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Apple released OS X Mavericks this Tuesday. The new Macintosh operating system is free and available for download. So far, Mavericks has attained high ratings in the App Store — 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. The people love it! The new operating system will make your Mac run faster and perform better, while adding some useful new features.
Why is Mavericks Free?
Apple has always competed with Microsoft, but for some time there was a bit of a détente. When Apple was at their low point in the 1990s, Microsoft agreed to develop Microsoft Office for the Mac. They even invested $150 million in Apple. This helped Apple greatly. Indeed, Apple probably wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Microsoft’s actions in 1997.
Apple also moved to Intel processors and supported running Windows on the Mac. The relationship has had many ups and downs. It’s hard to forget Apple’s famous Mac commercials with Justin Long and John Hodgman. Apple and Microsoft are like the scorpion and the frog. (I’ll leave it to the readers to decide which corporation represents the appropriate creature.)
Microsoft is in trouble. Consumers don’t want to buy their smartphones and tablets. PC sales are down, which means that Windows sales are down. Corporations facing hardship often resort to desperate tactics. Microsoft has decided to try gaining market share by recklessly criticizing their competitors. It’s fair to point out flaws in products, however, a recent online Microsoft commercial depicted the late Steve Jobs in a meeting, discussing the iPhone 5C. The ad pointed out that Apple’s only innovation was to make a plastic phone. That’s both insulting and false. The 5C isn’t the only new phone Apple unveiled. The iPhone 5S is cutting-edge and the best smartphone on the market. Microsoft didn’t want to acknowledge the 64-bit processor and finger-print scanner. The ad was widely criticized, mainly because the depiction of Steve Jobs was in poor taste. Microsoft pulled the ad after one day.
Microsoft isn’t just competing against Apple. HP CEO Meg Whitman announced that they now see Microsoft as a competitor. This comes after years of symbiosis. Microsoft created Windows and HP made the computers that use the OS. Time will only tell if this strategy will pay off. I think it would have been smarter to create Microsoft Office for iOS and develop products that don’t compete directly with Apple. Perhaps a focus on enterprise computing would be a better direction. However, in the world of enterprise computing, some of the best technologies are free. Microsoft’s actions seem desperate and they’re burning down bridges. (continue…)
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