What Windows 7 Could Mean for Mac OS X

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-07-23 Print this article Print

But if there is a correlation between Mac sales and Vista, wouldn't there also be a negative correlation between Mac adoption and Windows 7's success?

Windows 7 probably won't stop Apple's rise in the consumer space. The iPod and the iPhone are contributing heavily to its success and not even Windows 7 can stop that. But in the enterprise, it's entirely different. Those companies that moved to Mac OS X or are considering deploying Apple's operating system might need to think twice. Windows is still the leader in the enterprise for good reason. Unlike Mac OS X, Windows is the operating system platform for almost every software package designed for businesses. It's a more business-friendly operating system. Apple's Mac OS X doesn't enjoy those same benefits.

In the end, it's Windows 7 and its value that will dictate how well Mac OS X will perform in the enterprise going forward. If Windows 7 can live up to the hype, Apple's growth in the enterprise will be stymied. Companies that had thought about getting new hardware to replace their outdated XP computers will need to choose between Windows 7 or Mac OS X. As long as Windows 7 ships to the enterprise with as much value as Microsoft has promised, Mac OS X won't be the chosen operating system. Microsoft will be able to return to absolute dominance in the enterprise.

As long as Microsoft releases operating systems that don't quite match the requirements of the enterprise, companies will think about deploying Mac OS X. That's why Windows 7 is so important. If it can live up to its promise, companies will adopt it, they will opt for an HP, Lenovo or Dell PC instead of a Mac, and Apple's growth in the enterprise will end.

Windows is an extremely powerful operating system. It dictates the enterprise market. It controls how companies do business. And, it seems, it plays a part in Apple's success. But with Windows 7 promising greater appeal than Vista, Apple might already have enjoyed its best days in the enterprise.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, 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 http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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