Apple Refutes Microsofts Mac OS X Claims

Apple executives late Monday refuted Microsoft claims that it's not doing enough to promote and sell Mac OS X.

Apple Computer Inc. executives late Monday refuted Microsoft Corp. claims that its not doing enough to promote and sell Mac OS X.

"We do a tremendous amount of marketing on Mac OS X and Im proud of the progress weve made with the platform since it was introduced last May," said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, in Cupertino, Calif.

Schiller said there are about 2.5 million active customers who use Mac OS X as their primary operating system.

"That is about 10 percent of our installed base running their machines on a new operating system," Schiller said. "By the end of the year, were targeting five million users or 20 percent of our base. I dont know of anyone else whos moved over so many people so quickly."

Schillers comments came in response to comments made by Kevin Browne, general manager of Microsofts Macintosh Business unit in the Wall Street Journal Monday. Browne told the paper: "There hasnt been a concerted effort [on Apples part] to promote Mac OS, even though the opportunity is there and our willingness is there."

Browne, who has left for sabbatical and could not be reached for comment Monday, also said Microsoft has committed to one more version of Microsoft Office for the Macintosh, but could make no guarantees for supporting the Macintosh platform beyond that. Other Microsoft officials were unable to comment before this story was posted.

Schiller, however, added that Apple and Microsoft executives speak daily about different issues including sales and marketing, but that the companies have not discussed Microsofts plans to drop support for the Macintosh platform.

"Im not sure thats something they said or conjecture on the part of someone in the media," Schiller said. "We have had several discussions with Microsoft about products and marketing, and weve offered suggestions for them on how they can get more out of their investment in the Macintosh platform," Schiller said. "Im not sure of the foundation for these comments."

Meanwhile, several observers view the Microsoft comments as an attempt to snatch a bit of attention on the eve of Apples big Macworld show in New York this week.