I just met up with a fairly large number of friends socially that I haven't seen in a while.. One is a dev type, the rest aren't. One thing they all had in common (at least over the last few years) were them all being PC users.
Interestingly enough, all of them are getting Macs this Christmas. Everyone of them.
I found this a bit depressing.. I guess it's a pride thing, being a windows user (since my contracts all require Windows work and will be for the foreseeable future) and all that.
It just had me thinking.
If this is in anyway indicative of the future, does Microsoft care about losing all of these customers to Apple (no one I know is switching to Linux, that I know of)? I came up with these scenarios. I'm sure there are more. I refer to these non-geek, non-business users
as "family users".
1) Microsoft doesn't really care about the family users; the real money is made in businesses, which is where they will continue to focus. While Microsoft won't simply give up that marketshare, they're not willing to heavily invest in winning them back / keeping
what they got.
2) Microsoft does care about the family users, but does not have the resources yet (due to everyone working on IE 7 / Vista / Longhorn Server / etc.) to win them back / keep what they have. Maybe we'll start seeing some neat things in the future on this.
3) Microsoft cares about the family users, and truely believes that Windows Vista will win the hearts and minds of the home users. (Homies?) If this is the case, they have done little to no marketing on this aimed towards this crowd. Ive said this before, has
anyone seen or heard of a Marketing campaign aimed towards this crowd? I haven't.
4) Microsoft doesn't realize what's going on. They're too busy doing what they're doing to see this. Or they are choosing not to see it.
Regardless whether or not any of this is true, it seems that Microsoft, in general, is in a "reactive" state, not a "proactive" state. Internet Explorer is a great example of this: Microsoft pretty much wrote off IE (all the workers were assigned to be in other
places) until Firefox came around and became popular. This is what I remembered reading. Maybe some Microsoft Employees can elaborate more on this. The Zune is another example.. The Zune is --mostly-- based upon an iPod, admit it or not. Vista as a whole was
begun in response to emerging operating systems, namely OS X. Sure, there are things in Vista that were announced prior to OS X including them, but the need to re-do a lot of the OS is in response to something, not being proactive.
I think there are exceptions, like the X-Box 360, but I think in general, Microsoft is re-acting.
So, am I just being a 'downer'? Or do I actually make some points in this rant?