It’s the unofficial motto of the lottery industry: You’ve got to play to win. A couple of decades ago, the vast majority of microcomputer companies realized that the jackpot was in sales of computers to businesses. Apple opted not to play, and as a result, it had a troubled history throughout most of the 1990s.
Now, for the first time since the Mac was introduced in 1984, Apple has a real opportunity to play to win by focusing some of its resources on selling computers to the enterprise. Apple isn’t a large company, however, and it’s headed in an entirely different direction, transforming itself from a consumer computer company to a consumer electronics company. But is that truly the right move for Apple? It might be, but it’s not without risk. And it may mean passing up a golden opportunity.
Don’t believe the siren song emanating from Redmond about how well Vista is doing. It’s not doing all that well. That doesn’t mean Microsoft is in trouble long term, because as things stand now, Vista (and its mildly improved derivatives) will eventually take over the Windows marketplace and wind up being the largest-selling version of Windows ever.