News Analysis: Apple has been engaged in an operating system battle with Microsoft for a couple of decades. For most of that time, all of the advantages were held by Microsoft Windows. But now more than ever Apple is in a position to score major market gains against Windows.
has been and for the foreseeable future will be the most dominant force in the
desktop operating system market. The company's Windows has been deployed by
millions of companies around the world, as well as by an overwhelming number of
consumers who want to be more productive while home or on the road. With each
new version of Windows, it's clear that Microsoft has what it takes to keep
those people coming back for more.
the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on June 6,
its latest shot at Microsoft in the companies' ongoing operating system battle.
For years now, the firms have been trying to best the other on the desktop. But
now, it's clear that mobile operating systems and even the cloud are becoming
weapons in that war.
has opened several new fronts in its war against Microsoft, and if it can
follow through on its promises, it might go a long way in hurting Redmond's
on to find why Apple is in position to gain ground in its war against Windows.
1. The digital-only Lion
the most surprising shot over Microsoft's bow at the Worldwide Developers
Conference was Apple's announcement that Mac OS X "Lion," the next
version of its flagship operating system, will be available as a download from
the company's Mac App Store, rather than sold as packaged disks in-store. Even
more importantly, it will be available for just $29.99. Apple has changed how
operating systems are sold, and now the pressure is on Microsoft to respond.
2. Lion's multitouch
Apple first announced Mac OS X Lion last year, the company said that it had
designs on bringing iOS-like functionality to its operating system. At WWDC on
June 6, Apple made that clear by showing off several multitouch gestures,
including pinch-to-zoom and swiping, working with Macintosh applications.
Considering Microsoft is trying to make Windows 8 more tabletlike in its
functionality, it looks like Apple might have beaten it to the punch.
3. The Mac App Store
Microsoft will likely offer an applications marketplace
that will allow
users to download programs from the operating system, rather than be forced to
buy software in-store and install it. The only issue is that Microsoft will be
late to the game. Apple's Mac App Store is already available on Snow Leopard,
and the company is planning to build it into Mac OS X Lion. In addition to its
current functionality, Apple said at WWDC that it plans to bring in-app
purchasing and push notifications to its store.
4. It's making Windows a component in its
also unveiled the long-awaited iCloud at WWDC on June 6. Furthermore,
Apple said that Windows will be a component in its strategy to win the cloud
race. Regardless of whether a user is running an iOS-based device, Mac or
Windows PC, they will be able to use iCloud, share content with other products
and much more. Microsoft doesn't have a suitable competitor that can do the
Windows a piece of Apple's iCloud strategy
could eventually hurt
Microsoft's OS, especially if it encourages more people to switch to the Mac or
diverts data that would go into a Microsoft Windows cloud to iCloud.