10 Ways Windows 7 Will Beat Back the Mac OS X Challenge
10 Ways Windows 7 Will Beat Back the Mac OS X Challenge
Since the beginning of this year, Apple and its many offerings have dominated the news. Speculation ran rampant over what it had planned for its tablet, now known as the iPad. Some folks were wondering if the company would finally bring its iPhone to Verizon Wireless and update the device to include multitasking. In recent weeks, some of that attention has shifted to Mac OS X and its chances of stealing more market share away from Windows.
As exciting as Apple's success might be, perhaps it's time to focus on Microsoft. The software giant has slowly but surely revamped its OS image, thanks to a solid PR campaign and a vastly improved operating system that consumers, the enterprise, and vendors can get behind.
Mac OS X might be a fine operating system in its own right. It might even be more capable than Windows 7 in some areas. But as 2010 progresses and market share figures change throughout the world, it will be Windows 7, not Mac OS X that will be gaining market share.
Windows 7 will stifle any chances for Mac OS X to capture market share. Let's take a look at why.
1. Windows Vista is in the past
Although some who prefer Apple products like to point to Windows Vista as the reason not buy a Microsoft operating system, the troubles Microsoft faced with that OS are in the past. Windows Vista was a failure that lived up to no one's expectations. But Windows 7 has mended fences with the Windows community. And as time goes on, it makes even more people forget about Vista. The market has moved on.
2. Windows 7 is a fine OS
Windows 7 provides an outstanding experience that easily matches Mac OS X. The OS sports a revamped design and improved taskbar making it much easier to use. And thanks to few (if any) compatibility problems and improved security, it improves upon Windows Vista's troubles. Most importantly, Windows 7 improves upon Mac OS X.
3. Mac OS X is lacking
Speaking of Mac OS X, Apple's operating system is missing several key features that make it a less than ideal choice for many consumers. As nice as the OS might be, there's no telling if it's really as secure as Apple lovers claim. Worst of all, Apple has largely ignored the possibility of a major security outbreak in its OS, making it even more likely that something disastrous happens. On the features side, Mac OS X's native apps, including Mail and Finder are in desperate need of an overhaul. They're not awful software packages, but they leave much to be desired. If Mac OS X is to challenge Windows 7 this year, Apple must address some obvious feature flaws as soon as possible.
4. Vendor support
One of the main obstacles limiting Vista's success was vendor support. Dell, HP, and other major vendors gave customers the option of deploying Windows XP rather than Windows Vista after realizing all the troubles the latter OS suffered from. Now that Windows 7 has been vetted and it easily bests its predecessor, vendors are in full support of Microsoft's latest operating system. Apple's best chance at acquiring more market share ended when Windows 7 hit store shelves.
Window 7 Gets Back on Track with Enterprise Customers
5. The enterprise is key
Until Apple realizes the value of the enterprise, the company will have a hard time challenging Windows 7. The business world has been a major reason for Microsoft's success over the years. And by making several improvements to its OS in an attempt to make the corporate world even more vested in Windows, it's likely that Microsoft's operating system will continue to dominate that space. Without the enterprise, Apple's growth will continue to be stunted. And so far, the company has done little to stop that.
6. Vendors are starting to understand design
Since Mac OS X only runs on Apple computers, Apple can make the design of its hardware a selling point. Microsoft doesn't have that luxury. And in recent years, PC vendors have sold ugly computers. But that's starting to change. Recent HP and Dell designs reveal that both companies are starting to realize that the design of a product is just as important as its price. The more appealing PCs are, the less likely Apple will be able to capitalize on its own designs. That, in turn, will hurt Mac OS X market share.
7. Affordability comes into play
Apple's products are offered at a premium. When things are going well, that might not be a problem. But the world is still struggling to get out from under a major recession that has left millions unemployed. As consumers go back to stores, they won't necessarily choose the more expensive computer any more. In many cases, they will be looking for the best value. Considering some HP and Dell notebooks are available for just a few hundred dollars, it's likely those consumers will start there. If nothing else, Microsoft has affordability on its side.
8. It's the feature set
Windows 7 offers several new features that make it more appealing than Mac OS X. For example, Windows 7's improved taskbar easily beats out Mac OS X's Dock as a viable navigation tool. The revamped Start menu is a treat to use. And thanks to encryption features like BitLocker and BitLocker to Go, keeping data hidden from the wrong people is much easier. Windows 7 is a full-featured OS that trumps Mac OS X on several fronts. Customers are starting to realize that.
9. Microsoft won't repeat past mistakes
Microsoft has committed several mistakes that has set the company back. But Microsoft has shown that with Windows 7 that it can adapt and learn from those mistakes. Apple had a window to drastically increase OS X market share when Microsoft was down. But now the software company is back with a better operating system that is selling extremely well. Windows 7 has practically ensured that Microsoft won't repeat the mistakes it made with Windows Vista. That can't be good for Apple.
10. Windows XP mode
One of the major complaints about Windows Vista was its incompatibility with software and peripherals. It especially impacted the enterprise, which relied upon those extras to perform work. Responding to that, Microsoft has delivered Windows XP mode. The virtual installation of Microsoft's old OS has revolutionized the company's operating system. It practically ensures that no matter the software version or the peripheral, if a Windows 7 user has Windows XP mode running, they will be able to get it working. Apple has nothing of the sort. And for the past few years, it relied upon those compatibility issues to lure customers away from Microsoft. Now that advantage is gone.
Apple is undoubtedly a successful company with several fine products. But Windows 7 has changed everything. And it will likely stunt Mac OS X's growth.