrated trojan blocker over the weekend to protect against Trojan Dropper. Now, another trojan, Flashback, has surfaced and this one, whether the irony was intended or not, masquerades as an Adobe Flash Player installer. Again, however, the threat level is believed to be low.
As these things go, Microsoft Office 2011 and OS X 10.7 seem to play fairly well together, though there are issues and Redmond’s promising fixes. Step inside for a quick look at what the problems as they are and who’s like to be affected.
For the rest of us, especially those that don’t get tech news printed on dead trees, that Apple-branded computers clean up year after in this particular magazine’s Reader Choice awards is more than a little ironic. Elitist snark aside, Macs are nevertheless “personal computers” and all of the other awards for Apple’s other products are, well, sauce for the goose.
And, it’s Microsoft on the receiving end of this most educational thumping. Whereas I and much of the Mac digerati have pooh poohed Cupertino’s 2011 student, teacher and family promotion, cash registers are nonetheless ringing the sounds of the season.
This will be billed as Amazon’s attempt to compete with the Apple’s Mac App Store, which it is. However, the larger narrative is what’s important here — the era of largely empty boxes baring little plastic disks encoded with bits of information is coming to an end.
Microsoft’s latest big buy, Skype, earned the company jeers, about 8.5 billion of them. A similar case of under delivery came out of Google’s annual developer love fest, where the biggest news was a cloud-based music service with no music and, even more exciting, an HTML5 version of Angry Birds.
Tablet hype, tablet shmype. Dress up the issue by excluding tablets (a.k.a. the iPad) from the data and by calling the iPad phenomenon “hype,” but the result is the same — Windows PC makers are losing sales and they still don’t have relevant product to stem the bleeding let alone grow sales.