Apple Putting More Pressure on Windows Than Ever

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-06-07 Print this article Print

  5. The post-PC era?

Without mentioning Microsoft or Windows by name, Apple indicated that it believes the technology industry is moving past reliance upon the PC. It made that especially clear by saying on June 6 at WWDC that it will no longer require users to plug their iPhones or iPads into computers in order to update them. Instead, all updates will be made over the air as part of the acknowledgement that some people are opting for tablets and smartphones rather than laptops or desktops. Microsoft can't be happy to hear that-and it can't be happy to see Apple cutting tethering out of the iOS update process.

6. Bringing mobile to the desktop

With Windows 8, Microsoft has designs on bringing mobilelike functionality to the desktop. In fact, the operating system will come with "tiles" that users have grown accustomed to in Windows Phone 7. However, Apple is bringing its mobile functionality to the desktop as well. As mentioned, Lion will feature multitouch gestures, the Mac App Store and new features, like Mission Control, that offer a somewhat mobilelike design and functionality. Both Microsoft and Apple are planning to bring mobile to the desktop, but Apple is doing it first.

7. Making iOS devices more appealing

Windows Phone 7 is having trouble getting off the ground. Microsoft hopes that its partnership with Nokia (and time) will change that. But with more than 200 improvements coming to the iPhone and iPad with iOS 5, Microsoft might have some trouble. Apple has fixed many of the issues with iOS in its upcoming release by adding a better notifications system and over-the-air updates. Combine that with its new iMessage platform, and Windows Phone 7 might look even more obsolete than it does now.

8. The "it just works" mentality

When Apple CEO Steve Jobs discussed iCloud, he continued to reference the idea that "it just works." The platform essentially takes data from several devices and pushes them out to others with minimal user engagement. The importance of that in the operating system war between Apple and Microsoft cannot be underestimated. Apple is delivering something unique and easy to use with iCloud. Plus, it doesn't work with Windows Phone 7 or Android-based devices. If users enjoy using iCloud and see value in it, they might not hesitate to opt for the iPhone or iPad, rather than Windows Phone alternatives because of that.

9. Resume to the rescue

At WWDC on June 6, Apple talked about a new feature coming to Mac OS X Lion called Resume. The new feature allows users to pick up where they left off in an application after it's turned off or the computer is restarted. It might not seem like a major update, but it is an important one. For years, users have been hoping to have functionality like that, and Apple is delivering what they have been looking for. Plus, Resume is just one of many new features that might make Mac OS X Lion impress Windows users, and it presents another reason why Microsoft should be scared.

10. Making developers think twice

Since the Mac App Store launched in January on Apple's Snow Leopard operating system, it has caught on in a big way with customers. Apple said at WWDC that the store is now the world's top channel for buying applications, overtaking Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Office Depot and other retailers in sales. This makes developing for the Macintosh and iOS more attractive than ever and could serve to make developing for Windows less attractive than ever. Apple's top-selling marketplace might just turn out to be a more important weapon in its battle with Microsoft than some think. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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